On Rad's Radar: How to Sell Cloud Services

By Peter Radizeski, RAD-INFO Inc.  |  August 10, 2016

The struggle is real for direct and indirect salespeople to transition to selling cloud services. Network is so much easier because it is transactional and replacement services. Cloud, however, is about selling change. Certainly you can sell hosted VoIP as cheap dial-tone replacement. Good luck with that. It is a disservice to the customer and yourselves.

The transition starts by changing the conversation that you have with your clients. Microcorp’s CEO Karin Fields says it starts with a simple question beyond pipe: What are you doing for audio, web, and video conferencing?

If it is a bandwidth discussion, turn it to a discussion about what type of traffic. Do you have a VoIP phone system? Are you using videoconferencing? How many software apps are in the cloud?

You could start by asking them about Office365: Are you currently using Office365? If not, why? Or who hosts your email service? Hosted Microsoft (News - Alert) Exchange is still a money maker at even $6 per inbox. (It is about incremental revenue anyway. Email, backup, broadband, voice, conferencing, etc. – it adds up to a sticky customer and a larger commission. If you sell cross-vendor solutions, it adds commission protection for your revenue. (Relying solely on one vendor for more than 50 percent of your income is a mistake I made early on that I did not repeat.)

To get somewhere different you have to try new things, including being uncomfortable asking new discovery questions. WCC (workflow or UCaaS+) will not be replacement services, like Office365 is for email. It will change workflow in the business. It will change communications in the organization. (Internal email decreases when organizations use Slack.)

Selling something like SD-WAN or WCC is selling change; it is also selling outcomes. To do that, you have to know about the business, call flow, workflow, and business goals. If some employees are virtual, how does that affect collaboration? Is the goal more virtual workers? Is the goal more collaboration?

Selling network is easy. In fact, the one that sells them SD-WAN will eventually own the whole account. The one who sells them WCC will know so much about the customer that the network is irrelevant.

Peter Radizeski is president of Tampa, Fla.-based telecom consulting firm RAD-INFO (News - Alert) Inc. (www.

Edited by Alicia Young