In case you have been completely disconnected from modern civilization over the course of the past 12 to 18 months, here’s a newsflash for you… Cloud Computing is the #1 Priority of CIOs across the globe, as mentioned in a recent blog post from Rik Fairlie of Microsoft. Unfortunately for them, there is a high probability that the sales professional from their favorite technology solution provider has no idea how to sell them the cloud solution that they want or need. The key question is why? Why are sales professionals so unprepared to address the rapidly changing dynamics in the cloud computing marketplace?
The first reason can be attributed to the solution provider companies that employ these sales professionals. These solution providers have been focused on developing and acquiring innovative products, but not the means to bring those products to market. In a recent Alexander Group study, 80% of respondents, who offer both cloud and on premise solutions, are using their existing engagement models and sales infrastructure, including personnel and processes. This status quo will not scale, and these companies need to adjust their go-to-market strategies for success in selling cloud computing solutions.
All of the blame, however, cannot be thrust upon the solutions companies themselves. Some of it can be attributed to the very CIOs who are focused on cloud. They have changed the rules of the game. They say that cloud is a priority yet 47% of solutions companies report that “customer knowledge” is a major sales issue. CIOs expect the solution provider sales professionals to educate them about cloud computing, and its trends and technologies. Unfortunately, even if these sellers do invest time to educate their customers, often their only reward is longer sales cycles and very small purchases for pilot programs.
Cloud computing is here to stay. It is going to transform the way companies purchase and deploy technology, forever. So, what’s a solution provider to do?
Our advice – you must transform your sales organizations as well. Refine your go-to-market strategies to align to the new buying paradigm. Re-evaluate the roles that you have deployed against your most important customer segments. Most importantly, invest in training your sales professionals to become service-centric sellers.
Originally published by: Jeff Hersh