Tips for MSPs Selling Cloud Solutions
In recent years, there has been a major shift to cloud computing. More and more companies are leveraging Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and cloud storage solutions for business critical data. In a 2015 article by Forbes, it was predicted that 59% of total cloud workloads will be SaaS workloads by 2018.
As companies are putting more faith in cloud computing, it’s crucial for managed service providers (MSPs) to put more effort into reaching this market. Companies who are cloud-forward are seeing a major bump in revenue in the long run.
If you’re not convinced, here’s the ‘why’ behind selling cloud solutions:
Cloud solutions are designed for companies big and small. Smaller customers will look to SaaS solutions to meet their needs if they’re not quite big enough to hire various departments (ex. accounting software in lieu of an in-house finance department). Bigger companies will use SaaS solutions like Salesforce and Google Apps for daily operations. As companies grow, various cloud solutions are available to help them on their way.
SaaS applications put you in control, literally. Centralized account control is part of the core design behind SaaS apps. Applications will have at least one administrator operating through a web interface that is supported by a larger ecosystem (i.e. Salesforce is supported by the AppExchange). Designed with the MSP in mind, you can toggle between administrative accounts for multiple instances on the same platform. This makes management a breeze!
SaaS apps also provide a reason to touch base with your clients. Applications are often priced on a per-user basis, so you can expect to hear from your clients every time they add, promote, or dismiss an employee. If you want to stay one step ahead, this also gives you good reason to schedule monthly check-ins with your customers. These actions will help you nurture customer relationships and leave room for upsell opportunities without appearing to be too pushy.
So you’re convinced on the ‘why’ but now you want the ‘how’?
There are a number of ways to incorporate SaaS solutions into your product offerings. Most of the ‘how’ around selling SaaS resides in how you position it to the customer.
Remember those SMBs mentioned above? They’ll often be less eager to purchase expensive hardware solutions. The money just isn’t there for them yet. This is where SaaS comes in. SaaS applications can be accessed directly from your client’s web browser. This kind of accommodation helps you win SMB clients and leaves opportunity for them to become hardware customers in the future.
Cloud solutions often offer trials at a low cost or even for free. Google Apps, for example, offers a 30-day trial for as little as fifty dollars. With trials offered at a very low cost point, cloud apps offer your clients something that doesn’t take up too much of their budget or too much of their time, (or yours).
SaaS applications take the fear of version lock-in away from your customers. Your clients using hardware are used to the ever present threat where they cannot advance to newer software because the hardware upgrades required are so expensive. Most SaaS applications offer a continuous cycle, where new features and updates are rolled out individually, without the need for an upgrade in software and cost. All clients need is an up-to-date web browser to support these changes and they’re good to go.
By catering to the SMBs infrastructure and budget, SaaS solutions will be one of your easier sells. The ‘how’ strategies mentioned above only scratch the ‘SaaS sales’ surface. For more guidance on how to position cloud-based applications to your prospects and customers, check out the complete free eBook, “Cloud Sales Made MSPeasy”.
Samantha Ciaccia is channel engagement manager at Datto. Read more Datto blogs here.