Cloud Computing Objections – A Sales Guide For IT Providers
This is the fourth section of our comprehensive sales guide, How to Sell Cloud Computing Services, which is designed to help you to more effectively sell cloud services to your clients and prospects. This sales guide reviews some of the most common cloud computing objections that service providers face during the sales process. After reading this guide, you’ll be better prepared to address and overcome the most common objections to cloud computing and, consequently, you’ll be better equipped to convert sales prospects into new clients.
- Primer on Overcoming Objections
- Approaching Cloud Computing Objections
- Objection: Is My Data Secure in the Cloud?
- Objection: Will My Cloud Services Always be Available?
- Objection: Is Technical Support Available?
- Wrapping Up
1. Primer on Overcoming Objections
A key part of the cloud computing sales process (and every other sales process, for that matter) is to recognize and legitimately address your prospects’ concerns. No matter how well-rehearsed and polished your presentation is:
“If you can’t honestly and legitimately address each of your prospect’s concerns, the odds of you closing a sale ultimately depends on your competition’s presentation skills (or lack thereof), not on the value you offer.”
We emphasize that you fully address each of your prospect’s concerns because it’s a critical step to establishing the trust you’ll need to build a long-term relationship. If one of your sales prospects is a poor fit for the services you offer, tell that person so; you’ll win more new business by word of mouth on account of your honesty than you will from provisioning a solution for a sales prospect who is destined to be unhappy with the results.
The following are some important issues to consider, as well as some ways to help your prospects move to the cloud with the peace of mind they need.
2. Approaching Cloud Computing Objections
Because security and accessibility are two of the main cloud computing objections that most business owners voice, you’ll probably be working to overcome a level of anxiety related to mistrust and a fear of the unknown. Remember, you’re asking your sales prospects to move their data from on-premise IT solutions, which they can physically touch, to a cloud-based solution located in a far-off data center. The open-minded early adopters already made the migration, so your sales prospects are likely to have more reservations and be more risk averse. Communicating this in a respectful manner is a great way to let your sales prospects know that you understand their points of view.
“The first step to winning over prospects who are genuinely hesitant about the cloud is to acknowledge their concerns as legitimate.”
Your approach to acknowledging and addressing their objections also has to take into account that your clients probably view you as a sales rep. How does a sales rep build trust with a skeptical prospect? The answer: third-party content. Sometimes a recent news article from a trusted source, like this article from Bloomberg, can increase trust in even the most hardened skeptic. If you can build onto a recent news story or point to another client who has been successful migrating to the cloud, you’ll be in a position to move forward and tackle the objections head-on without simultaneously battling suspicion. We encourage you to always back up the information you relay to your prospect with the proper documentation.
The bottom line is this: if your prospects trust you (or at least believe the cloud is viable) and understand the basics surrounding cloud computing, you can more easily address their objections and have a better chance of turning them into new clients. Some of your sales prospects will still be hesitant, regardless of how well-rehearsed your presentation is and how well-documented your sources are. That’s expected and understandable.
Look to the skeptics as an audience that rewards honesty, transparency and integrity. They may take longer to come around, but a provider who takes the time and effort to legitimately address their objections will make a lasting impression.
3. Objection: Is My Data Secure in the Cloud?
The cloud is attractive because of its flexibility and cost effectiveness; but, for many prospects, security objections must be fully addressed in order to sell them on a cloud migration. If your sales prospect voices an objection to cloud computing in relation to security, you’ll need to have some high-level points ready for discussion. Take baby steps when discussing cloud security measures, especially when discussing topics like remote access and VPNs. Use everyday language to explain 1) why cloud-based security isn’t the concern it used to be, 2) how files are encrypted so they’re accessible only to those specified, and 3) that device-based security provides peace of mind only available in the cloud.
Addressing security concerns can be an extremely technical process, and diving into the minutia during the presentation can sidetrack you and leave prospects feeling overwhelmed. We recommend that you gradually address cloud computing objections related to security by covering high-level points and using this as an opportunity to continue the discussion at a later date.
Data protection is the key to secure cloud computing—including the ways that data is stored, accessed, and transferred. Your prospects want to know that their data will be properly segregated and encrypted between the cloud, their users, and intruders. They may need to move large volumes of data securely and rapidly from the cloud to end-users, and they’ll need the assurance that this can be handled effectively, efficiently and securely.
With the assistance of the AwesomeCloud team, you can help your prospects develop a cloud computing security plan with steps that will help them to maintain security while meeting compliance and organizational-security objectives. This enables your prospects to identify any underlying risks of cloud computing and explains to them how those risks will be mitigated. Let your prospects know that with a broad set of policies, technologies, controls and your support, their data, applications, and associated infrastructure will be more secure than they would with traditional on-premise solutions.
If you’re an AwesomeCloud Partner, a point in your favor is that you have the backing of the NAP of the Americas reputation as being one of the top data centers in the world, as well as also having the latest network solutions from top providers like Cisco and Fortinet.
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4. Objection: Will My Cloud Services Always be Available?
Although any computer with an Internet connection (and the proper credentials) can be used to access cloud service, it can still be a tough sell on account of fears over accessibility. If your sales prospects voice objections in relation to availability, you need to communicate that their data is always accessible and discuss where the data is physically located. Remove the layers of abstraction and explain to them exactly where their data is stored and provide a copy of your Service Level Agreement. All AwesomeCloud Partners pass along our 100%-Uptime Service Level Agreement to provide the peace of mind that your sales prospects naturally need.
Provide an ironclad SLA because the lack of visibility into uptime and accessibility can be a source of anxiety.
If your sales prospect is a visual learner, include a visual aid in your presentation that illustrates the actual location of the data and how it can always be accessed, even during a disaster situation. Explain how with the cloud there is no need to worry about costly IT downtimes, and that the cloud allows for continual backups and disaster recovery—so critical data and functions are protected 24/7 under any circumstance.
Let your prospects know that they’ll enjoy greater flexibility and productivity. They’ll be able to work securely and access software and files from anywhere, such as a home office or a travel location—any place where there is an Internet connection and a computer device. They may even use mobile devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets to securely access data on the cloud.
5. Objection: Is Technical Support Available?
This is one of the easiest objections to address and overcome. If you’re an AwesomeCloud partner, you have the backing of our 24/7/365 US-based support team, so if things do go awry, you can rest assured that each of your clients is covered. Just remember that you, as a cloud reseller, generally provide tier-1-level support that covers the day-to-day elements of a managed service.
If you’re partnering with a cloud services provider that doesn’t offer the same level of support offered by AwesomeCloud, we highly recommend locating a new provider. In the event something does go awry (Hurricane Sandy), providing exceptional support can cement the relationship between your client and yourself.
6. Wrapping Up
With a lot of transparency, a little bit of luck, and thorough preparation, you should be able to address and overcome objections to cloud computing and place yourself in a better position to continue growing your business. In the event that your sales prospect is a hardened skeptic who refuses to believe that the cloud is worth the risk, all is not lost. Graciously accept that opinion because, as Dale Carnegie appropriately said, you can’t win an argument. Stay in touch, build a rapport, and gradually learn his or her business. In all likelihood, your stubborn skeptic will eventually weigh the financial and operational benefits of a cloud migration against the perceived security risks. If you’ve taken the time to stay in touch and learn about his or her business, you’ll probably win a new account.
We hope that this sales guide on common objections to cloud computing is helpful. If you’ve run into different objections, we’d love to hear about them! Feel free to reach out by sending an email over to Cara Pluff, our Director of Sales, or by completing a brief online form to get more information about joining our Cloud Reseller Program.