Where is the money in the cloud? Most of it is in SaaS (News - Alert) - the actual applications that people use and buy.
IaaS, PaaS, VPS and other forms of virtualization or cloud computing are growing, especially as more companies do hardware refresh – or look for ways to cut IT costs, including labor.
Saleforce, Google Apps, Hosted Exchange + Sharepoint, Zoho, Zimbra (News - Alert) and thousands of other apps are being purchased. Are you getting your share?
Cloud services brokers are set up to be a SaaS application store for businesses. I have no idea what the commission structures are for the sub-agents, but that’s okay. The channel partners have to realize that the key to a monthly recurring commission is that it starts small and grows. You take a contract for hosted e-mail here, backup there, CRM over there, while still selling T1s, Ethernet, VoIP, what-have-you.
Every sale does two things: builds up your monthly recurring income and gets you a bigger share of the customer’s spend. The way to be essential is to sell the customer as many services as possible – security, managed services, hardware, software, backup, disaster recovery. Maybe not all at once, but these additional services or add-ons can be ways to follow up with the customer and stay relevant after the initial sale.
The follow up could be something as simple as: “Mr. Customer, your Internet service provider has just added a cloud backup service. It turns out that other businesses like yours are using a backup service to securely store or backup their customer records off-site inexpensively in the off chance that disaster strikes. Would you be available next week to discuss it? We can also do a first bill review at that time.”
Add value, provide use cases, make it granular, and you become sticky. Salespeople today have to provide value beyond the services they sell. One way to provide that value is to let your customers know how other similar businesses handle similar problems.
Peter Radizeski is head of telecom consulting agency RAD-INFO (News - Alert) Inc. (http://rad-info.net/).
Edited by Stefania Viscusi