Understanding the cloud: perfecting your end user pitch

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Persuading your customers to move to the cloud can be difficult. It’s easier when resellers like you help them understand the cloud and the real-time benefits it can give them. We’re here to help you at Giacom, so here’s some of the best ways you can pitch the cloud to your end users.

Get to know your customer

This is a no-brainer in business. But understanding your customer and what they really want to get from moving to the cloud should always be your first port of call. Some may not even realise they already use the cloud in their day-to-day activities. Do they upload photos to Facebook or Instagram? Do they backup their photos to iCloud? If they use WhatsApp to message each other out of the office, why can’t they use Skype for Business while at the office?

If they aren’t using productivity apps like Office 365 or Microsoft 365, which allow their business to easily share files, edit and collaborate on them in real-time, then they are probably using Google Drive (G Suite) or another productivity suite instead. Assess their current situation before pitching anything to them.

Talk about security

This is a real meaty subject that your customer is likely to understand. Most businesses, particularly SMBs, aren’t familiar with the approaches they should take to obtain and adhere to compliance and data protection regulations. It means that their data is more likely to be vulnerable and targeted by hackers looking to gain the upper hand. A survey by the Federation of Small Businesses reported that approximately 90% of small businesses weren’t ready for GDPR only two months prior to the deadline. Your customers know their business processes need to be secure, they just don’t know how to execute it.

As a reseller, you can easily direct the conversation to what your customer needs the most. Is it data backup and storage such as Acronis or Azure? Perhaps it’s endpoint security like Bitdefender or protecting their emails with Symantec Email Security. They may want to protect their employee devices such as mobiles and laptops, so it’s worth installing an MDM (Mobile Device Management) and MAM (Mobile Application Management) solution such as Enterprise Mobility + Security. You should know what your customer is trying to achieve before you pitch a solution to them.

Find common ground

Your customers are far more likely to embrace the cloud if they understand what effect it will have on their business. You’ll need to lay the foundation before you can start to structure and build upon it. The key point that you should centre around here is that your customers don’t have to migrate everything to the cloud, they can choose the Hybrid route instead. If they’d prefer to keep their data on-premise that’s perfectly fine, though you must ensure their security processes are up to the new GDPR standards. But if they are happy to store their documents in the cloud with Acronis Files Cloud so there’s an easy way to share files between colleagues, that’s your compromise and your way in.

Tailor their cloud experience

While it’s wise to treat all your customers fairly, tailoring a service towards them will keep them switched on to your pitch. Solve their pain points by researching the market and charting out their migration to the cloud in stages suited to their business. If it’s a retail outlet, migrating them to a new server, email system or security solution on a weekday after 6pm is a much better timescale than a weekend during peak sales hours. Give a reason for why you’re transitioning them at that point too to help them understand why you need to do it within that timeframe; i.e. it helps reduce business down-time, or it will mean our IT technicians can perform background tasks quicker with fewer employees accessing the system.

Moving your SMB customers to the cloud doesn’t have to be difficult. Talk facts, be upfront and honest, and help them understand why the cloud is the future.


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