The Strategic Approach to Selling Cloud Services

This blog post was contributed by guest author Chris Peterson, Co-Founder & President of Vector Firm.

In just a few minutes of your time here, I can help you discover why your customers are resistant to cloud service adoption. It’s not about the list of benefits, it’s about patiently educating your clients about the long-term value they’ll receive.

Change (even the good kind) is hard. Though you see all the ways clients can benefit from a cloud-based platform, they cringe with anticipation of all the painful service delays they’ll experience during their transition to the cloud. But I can tell you from countless experiences that cloud services can be effectively sold to non-cloud customers.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

Your sales approach dramatically affects your success. We can learn a valuable lesson from the historic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ boxing match that pitted a young, fit George Foreman against the older and weathered Muhammad Ali.

People didn’t think Ali had a chance. The spry Foreman was younger, faster, and towered over Ali, but Ali had a plan that surprised everyone.

When the big day came, rather than putting all his energy into attacking Foreman, he rested against the boxing ring ropes and let Foreman pursue him. Inventing a technique now known as rope-a-dope, Ali took it easy while Foreman wore himself out. And once the opportune moment approached, Ali threw a strong punch combo that took Foreman down.

What we can learn from Ali

If Ali had aggressively pursued Foreman, he would have not only lost the fight, but also gotten seriously injured in the process. Foreman was a force to be reckoned with, and so are your clients when it comes to cloud adoption.

Take it easy. If you push for a hard sell up front, they’ll despise you. Instead, take the slow and steady approach. Let them come to you, spouting all the reasons the cloud isn’t feasible for their business right now, and then educate them. It’s not going to happen overnight; but if you’re patient, you might just land an epic victory.

To win cloud services deals like a boxing champion:

  • Identify targets

These are long-term targets. Think within the next 24 months.

  • Educate

Don’t sell, educate.

  • Anticipate the opportunity to suggest

Just as Ali did, look for signs of fatigue, so you can strike at just the right time.

 Your Action Item

List the characteristics of the right targets for cloud services. And when you’re done, check back for the next part of this video series, where I’ll focus on targeting.

Chris Peterson is the Co-founder & President of Vector Firm. Chris has nearly 20 years of experience in sales leadership, with a focus on developing strategies, processes, and tools for technology businesses in the security space. Well versed in building the tactical details of an effective sales structure, Chris has developed an understanding of the human dynamics that lead to a successful sales organization – connecting strategy to action. Prior to starting Vector Firm, Chris served as Executive Vice President of BRS Labs, Vice President of Business Development for ICx Technologies, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Digital Infrared Imaging.

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