If your company sells cloud computing consulting, you need to get small- and medium-sized business (SMB) decision-makers to take notice.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by knowing their pain points.
After reviewing websites and marketing brochures of various companies offering cloud computing consulting, here are some commonly-promoted pain points and their advertised solutions:
Hardware Upgrade Cycles – While most small businesses will still refresh their fleet of desktop computers and notebooks every three to five years, server hardware, network operating system (NOS, and application suite upgrades can many times be a lot more expensive and painful to upgrade. Introduce a cloud-hosted version of an applications suite or popular server application like Microsoft Exchange Server, and all of a sudden, it’s a different story. Desktop and notebook upgrades are often not as crucial or urgent. And server upgrades may become either somewhat or largely a moot point.
System Outages and Failures Due to Budget – SMB decision-makers cannot afford to overbuy on fault tolerance. But savvy VARs and MSPs make sure the basics at least protect their clients. Nevertheless, there’s a world of difference between fault tolerance best practices in an SMB IT environment compared to a Fortune 1000 IT installation. With even the most basic cloud computing consulting, most small- and medium-sized businesses can drastically improve their IT fault tolerance by shifting much of their infrastructure to much more fault-tolerant cloud hosters.
Power Outages – Whether because of a major natural disaster like a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, or something more mundane like a traffic accident knocking down a nearby power line, SMBs with cloud applications can simply send their employees with notebooks and tablets to work elsewhere until power is restored.
Over-Buying Licenses – When small- and medium-sized businesses buy traditional software licenses, they often have to over-buy because licenses are sold in increments of 5 or 10 licenses. The rounding-up problem and pricing pain usually exist because of multi-tiered distribution systems' expensive cost structures. As part of cloud computing consulting, show how most cloud hosting providers allow for ordering licenses in increments of one. In addition, point out how the real-time nature of cloud licensing allows for adding licenses in real-time, rather than having to allow for a few days or weeks of lead time when ordering licenses from an IT distributor.
Rapid Obsolescence – Traditionally, small- and medium-sized business decision-makers had to make large capital investments to keep up with major version upgrades to core software platforms. With nearly all cloud applications, upgrades happen much more frequently and are generally included in the base price of the cloud application license.
Security – Anyone who’s been selling cloud computing consulting to SMBs for a while knows that non-technical decision-makers often have a very different perception of their data security than the actual reality. That’s why basic SMB IT security audits can, sometimes in as little as 30 to 90 minutes, uncover dozens of security vulnerabilities that the decision-maker was unaware of. With most cloud-hosting providers, the security on many levels tends to be far superior to what most SMB decision-makers are capable of achieving on their own without in-house IT staff.
Which pain points do you see as most relevant to selling cloud computing consulting to SMB decision-makers? Please share your tips in the Comments box below.
And to follow through on the tips introduced in this short article, especially if you also consult on SaaS and IaaS, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.