Convincing clients to move to the cloud is no easy feat; most clients are not ready for a change and will dodge any strategy thrown at them.
However, over time, we have seen a rapid increase in the demand for cloud services. For example, a survey by LogicMonitor predicts that 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020.
The switch to cloud services is well underway and is not expected to slow down anytime soon. But how exactly is this transition happening? And what are the strategies that top managed service providers (MSPs) employ to persuade clients to switch from traditional on-premises storage and security services to the cloud?
Based on research and conversations with CEOs in manufacturing, financing, and IT services, we’ve gathered some valuable tips from top MSPs on how you can convince your clients to move to the cloud.
Anticipate and Respond to Objections
The fact of the matter is that top MSPs are usually one step ahead of their sales pitch; they do thorough research on their clients to understand the way they think and operate.
Merely understanding the advantages of the cloud and what it has to offer is not enough to successfully sell it. Most customers have done their due research and already know the benefits. These clients will still be hesitant to adopt cloud services because of their own traditionalist perspectives and reluctance to adopt change.
In such cases, top MSPs have the required knowledge to dispel any objections and demystify the cloud. According to top MSPs, the key is to openly discuss clients’ objections with them, understand their concerns, and then provide concrete solutions to their problems and concerns.
The number-one issue that clients face is the cost and difficulty of migrating to the cloud. Indeed, businesses with IT investments have detected steadily rising cloud costs. In the same vein, according to the sixth annual State of the Cloud Survey by RightScale, 24% of private cloud users complain that cost containment is a major concern.
In such a scenario, MSPs need to address key concerns and get their foot in the door. To convince their clients to adopt the cloud, MSPs should focus on offering a few simple changes, such as cloud email services, as opposed to suggesting a complete migration. That way, MSPs can provide clients a taste of the advantages they can reap without overwhelming them with multiple changes all at once.
It’s foolish to expect clients to take the plunge in one go. Instead, MSPs should adopt a hybrid approach where they encourage clients to move slowly and steadily, switching to the cloud one service at a time.
Address Security Concerns
Most businesses work with sensitive and confidential data, so it should come as no surprise that security is one of the top concerns that clients have regarding adopting cloud services. Some clients also complain that their industry has difficult security compliance standards. In this case, clients are hesitant to shift to the cloud because they believe that doing so can lead to a higher security risk.
Interestingly however, research shows that concerns regarding the cloud’s security have declined from 29% to 25% in recent years. In other words, switching to the cloud has actually helped consumers worry less about security and confidentiality.
Furthermore, the cloud is just as secure (if not more secure than) on-premises data storage services. Consider this: Security measures in an on-premises environment largely involve using the right tools and maintaining up-to-date and breach-proof software. But with the cloud, it’s the service provider’s responsibility to manage updating software and hardware, giving clients enough time to focus on other important areas of their business.
Addressing these security concerns from the start and offering robust cloud solutions is the best way to ensure that clients move to the cloud.
Educate Your Clients
The easiest way to convince clients to switch to the cloud is to educate them. Faced with client concerns such as cost and security, MSPs should know that it’s important to clearly outline the benefits of the cloud and clear up any misconceptions from the very beginning.
For example, MSPs must reiterate the numerous benefits of cloud services, such as a virtually unlimited storage space, additional security, constant maintenance, and disaster recovery options.
It’s important to remind clients that the dynamics of the cloud are fundamentally different from those of in-house hardware services. These differences should be clearly outlined to reinforce the benefits of cloud services.
Design a Successful Pitch for the Cloud
The key to change depends on how successfully MSPs can craft their sales pitch. To this end, relationship-building strategies and engagement with the client are essential.
Top MSPs know that the best way to convince their clients is to make a good first impression. This means that your pitch needs to be tailored to your audience. A good sales pitch is customized to address the individual concerns of your client.
It’s a good idea to research each client and understand the problems they’re experiencing. You should then present information and benefits using facts and figures to make your pitch more convincing.
More importantly, you need to understand that not every client will want the full suite of services that you offer. Thus, you need to provide tailored services addressing that particular client’s pain points. Otherwise, they may opt to do business with an MSP that provides services better suited to their needs.
For example, if an MSP is dealing with an accounting firm, they will need to know if the firm has employees working remotely. Understanding this will allow the MSP to explain the benefits of having a central data repository for efficient data management, document storage, and workplace collaboration.
The bottom line is that thoroughly researching your client’s operations is crucial to successfully pitching cloud services. If you understand the problems your client encounters on a regular basis and position your cloud services as the solution, you’ll be well on your way to converting them.
In a Nutshell
While the benefits of switching to the cloud are numerous, selling cloud services is not an easy task. There are tons of MSPs out there competing with you, but very few are able to successfully convince their clients to take the plunge and adopt cloud services.
The best way to earn a client’s trust is to engage with them and dispel their misconceptions about cloud operations. Ultimately, MSPs must rely on more than just perfecting their sales pitch. Instead, they must also focus on educating their clients, addressing security concerns, and responding concretely to objections. If you’re ready to make the move to the cloud and would like to have an entire team by your side, contact us today.