This is the final post in our 8-part blog series, 8 Steps to Help Channel Partners Build and Execute a Profitable Cloud Business.
In the old sales model before the cloud, customers told Sales what they wanted, and then Sales had it built or found a partner to provide it. But as we've discussed in the previous seven steps, you can’t achieve an effective cloud sales model if you are constantly reacting to every customer need. You need to first build a scalable cloud solution, develop a KPI-based financial plan, adopt automated operational processes, and launch a new digital marketing strategy—and only then train the sales team on how to take cloud services to market and convert solid leads to business wins. Here are the key best practices for enabling your sales team to get on board and optimize the profitability of cloud sales:
Adjust your compensation and incentive plan
Your sales team is highly motivated to sell a $10,000 software and server hardware solution for email, but now you expect them to also sell a $500 per month subscription to cloud-based email. Guess which solution the salesperson will present to the customer first? The one that pays them faster. So make sure your cloud sales compensation and incentive program pays them as fast as any alternative ways to deliver the solution. Cloud solutions are not monetized in the way that traditional IT is sold, so you have to adjust your compensation plan to excite and motivate your team to sell more cloud services.
Conduct business outcome training to help Sales engage non-IT decision makers
Remember that being a thought leader in the cloud marketplace is a best practice for attracting new customers and converting others to the cloud. So give your sales team the training to gain more business acumen and cloud expertise to strengthen their sales pitch. Research shows that nearly 70% of cloud decisions are made by non-IT decision makers. So train your people to guide non-IT prospects through the process of understanding the business outcome benefits of the cloud for their company.
Design an engagement process to drive consumption
Motivate your sales team to constantly engage customers to ensure that they are getting the full benefits of the cloud and understand how to use the solution to the advantage of their business. This proactive engagement approach helps to ensure that customers will stay with the service and perhaps activate additional features and functions that could generate additional cloud sales revenue. Here are seven more best practices for motivating your sales team to sell more cloud services:
- Provide training for overall cloud value and financial acumen
- Deliver solution and technical training
- Communicate pipeline management and forecasting process
- Outline pre-sales opportunity support process
- Develop up-sell / cross-sell process
- Determine customer business review process
- Develop customer experience and win back process
Next step: Get started with your cloud sales model
Maybe it’s time to add cloud services to your VAR sales portfolio—or increase your existing cloud sales revenue. Ingram Micro can help you build the best go-to-market cloud sales model that aligns with your business. We’ll show you how to take these eight best practice action steps and make them a reality. Most of all, we can help you fulfill all of the cloud services sales you'll be making if you join us an Ingram Micro VAR partner. Contact us today and find out how to get started.
For more information about Ingram Micro Cloud’s channel partner program, visit www.ingrammicrocloud.com/become-a-partner/.