We all know that cloud communications delivers a number of benefits for companies. But just because it is obvious to us does not mean it is obvious to others.
Many cloud communication providers pitch their justifiably awesome services to businesses but get back a tepid response.
This is because buying cloud communications services is like buying an appliance. Cloud communications may deliver a number of benefits just like the latest Whirlpool refrigerator. But is buying a new fridge worth the cost and headache? If the current fridge isn’t broke, is an upgrade really worth it?
“Providers are trying to sell to people who do not want to change what they’re doing,” wrote Joseph Marion recently, president of the Cloud Communications Alliance. “They may think it’s interesting or feel it might be beneficial in the long run. But they also perceive change as painful, expensive, and laborious.”
But there is a solution. Providers need to not only give reasons—they need to give excellent reasons, just like upgrading from an iPhone (News - Alert) 4 to 4S was not compelling but the move from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 4 was so obviously beneficial.
“This is especially important in our industry, where telecommunications is ranked somewhere between ‘network services’ and ‘Friday morning bagels’ in terms of priority,” noted Marion, underplaying the importance of bagels. “So, to talk about the latest and greatest offerings, and how cloud communications offers pristine, HD-quality voice service, and the ability to reduce costs … none of that is going to cut it,” he added.
The Cloud Communications Alliance recently put out a report on how to sell to enterprises, however, hopefully making it easier to discover what businesses really need to make the switch.
The free report, “Starting the Conversation: Effectively Selling Cloud Communications to Enterprises,” provides cloud communications providers with a step-by-step overview of how they should engage with enterprise customers.
The guide addresses areas of potential opportunity, including vertical markets, on-premise and “partial” cloud solutions and mobile, among others. It also provides advice on how cloud communications providers can direct the conversation so that it focuses very distinctly on the customers’ needs, according to Marion.
Whether leveraging the report or not, cloud communications providers need to get outside of their marketing material and realize that they are not always preaching to the converted.
Yes, cloud communications is awesome. But is it enough to entice a business away from what they know and already have? That’s the question providers need to ask themselves when selling to potential customers.
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