5 things MSPs should remember when selling cloud:

  1. Innovation requires more prospect education, which can increase your sales cycle and decrease your closing ratio.
  2. A new offering facilitates the re-enablement of previously disqualified prospects and lost opportunities.
  3. Promote your brand over your vendor’s brand.
  4. Adjust your supporting marketing materials before you begin talking about your cloud services.
  5. Generalists win more business, specialists can charge more for the same services.

selling cloud venn diagram

Our team has seen a significant shift in the focus of our outbound managed services campaigns.  MSPs are pivoting to support clients who are transitioning to a new “people can now work from everywhere” mindset, and this creates exciting opportunities for disruption selling in the market.   We’ve been helping MSPs sell cloud since 2014 and cloud is about to move from disruption to displacement.

Cloud is an attractive opportunity for MSPs – it means monthly recurring revenue without unpredictable expense and someone else managing the infrastructure.  In fact, the value proposition of selling cloud for MSPs is almost identical to the value proposition of selling cloud to the MSP client:

Focus on the thing you do really well, and let someone else handle the rest.

Register for our webinar on April 16th and learn how to position your brand and your cloud offering in the most effective way.

As you adopt new offerings, your sales strategy needs to pivot alongside your sales process.  Our webinar on April 16 will review how selling cloud is different from selling managed IT.  If you’re trying to sell cloud, and wondering why you’re not yet successful in acquiring new clients, here are some of the things you may not have considered:

Innovation requires more prospect education, which can increase your sales cycle and decrease your closing ratio.

When selling cloud, talking about your chosen business model is a no-no.  Prospects understand “IT Support” – they don’t really care how they get it, they just want it to be in their price range, protect them from risk, and provide them with the ability to work whenever, wherever.

You can pitch your cloud services as a unique offering, with a unique name, but in the prospecting process this serves to delay the process.  Your usual sales timeline can be extended by months, or even years, when you lead with a solution your prospect doesn’t understand.

Change is hard.

End users dissatisfied with their current support can easily understand why they should change to another provider, but making that change still requires considerable thought.  In a displacement sales process (knocking out a competitor) you’re competing with complacency, not other IT companies.

Changing to an unknown is harder.

End users who don’t understand cloud require education.  This no longer becomes a “swap this company for that company” decision.  It is now a “swap this service we understand for this unknown concept” decision.

Cloud is barely out of the “early adopter” market acceptance phase.  This combined with low brand recognition in your market puts you at an immediate disadvantage for selling cloud.  Giving your cloud offering a fancy name and positioning it as something new doesn’t help you when selling cloud.  It puts you at a significant disadvantage over competitors who have higher market validation selling something already understood by your prospects.

A new offering facilitates the re-enablement of previously disqualified prospects and lost opportunities.

The good news?  Every deal you’ve ever lost or prospect that was qualified but didn’t go to bid is now back in play.   A company that has taken your calls previously moves to a different spot on the displacement/disruption continuum.

If they know who you are, you have brand recogntion.  You have a better chance of selling cloud to these prospects than another random IT company that has never spoken to them does.

I can’t stress the importance of proper sales documentation enough here.  If I surveyed ten MSPs, only two of them will have visibility into the prospects that were qualified but did not move forward in the sales process.  Three will have documentation and win/loss analysis on deals that went to proposal.

If you’re in the 20% that manages your data well, congratulations – you’re far more likely to beat your competitors to the finish line when selling cloud.

Promote your brand over your vendor’s brand.

It can be tempting to ride on Microsoft’s or Amazon’s coattails. Don’t.  Everyone already knows who Microsoft is.  Everyone can sell it, so there’s no unique value proposition around “we partner with Microsoft”.  We ALL partner with Microsoft.  You want your prospects remembering your name.  If everyone sells the same thing, YOU are the value proposition.  Selling cloud will move from disruption to displacement soon enough.  If you have no brand recogntion built up when that switch happens, and you didn’t win wallet share in the disruption phase, you may never have the chance to capture it again.  Your partner doesn’t care that you’re a silver or gold Microsoft partner.  The channel understands the value of that status, the rest of the market doesn’t care whether you sell 500 seats a year or 5000 seats a year.  If your entire pitch is “Microsoft Gold partner” you don’t build your brand, you build your vendors brand – and your prospect can buy Microsoft anywhere – including directly from Microsoft.

Generalists win more business, specialists can charge more for the same services.

You can’t wait much longer to decide what your play for selling cloud is going to be.  The saying “in the niches there are riches” has never been more relevant.  Cloud allows competitors from outside your community to displace you.  Large players with large budgets are starting their national rollouts.  How do you compete?  You specialize and increase your prices.  I’ll pay more to work with a company that only does one thing in one industry.  So will most technology-dependent companies.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have fewer clients and higher margins.  Cloud offers this ability right now, but you have to take advantage of the land grab or risk fighting over the scraps left behind by those who did.

Interested in capturing the market? We’d love to help. Email us at hello@managedsalepros.com to schedule some time to discuss your requirements.  Interested in learning more about selling cloud before commiting to a sales meeting?  We can help there, too.

Selling Cloud with Carrie Simpson

Learn more about selling cloud with Carrie Simpson on April 16.  Register here: