Cloud-Based File Sharing: Sell the Features or Sell the Benefits?
Technically speaking, there are probably a million different sales tactics out there, but for the sake of this blog post, they all fall in to one of two categories: features-based selling and benefits-based selling. Generally speaking, MSPs tend to focus on the former.
In other words, when an MSP makes a pitch to a customer or prospect – in this case, for a cloud-based file sharing solution – they tend to focus on the features: encryption, backup capabilities, user-access, administrative options and so forth.
Obviously it’s critical for MSPs to understand the features of the solutions they provide, but a recent survey by IBM implicitly suggests that MSPs ought to consider focusing more on the benefits of cloud technology.
The study found that only 1 of 5 companies view the cloud as providing a competitive advantage. But of those companies, they reported nearly double the rate of revenue growth from that of their peers. Double! This is the obvious benefit you (and your clients) might be forgetting about: the cloud can provide you with an edge over the competition.
The study explicitly suggested that “business and technology leaders should prioritize cloud investments in areas where they can differentiate from the competition.” This is where you come in. How can you convince a prospective client that cloud-based file sharing can give them a competitive advantage? That it could lead to increased revenue growth? Not by reciting a laundry list of features, but rather by highlighting the benefits. Here are three particular areas that you might want to focus on, courtesy of Ted Husly of eFolder:
- Productivity and competitiveness: Companies are increasingly moving employees closer to their clients and business partners. As a result, highly competitive and customer-focused organizations are becoming more distributed. Distributed enterprises with mobile workforces need their employees to have anytime/anywhere access to their files and important data. Secure and compliant cloud-based file sharing is a critical solution to helping employees access their files from mobile devices, tablets, home PCs, or from a secure web portal accessible anywhere in the world.
- Sharing and collaboration, without compromises: Clients want high levels of sharing, collaboration and productivity inside their organizations. But no one wants sharing to lead to data leaks, data loss, or compliance violations. Data leaks can lead to massive fines and reputational damage, let alone the costs of lost intellectual property. Sharing and collaboration can make organizations more competitive, but owners, managers, and channel professionals need to ensure that the right security and control procedures are in place to safeguard corporate data. Business-class file sharing make this possible.
- Improved client satisfaction: Companies that operate in highly regulated industries, such as accounting or law, need to exchange sensitive files with third party clients. Email is often the wrong method for sharing sensitive documents, as it is unencrypted, unreliable and error prone. Companies in these industries need to be able to securely share files and collaborate with clients, but the process must be user-friendly. Clients simply won’t put up with byzantine or complex file sharing schemes. For companies in regulated industries to have satisfied clients, they need highly secure ways of sharing files and collaborating but with ease of use and simplicity.
So should you sell the features or sell the benefits? Ideally, your sales pitch incorporates a good mix of both.