Harry Beckwith wrote a good book titled, Selling the Invisible. When we are selling cloud services, we are selling the removal of hardware from the premise. Cloud services are essentially the invisible, the intangible. The real feat, though, is to deliver the invisible. The whole idea of being a technology provider is that you make the technology invisible to the customer.
Service delivery is the real differentiator in the realm of cloud services. It is one thing to sell the service, it is quite another to deliver on the promise. All too often, service providers fall down on the deployment, on-boarding, training and delivery of the promise of cloud.
Many surveys provide evidence that business leaders agree the cloud will make their business more Agile (News - Alert), Responsive and Competitive. Are service providers delivering on that? Customers up for renewal suggest otherwise.
It isn’t about the technology. Really, it is about the customer experience or, simply, the business outcome. So, when one influencer in the office isn’t happy with the change to cloud, there had better be a response to that reaction – with training or one-on-one intervention.
Let’s take this one step further. If you are technology provider sales professional, you must keep the technology out of the sales conversation, too. Focus on business needs and outcomes; not features and components. If cloud is supposed to change the way a business does business, how can it be sold talking the old way of selling telecom or by discussing the tech? It can’t. Worse, this sales approach sets both the service provider and the customer up for failure by not uncovering the reasons to utilize cloud and by not setting proper expectations about what it will be like when after the deployment of services.
Dali created a number of masterworks, which are complex pieces of art with many components woven together. Cloud services are like that, in many respects: various components woven together to provide a service that does more than just replace the on-premises hardware. Service providers need to deliver on the promise of cloud services.
Edited by Maurice Nagle