As you may have heard, many big-names in the tech world are slowly making their way into the cloud and foreshadowing heavy competition. Like some of them however, you may have already felt the change in the winds and have started to lift up a version of your previous, on-premise system into the cloud. Now all you need is to start generating cloud computing leads.
But wait, since this is a new market and the competition is just starting to come in, new challenges are bound to surface. Finding new leads might be hard because companies are still trying to familiarize with not only the benefits but also the risks that come with using cloud-based software for their business processes. As a new cloud-based provider yourself, you need to be careful about approaching those who are still using on-premise systems. While it does sound like the cloud can give you an edge over competitors who still market those systems, they might be hesitant if you just appear out of the blue.
On the other hand, you might just have a better chance if you start turning your own clients first into cloud computing leads. You’ve already developed a cloud-based version of your software. Now it’s time you took your current client’s software into the cloud too.
Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean they’re not ready either. You still have to be careful. Still, the advantage is they’re already clients. They won’t be as surprised when you approach them. All you need to do is to ask yourself the following questions before approaching them.
- How satisfied are they with your software?- Obviously, if even your traditional, on-premise system isn’t serving them as well as both of you had hoped, then how will the cloud be any better? Careful now, that question can become a double-edged sword. Maybe your cloud is better or maybe they’d first have their on-premise system improved in the same way you improved things in the cloud before considering it. Either way, you need to make sure your enterprise software solution is at least satisfactory.
- How have you handled complaints and inquiries so far? - In other words, how good is your customer service? This is an age-old question but so is the relationship between marketing and customer relations. If you’re not there to help your customers during times of need, then how will shifting to the cloud give you more reason to do better?
- Do they like your software but also wish it cost less? – A popular selling point among cloud-computing marketers is low costs. It may not always be the main concern but in this case, this would be a good time to say that your cloud-based software has the cost advantage over your previous products.
- Are they looking to shift more responsibility to the cloud? – Another advantage of the cloud is having to devote fewer resources to technical maintenance. That responsibility will be shifted to you, the provider. However, not all businesses are willing to turn over that responsibility (even your current clients). Major (and tricky) issues like compliance are just some of the reasons. Properly using ERP software can be a hassle for both the vendor and the client but there are times when the latter likes to learn instead of giving up responsibility.
All these questions can be answered if you know how to gather information that indicates that your clients are ready. For a start, you can outsource telemarketing to do a quick survey or improve your customer service to acquire more information.