How to Pivot From Software as a Service to Value as a Service

Help companies grow as they navigate digital transformation trends and earn a spot as a strategic partner.

April 11, 2019

4 Min Read

By J.P. Dundas


J.P. Dundas

As the “app generation” enters the workforce, more companies are fully migrating to the cloud, not only to placate these always-on tech natives, but to scale their companies, become more agile and better manage shadow IT. The continued emergence of the cloud means that we all carry tomorrow’s desk — our smartphones — in our pocket. This shift has led to a surge of new SaaS companies, all looking for unique ways to differentiate themselves and successfully pivot from Software-as-a-Service to Value-as-a-Service.

Below are some tips to help ensure that your channel team is always putting your value first when engaging with current customers and new prospects:

Be the (un)common denominator. So how can reps best set themselves apart from the competition? By being uncommon. This means understanding how to differentiate not only your product or service, but yourself. Channel sales reps need to understand how to evangelize themselves to stand out, keep current customers happy and poach new customers from the competition.

To reach these potential customers and prospects, identify current tech trends and where the industry is headed. Tech is changing faster than ever, so it’s essential to uncover these trends or market changes and then effectively communicate how they will or may impact customers.

Promote wins and industry insights. Reps should also share ‘win wires’ featuring the how and why another business in the same industry chose your product. And it is OK to generalize these to ‘a midsize manufacturing company’ rather than disclosing customer names so you can maintain a library of these assets. Not only will these customer-win snapshots give your offering third-party validation, but they serve as a great touch point and reason to speak with customers and prospects. Beyond this, sharing industry expertise, data and other news relevant to your customers will help them reach their audience, further developing their brand and supporting their career. If you do not maintain frequent contact with your customers, they will quickly move on to someone who gives them more time and attention.

Be a trusted adviser. Gaining new customers is just the first hurdle — retaining them is a much longer-term strategy. By becoming a trusted adviser, companies will view you as a strategic partner, not just a vendor. Don’t simply highlight the product’s initial value-add; instead, show your customers why the product will get them where they want to go, both for their own professional career and the entire organization.

Being a trusted adviser also means emphasizing the needs of the customer. If every time you talk the focus is on you, you’re missing the boat. Potential customers have lots of vendors competing for their attention, so being trusted and liked is important, but establishing and continually bringing…

…mindshare on how you can help grow their business is ultimately what’s important to them. If they’re making money, so are you.

According to a Fuze survey, 92 percent of all CIOs have a cloud champion within their organizations, so getting in front of that champion and becoming a valuable resource to them is a must. The future of cloud-based work is here, but we need to ensure our partners are on the same page, and that means educating them about what the digital transformation means to their industry and how it will impact their business. Adding value to your service is not a one-time deal, it is an ongoing element of long-term and happy partnerships. Remember, the partner world is the gateway to new customers, so the value-add of resellers is critical to the success of SaaS providers.

J.P. Dundas is the director of North America Channel Sales at Fuze. He works with partners strategically to help them build new business and strategy. Spending his entire professional career in the technology industry building direct and indirect channels, J.P. knows that the key to success is building strong relationships with partners, customers, and co-workers. In 2012, J.P. was named a “Readers’ Choice” as a Top 15 channel manager in the telecom indirect channel by the readers of Channel Partners magazine and has also been invited to numerous President’s Club’s throughout his career. J.P. holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Xavier University and also has studied international business at the American University of Rome. Follow him on LinkedIn or on Twitter @fuze.

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