Businesses today are more savvy about the Cloud than they were in years past. That’s because cloud computing is now mainstream due to its many benefits in cost savings, efficiency and accessibility. Key decision-makers are digging deep to find answers to their questions about the Cloud. You must address these questions to help them define their organizations’ cloud strategy.
Here are ten commonly asked questions that you must be prepared to answer when selling cloud solutions.
Your clients hear about hacking and data breaches nearly every day. As technology advances, there will always be risks associated with it, and this includes cloud computing. They will have concerns about cyber attacks, legal liability, compliance, outages and lack of support when something goes wrong. You must evaluate the specific issues that could cause risks and identify steps to explain how you’ll mitigate them. Also explain that the problem of security doesn’t rest in the Cloud itself, but rather the way it’s used. Be prepared to address these concerns and ease their fears. Let them know that you can train their employees on the safe use of the Cloud.
You must be able to demonstrate cost savings for your client. They will want to know both the immediate and long-term cost savings. Be prepared to provide a detailed list of the ways they can save money on hardware, software and business processes. Explain that having their data on hand from wherever they have an internet connection can eliminate the need for things like expensive travel, and that it will increase productivity and streamline labor-intensive networking tasks. Also explain that there’s no need to expend capital for upfront costs and licenses, and that the cloud services they’ll use are on a pay-as-you-go basis. Plus, they’ll reap savings because there’s no need for them to maintain IT solutions in the Cloud.
It’s essential that you provide an SLA (Service Level Agreement) for the cloud services you’re selling. Not all cloud providers offer an SLA, so make sure yours does. The experienced cloud providers know to include things like reliability, compliance and liability into their SLAs. Your clients will expect this and more. Make sure you only offer a cloud solution that you’re confident will provide the guarantees that your client is looking for. They’ll want a commitment for this in writing. So, be prepared to provide an SLA for whatever cloud product you’re selling.
As you know, a thorough assessment is necessary to determine what your client needs for their IT infrastructure. This is no different when selling a cloud solution. You must first identify your client’s problems and sell the Cloud that will best resolve them. This is not something they can do on their own. So, by doing this you’ll be a valuable team player in their eyes when you solve their business problems with the Cloud. Always start with the challenge first, not the Cloud. Explain to them how they are buying a solution to their problem when considering the Cloud.
There’s so much information out there about the Cloud that your client will probably have their own notions about what sized Cloud solution they need. You should explain to them that the size of the Cloud solution they need should be determined in steps. They can be migrated to the Cloud in a manageable way to ensure they get the value they need at an affordable price. Also determine if what they are already using can be integrated with the cloud solution so their IT assets are allocated more wisely.
It’s your job to make sure your client understands how the cloud works. The Cloud can seem ethereal to many and hard to grasp. Be prepared to explain the architecture of the cloud solution you’re selling. And just like you do with any IT product or service you sell, present this in a plain-speaking way. Expect that they’ll want to know exactly how the Cloud works so they’ll feel comfortable with it. Also make sure they are comfortable with the idea that their data will be stored in a data center. They’ll want to know where it physically resides. Explain how this works and why it’s safer for them to store their data in a data center than keeping everything stored onsite.
Clients will want to know how the data center keeps their digital information safe, who has access to it and what happens if the data center shuts down for any reason. Explain the redundancy aspects and how their data will always be available no matter what. Make sure they understand that the data center follows the highest industry standards around security and access control. Your cloud provider should help you come up with the language that will ease your clients’ concerns. Remember, you are selling their product, and as your partner, they should be there for you and your clients.
You must be able to reassure your client that the cloud solution you’re selling isn’t going to change this in any way. Offer a consultative approach to help them develop workflows using the Cloud that are similar to the ones they are already using. Detail the services that are going to be placed on top of the Cloud such as an operating system. And always document what the platform does in this respect to allay your client’s concerns about compliance and security. Remember, a platform that’s compliant isn’t the same thing as a compliant solution. You must ensure that every touch point is secure.
Be prepared to explain how your cloud solution abides by prescribed security rules and regulations. Present the results from past audits as proof of this. This will help to bring your clients onboard and ease their security concerns about compliance with standards like PCI or HIPAA.
We probably should have made this question one because it’s typically the first question we’re asked. As you know, the list of benefits is extensive. But here are a few features that most can benefit from: