The cloud reseller market is a hot place to be right now, and it’s no wonder: Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are gradually moving to cloud-based environments, and a finite number of providers are reaping the benefits.
As partners consider moving into the cloud reseller space, they must work to understand SMBs’ needs, mindsets, and challenges, which include the following:
- Internal Constraints: How they manage their cash flow, what talent they have at their disposal, how they are adapting to the weak economy;
- External Environment: Any pricing and competitive issues they’re having, the education level of their customer base;
- Key IT Purchase Drivers: What’s the relative importance of your offering being affordable? Simple? Efficient? High-performing? How do you generate customer loyalty?
From there, it’s about taking these answers into account to position solutions and messaging to address the apparent prioritized needs and challenges.
It’s increasingly important to incorporate these priorities as SMB spending shifts towards cloud and mobility-related expenditures. Cloud share of wallet of total SMB ICT spending will increase from 16% in 2014 to over 22% by 2019 – triggered largely by rapid growth in SMB deployment of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, hosted infrastructure, remotely managed IT services and unified communications services.
The top 30 percent of SMBs in terms of cloud progress, termed “cloud integrators” and “cloud innovators,” are most likely to use SaaS for payroll, accounting and CRM applications. They find infrastructure as a service (IaaS) useful for security and storage needs. Instant messaging usage in the cloud is widespread among all cloud-enabled SMBs.
Keeping this in mind, only 13 percent of resellers surveyed by AMI are fully “cloud transformed” – that is, they’ve taken all the steps necessary to successfully sell cloud, and are meeting or exceeding their cloud sales goals. As a result of these actions, these cloud transformed resellers see stronger customer demand for cloud and realize stronger profit margins when selling cloud to SMBs.
AMI has identified the following five key actions and investments made by cloud transformed resellers to ensure success and profitability in the cloud:
- They have installed a separate cloud services business unit;
- They have specified sales goals for cloud solutions/services;
- They have integrated cloud into primary sales & marketing motions;
- Their employees have earned cloud certifications;
- They have created a dedicated cloud marketing team.
To learn more from AMI-Partners on how resellers are capturing the cloud opportunity, check out the recording of our “AMI-Partners Share Secrets of Profitable Cloud Resellers” webinar or the slide deck from that presentation.