No matter how quickly companies make the move, you almost never see them take out ads that say, “NOW WORKING ON THE CLOUD!” If the difference between on-premise software and hosted data and apps was really so significant, though, wouldn’t you think it would make sense to shout it from the rooftops?
To some extent, advertising the switch to cloud computing might be similar to the idea of excitedly telling all your customers they could now reach you on the telephone more than 100 years ago. When certain technologies take hold, they become almost an expectation rather than a novelty. And cloud computing in particular is not a novelty but a way for small and medium-sized businesses to be more agile, collaborative and effective in managing their costs.
On the other hand, there may be some instances where moving to the cloud will raise some important questions among customers. Given that sales reps are most often on the front lines in managing these relationships, it’s important they not only realize how cloud-based tools will change their jobs but how to articulate the business case for cloud computing to the outside world.
Keep these phrases handy and pass them on to sales to help steer the dialogue about your cloud computing move in the right direction.
“Your Data Is More Accessible Than Ever Before”
Some customers may wonder about how their business information will be collected, managed and stored in the cloud versus on-premises software or even the filing cabinets of yore.
The most important place for customer conversations about the cloud to begin is with the fact that your company may no longer be as siloed as they might have experienced. Having a more 360-degree view of each customer is only possible by having inputs from CRM, marketing automation and other tools that live on the cloud. This means reps can be more collaborative and work as true teams, which obviously benefits customers who might be waiting for their phone calls to be returned otherwise.
“Your Questions Are Going to Get Answered Faster (And Better)”
Try this analogy on your customers: In many SMBs today, responding to a complex inquiry may be sort of like walking around to multiple computers and downloading individual MP3 files in order to make a single playlist before you go out for a jog. It’s inefficient to the point where things get overlooked, forgotten or just plain wrong.
In that sense, when an SMB moves to the cloud it can make a big difference for customers, because having centralized data can lead to quicker insights. In B2B sectors, having better analytics means customers won’t just be making a purchase, but working with a company that’s more likely to give them helpful advice over the long term.
“The Days Of Blaming Our IT Department Are About To End”
We all smile knowingly when we talk about a company server being down, a software glitch messing up a file or being unable to install and use apps that would be more comfortable for the customer (or that they already use with other suppliers). Everybody has some IT department horror stories collected over the course of their careers, though even the most understanding customer won’t be able to put up with such excuses forever.
In fact, moving to the cloud might be an opportunity for sales reps to talk with customers about how any technical snafus that impaired their experience with a supplier in the past will now be, well, in the past. That’s because cloud computing allows IT departments to deploy apps and even computing resources without actually setting up physical infrastructure. It lets them be more innovative, and customers should always know that they are meant to be the ones who will enjoy the fruits of your innovations.
“We’re Basically Ready For Anything”
SMB customers often hear about the same trends that everyone else does. It could be the rise of a new social network, a new kind of mobile computing device, or an emerging set of apps that are poised to revolutionize the way we work. Even if it has nothing to do with the product or service they’re thinking about purchasing, customers might ask about how the SMBs they work with might respond to such trends.
The answer, in almost every case, will be that moving to the cloud has prepared you for those trends. That’s because cloud computing allows easier and faster integration with other platforms. There’s greater stability since software updates can be managed automatically and the cloud is natively mobile and social compared with most on-premises technology.
Rather than make it sound like another one of those painful IT overhauls, moving to the cloud is an opportunity to demonstrate that your company is future-proofed and ready to compete with the best in the business.
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