Many of today’s small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) are turning to the cloud to increase profitability and efficiency, reduce costs, and retain customers. Now, with the SMB cloud market nearing $35 billion in the U.S. alone, cloud reselling has become a big business. And while these numbers are certainly impressive, making a sale is not always a slam dunk; some SMBs remain skeptical about the benefits of the cloud. In order to convince these organizations that a move to the cloud is right for them, cloud resellers, sometimes referred to as Value-Added Resellers (VARs), need to be able to properly market themselves, and their cloud offerings, while avoiding common pitfalls.
Building an Online Presence
Some resellers use cloud services to nurture and upsell their existing customers. For those looking to build new relationships, however, it’s become increasingly important to develop an online presence. While resellers were able to rely on word of mouth for some time, most of today’s organizations are finding cloud providers through internet searches and online queries; in fact, Google research reveals that 89% of B2B buyers are using the internet during the research process. To gain and convert leads, resellers should consider online advertising and inbound marketing techniques that involve attracting new customers with relevant and helpful content, such as cloud comparisons and cost estimators. Don’t have the time or budget for a website or online advertising? Get social! In a B2B world, most business will come from other companies, so focus on social efforts like LinkedIn to reach decision makers. According to HubSpot, nearly 45% of B2B marketers have generated leads via LinkedIn, far greater than leads acquired through Facebook and Twitter.
Creating a Unique Value Proposition
While most cloud resellers already offer a service (such as designing software) offering cloud capabilities enhances the value of their product. So, it’s important to create a unique value proposition (UVP) that encompasses both your primary product and your cloud services. A UVP is not a catchphrase or tagline like Nike’s “Just Do It.” Rather, it is a clear and concise sentence (or two) that summarizes why a potential customer should do business with you. To get started, here are a few UVPs from popular brands—including DSM.
- HubSpot: Creating marketing people love. Use HubSpot’s inbound marketing software to consistently generate more visits, leads, and customers.
- Stripe: Stripe makes it easy to start accepting credit cards on the web today.
- DSM: Serving organizations in every industry, DSM offers superior IT solutions through our Miruma suite of services, including data protection and recovery. Our experts provide customized cloud support and complete peace of mind.
Choosing a Target Market
Some cloud resellers think that every customer is a good customer; but selling services to organizations of every size and in any industry can make it difficult to secure a spot in a crowded marketplace. For this reason, many of the most successful cloud resellers focus on a specific vertical market. For example, you may decide to focus strictly on a healthcare vertical; then, when a healthcare provider is searching the internet for cloud services, your website can address their needs and concerns directly. This makes it much easier for them to trust your expertise within their industry. One approach many successful resellers take is to create an ideal customer persona. This involves researching who your ideal customer is, acknowledging demographics, habits, what they’re looking for, common objections they may have, and any other defining characteristics. During your exploration of your ideal customer, you’re also likely to uncover important data. For example, many resellers make the mistake of focusing on marketing only to the C-suite executives; however, B2B researchers are usually not in senior-level positions, yet they heavily influence C-suite decisions. Research shows that over 80% of non-C-suiters have a say in purchasing decisions. Knowing details like this—and the type of person you’ll be selling to—provides an advantage, and makes getting a sale easier.
Cloud adoption is booming, and the global market reached over $260 billion last year. Through proper marketing, cloud resellers are poised to make their mark in this highly lucrative industry. DSM, Florida’s preferred cloud provider, offers reselling opportunities that can be extremely beneficial for any organization. If you’re interested in joining our partner reseller group, speak with one of our specialists today.