Whether you're a VAR who's looking to start cloud services or you're looking to expand your current line of service offerings, there are a lot of choices you need to consider, ranging from what you're going to sell to training salespeople on how to sell it. Rather than believing you have to come up with all the steps yourself, why not at least entertain the possibility that a value-added distributor partner such as Ingram Micro, which works with literally hundreds of channel partners each month, might have already come up with a plan that could save your company countless hours reinventing the wheel?
Jason Bystrak, the Director of Sales for the Services division of Ingram Micro North America, shared his insights on this very topic recently in the first part of a multipart-series, titled: Transitioning Your Business to the Cloud, Part 1: Financial Planning
. In the article, Bystrak describes the five phases his team uses to help partners add cloud services to their businesses, including:
- Financial Plan
- Solution Plan
- Operational Plan
- Marketing Plan
- Sales Training Plan
The first article focuses almost exclusively on the first phase and addresses key starting points such as determining which cloud service you should be selling (note: the answer isn't the same for everyone) and what will be your relationship to the cloud -- should you be a CSB (cloud service broker) or a CSP (cloud service provider)?
One of the things I really like about this article is that it gets into specifics, including the importance of building a KPI (key performance indicator)-based plan, which has accountability built-in to ensure your success.
If you're serious about selling cloud services, I'd strongly recommend checking out Bystrak's article Transitioning Your Business to the Cloud, Part 1: Financial Planning
. Even if you decide to make the transition on your own (not recommended), you'll at least have some guidelines you can use that have been developed by a company that's helped thousands of channel companies just like yours.