Khaleej Times: March 28, 2016 “A good online presence today means that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) aren’t limited to serving customers in the UAE, but have access to customers across the Middle East and North Africa, and even across the world.  Speaking to Khaleej Times, Haider Salloum,     SMB channel director at Microsoft Gulf, said the way forward for many SMEs in the region is by going digital.” 

News foretells transition of business strategy for SMEs in Dubai and $$$$s for systems Integrators to Sell Cloud Services.  However the biggest challenge for the Systems Integrator is sales team TRADITIONAL SELLING MINDSET.  Hence how do SI’s  empower Sales teams to sell cloud?  I have identified FIVE ROCKS  to empower Sales Team to sell Cloud Solution ………

  1. TEAM: Choose your Cloud Sales Team members right – use EXPLANATORY STYLE (Studies have shown that explanatory style – how we chose to explain the nature of our past events – has a crucial impact on our success)  to short list your Cloud Sales Team.  And then categories them into     
    • NEW CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT TEAM: Team that sells cloud consumption services to new customer and secondly build large multi-year deals. ( Learn and duplicate IBM sales model for long multi-year deals) 
    • EXISTING CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT: Team that would engage to retain existing Customers and increase recurring cloud consumption services revenue.
  2. PROCESS: Redefine you Sales Process – it should be short wherein your cloud services should be Standardized, Repeat and Automated. Sales Process includes
    • Education
    • Opportunity Qualification ( Minimize negotiation and offer standardization of services)
    • Sales Conversion
    • Salesforce & Hubspot claims to achieve 80% of the selling online before a sales consultant is involved.
  1. EDUCATION: This rock is to change the Sales team mindset and includes education on ..
    • Consultative Selling: Sell high and to Decision Makers. I would recommend a Book from CEB called “THE CHALLENGER SALE”  – helps you to shape appropriate sales professional profile and 2nd book called “THE CHALLENGER CUSTOMER” to target appropriate profile of customer.CEB_1
    • Finance knowledge including Capex; Opex; Gross Margin, TCO and P&L. This is important since selling includes engagement of LOB and Finance.
    • 6 Principles of Influence: Recommended reading is “THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION – By Robert D. Cialdini” and 2nd book “The Small Big”. This is to understand what influences buyers buying behaviors.Influence
  2. MARKETING: Think non-linear. You can have only so many coffees in a day but with Social Network, you reach can be exponential. Hence become a Social Marketer.  Create your presence on LinkedIn and Twitter.  Engage and influence your prospects to your Landing page  with a CTA to shorten sales cycle. And finally convert Suspect to  Prospect to Customer.
  3. PITCH: Sales pitch is no more about traditional features benefits, bespoke, customized, price performance but Sales pitch is Predictable Cost; Lower TCO; Flexibility; Scalability; Business Outcome or Value and finally Access to enterprise grade functionality lower initial cost. Use analogies to explain.
  4. OBJECTIONS: Build a standard informed Sales response for cloud objections i.e Data Security; Service availability, regulatory requirements and support. Create  a downloadable PDF file
  5. COMPENSATION: Sales Compensation is the big Rock in Sales motivation. If not clearly explained and documented it can spell failure; failure of Sales buy-in.  Hence document how and when will you compensate sales? 

Trust the blog post helps and if does – LIKE and leave your comments.