Industry Perspective: Selling Cloud Services to New Customers

Attracting new customers for cloud services is an undertaking that’s not only important, but also challenging. It’s one thing to migrate current customers from on-premises services to those on the cloud. Those current customers know your company, trust you, and are eager to work with you again. But new customers are something else entirely. You have to find them, attract them, woo them, and sign them. Yet the upside is significant: new business, plus a growing customer base for future revenue.

And now is a great time to attract new cloud customers. Cloud technology is finally so mature, you don’t need to spend much time showing companies how useful it can be. Consider a recent survey of IT professionals in which nearly 83 percent said they already use cloud services. The technology is out there, and people know it.

That survey, conducted by B2B research firm Clutch, reached some 300 IT professionals at medium and large organizations, those with more than 100 employees. Clutch also found that cloud users are a satisfied bunch: 90 percent of those surveyed said they intend to either increase or maintain their annual spend on cloud computing this year.

Also, cloud users are willing to pay for outside help. In the Clutch survey, more than half of those surveyed said they hire external consultants to help them implement their cloud infrastructures.

Similarly, another survey, this one conducted recently by cloud-management company RightScale, found that nearly a third of technical professionals say their top cloud challenge is a lack of resources and expertise. That was even more than the number who cited security as their top cloud challenge, and it points to customers’ need for outside help like yours.

Customer Immersion

So how do you turn all that potential into actual new customers? Ian Pavlik, president of Canadian solution provider, has devised a unique approach. It works for his company, which specializes in offering Office 365 and Dynamic CRM, and it could work for you, too.

At the heart of Pavlik’s approach is what he calls the Customer Immersion Experience. What’s that? I’ll let Ian explain:

“That’s where we have a small lab. It’s very specific to the customer, one or two hours, and we will take them through a ‘Day in the Life’ of somebody working with Office 365. In almost every case, when they get to feel it and touch it and do the link and do the SharePoint and the CRM, they almost always buy. So if we can get them to sit in a chair and experience 365, then we get them as a customer.”

How effective is it? Very, says Ian. About 60 to 70 percent of the prospects who go through his company’s Customer Immersion Experience end up actually signing contracts and becoming new customers.

In other words, today’s cloud services are so good, so powerful, and so effective, to touch them is to want them. And to want them is, in many cases, to be willing to pay for them. So if you’re a solution partner looking to land new customers, try putting the cloud in your prospects’ hands.

To learn more, watch Ian Pavlik’s 3-minute video, Selling Cloud Services to New Customers. And discover how other solution partners tackle the cloud’s toughest business challenges by browsing other videos in the Cloud Business Transformation Center’s Video Vault.