How Cloud Can Supercharge Your Sales Funnel

For partners, big cloud sales growth might come from the middle of the pack.

May 2, 2018

4 Min Read
Sales Funnel


Corey Cohen

By Corey Cohen, Director of Marketing at TBI

As we approach the midpoint of 2018, you might be looking for an extra jolt to your bottom line. With customers needing a whole host of solutions to stay competitive, where can you turn to boost your sales funnel? The answer is more cloud for more midmarket customers.

Cloud solutions offer a huge opportunity: Forbes predicts by the end of this year, more than half of IT spending will be cloud-based. Overall spending on cloud services and infrastructure will hit $160 billion by the end 2018, says IDC. If you don’t have a comprehensive cloud portfolio and sales practice, beyond the usual UCaaS, you and your customers have already fallen behind.

So how do you catch up? That depends on your customers’ size, industry and tolerance for not only change but control.

2017 saw many large enterprises shift from operating their own private clouds or conventional data centers to a public cloud where the infrastructure is owned by a third-party provider. This has resulted in a corresponding increase in companies adopting a multicloud or hybrid strategy. IDC also estimates that 85 percent of enterprises will be multicloud-enabled this year. Key business priorities including growth, digital business and new sources of revenue fuel their adoption of cloud services.

SMBs have been the quickest to adopt cloud, gobbling up services that help level the technology playing field. Cloud providers arm small business with everything from data processing to storage and backup to security, facilitating productivity among departments with automation and easy communications. As SMBs track and compile and analyze more data, their need for storage increases. And with fewer IT resources in-house and a lack of particular skills, expect SMB clients to purchase more cloud backup, recovery and security solutions. Analysts predict that by 2020, 78 percent of all U.S. small businesses will fully adopt cloud computing.

That leaves your midmarket clients. These companies likely are looking for customized cloud solutions and also tend to be more concerned with cost, integration, data portability, compliance and workloads than their larger and smaller brethren, resulting in being slow to adopt cloud. They might also have sunk infrastructure costs. Selling to the midmarket is key to boosting your numbers. Partners should highlight the success of cloud deployments among enterprise and small business customers as well as your ability to craft cloud, security and network-migration strategies tailored to their needs. When that happens, I see midsize firms flex their muscles with more customized, hybrid strategies, eventually adopting multicloud environments.

Applications and Infrastructure

So what can you sell those customers? In the channel, it’s about applications and infrastructure.

IT leaders have plans to run the majority of their IT off-premises within the next few years. This includes public cloud and SaaS to support digital-transformation initiatives that include enhancing their business intelligence and advanced data analytics, IoT, cyber security, SD-WAN and machine learning/AI efforts.

The key to increasing sales is …

… stressing how cloud services offer your clients stronger security and data protection, help lower IT costs with fewer hardware management headaches, provide easier access and connectivity for employees, and greatly improve backup and disaster recovery. Perhaps the biggest incentive: statistics reveal increased access and connectivity increase employee productivity and outcomes.

It’s for all of these reasons that many companies have already migrated that which can easily be moved to the cloud. They are now focused on moving the next set of or larger, more strategic systems to the cloud.

As to particular suppliers, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are the majority leaders when it comes to public-cloud environments. There is channel opportunity to sell managed AWS and Azure services, as organizations still need a third party to manage and maintain cloud environments. Sales pros should point out the likelihood of business changes and the opportunity for scalable workloads, mitigated security concerns and risk, simple data transfers and much less maintainence.

Channel partners have enormous opportunity to add to their portfolios and offer managed services as related to infrastructure and applications, including hosting services, network management, content delivery, database and application management, migration services and security.

As companies continue to migrate more workloads to the cloud, make sure you’re offering managed solutions to capture some of that growth in cloud applications and infrastructure spending.

Corey Cohen is the Director of Marketing at TBI, the nation’s leading third-party technology distributor. Cohen is responsible for managing TBI’s marketing communications and implementing multi-channel branding and press strategies. In addition to driving TBI’s overall marketing strategy, Cohen directs both internal and external communications to ensure the delivery of valued products and programs to providers and partners alike.

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