Posts Tagged cloud computing

The Cloud Computing Services Primer Part 5 by Erick Simpson

SPC International - The IT Business Builder

The Cloud Computing Services Primer Part 5
Erick Simpson – See Part 4 Here

The purpose of this continuing Cloud Computing Services Primer by Erick Simpson is to provide information to help you and your staff understand what Cloud Computing Services are, the benefits of adopting them into your deliverables and how to market, price, sell and manage them effectively. In addition, the concepts shared in this guide can be used to educate your prospects and customers on the benefits of Cloud Computing and why they should consider adopting these solutions in their businesses.

If you missed The Cloud Computing Services Primer Part 4 by Erick Simpson, you can read it here

Marketing Cloud Computing Services

Marketing is all activity that is conducted prior to the sales appointment to reach and interest prospects and includes messaging that prepares prospects for the sales process. This is known as lead generation.

Well-known marketing vehicles include:

  • Direct-mail letters
  • Direct-mail postcards
  • Telemarketing
  • Print advertising
  • Internet marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Website

Marketing activity identifies suspects in preparation for sales activity to begin.

The Cloud Computing Services Primer by Erick Simpson Part 5

Cloud Services Marketing Tools

Effective Cloud Services marketing tools include your Website; when designed to generate interest and build credibility and trust with visitors, an accurate, properly filtered and qualified marketing list, and compelling direct-mail marketing letters, email templates and postcards. Additionally, an effective appointment-setting script and process, and appointment confirmation and thank-you email templates and postcards tremendously strengthen your marketing campaign results. Other influential marketing tools include newsletters and Cloud Services case studies and white papers that can be made available via Website download and email.

The Cloud Computing Services Primer by Erick Simpson Part 5

Developing Effective Marketing Messages

The first step for you to undertake in developing an effective Cloud Computing Services marketing campaign is to develop your marketing message, based upon the pain points you will be able to exploit for your target vertical or market. In order for your message to be effective, it must contain the following elements:

  • A description of the vertical’s pain points
  • An emotional message in query form
  • A client testimonial
  • A call to actionIn addition to elements to include in the marketing message, there are also items that should never be part of a compelling marketing message. These items include:
  • Technical specifications
  • Pricing
  • Industry jargon

In order to maximize success, an effective marketing message must identify your prospect’s pain points in a manner that evokes emotion and illustrates how you have alleviated these pains for clients just like them, and include a client testimonial and a call to action. All of this must be accomplished without documenting the how, but instead the benefits of the Cloud Services or solutions you are marketing, and in plain English – the simpler, the better.

Once you have crafted your marketing message, it can be used throughout the vehicles selected for your Cloud Computing Services marketing campaign.

The Cloud Computing Services Primer by Erick Simpson Part 5

Some further details….

A well-developed Marketing Process, at a minimum, will include several different:

  • Direct Mail Letters
  • Direct Mail Postcards
  • E-Mail Templates
  • Follow-Up Phone Calls

Each one of these delivers one part of your message. You will rotate the frequency of each of these types of marketing pieces, and mix in testimonials from successful business wins in the form of E-Mail templates.

You will follow up on a series of scheduled Direct Mail and E-Mail marketing pieces with a series of phone calls. During these calls, you will verify whether or not your prospect has received your materials, and has any questions regarding your Cloud Services that you can answer for them. Your goal during the marketing campaign is to sell the appointment to meet with the prospect. Once you have successfully secured the appointment, the sales process can begin.

Leveraging Websites

In order to maximize the results of any successful marketing effort, it is important to carefully consider each and every vehicle utilized to deliver your message, and insure that the presentation and delivery of that message is consistent across all mediums. When used properly, a Website can be the most cost-effective means of marketing Cloud Computing Services and other solutions, providing a vehicle to capture prospects’ contact information, provide relevant marketing material to them, and promote recent newsworthy events. A well-designed website will build trust and confidence in its visitors.

In order for a website to aid in your Cloud Computing Services marketing efforts, it must be visually appealing, easy to navigate and reinforce their marketing message.

The Cloud Computing Services Primer by Erick Simpson Part 5

White Paper Marketing

White papers, when written properly and used correctly, can be tremendously effective as a lead-generation tool. When offered to prospects and Website visitors in exchange for their contact information, they can be used to qualify and influenceyour readers, and position your organization as a subject matter expert and thought leader in Cloud Computing Services, building credibility and trust in your prospects.

Case Study Marketing

Similar to white papers in terms of use, a case study for Cloud Computing Services should identify the specific problems or pain points your client experienced, how you solved these pains with a Cloud solution, and the positive results realized by the client. Prospects can; in many cases, more easily identify with a real-world scenario described in a well-written case study than through other marketing vehicles.

Electronic Newsletter Marketing

Providing another regular marketing touch to prospects as well as customers is the purpose for creating and executing newsletter campaigns. The consistent delivery of newsletters that contain interesting and valuable content, as well as featuring your Cloud Computing marketing message will continue to impress and influence your readership. Again, the more marketing touches you deliver to your target audience, the more apt they are to do business with them.

Tracking and Measuring Marketing Activity

Your marketing activity must be tracked, quantified and analyzed to determine its effectiveness. Each and every activity, including the execution of all direct mail, email, telemarketing, appointment confirmations and thank you’s must be scheduled, tracked and managed. Should a particular campaign fail to yield the expected outcome, you can vary the vehicles, scheduling and frequency of activities during follow-on campaigns to continue to develop a recipe for success.

The true measure of success for you is the revenue that is generated as a result of your marketing activities, and how quickly they realize your ROI. You should develop a cost analysis to track your marketing investment month over month, including the cost of printing, postage, email and telemarketing, as well as overhead and other labor, against the revenue generated.

Since Cloud Computing Services are sold on a subscription basis; as you continue to refine your marketing process over time, the resulting sales will build exponential annuity revenues for you month over month.

 

CLICK HERE TO GET MY “PRICING AND POSITIONING CLOUD COMPUTING SERVICES” BEST PRACTICE GUIDE FREE!

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Erick Simpson
Senior Vice President & CIO
SPC International
Website: www.spc-intl.com

Consulting Services for IT Solution Providers:
http://www.spc-intl.com/businessgrowth

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ericksimpson
Google+: www.google.com/+ericksimpson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ericksimpson
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ericksimpson

Posted in: Cloud, Secrets to improving an I.T. Services Practice

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The Cloud Computing Services Primer Part 4 by Erick Simpson

SPC International - The IT Business Builder

The Cloud Computing Services Primer Part 4
Erick Simpson – See Part 3 Here

The purpose of this continuing Cloud Computing Services Primer by Erick Simpson is to provide information to help you and your staff understand what Cloud Computing Services are, the benefits of adopting them into your deliverables and how to market, price, sell and manage them effectively. In addition, the concepts shared in this guide can be used to educate your prospects and customers on the benefits of Cloud Computing and why they should consider adopting these solutions in their businesses.

If you missed The Cloud Computing Services Primer Part 3 by Erick Simpson, you can read it here

Pricing Cloud Computing Services

There are several factors that can affect your pricing methodology for Cloud Computing Services. You will need to analyze your business to determine your pricing models depending on factors including, but not limited to:

  • Your predominant business model
  • The services that comprise your Cloud offerings
  • Your costs to deliver these services
  • Your sales sophistication
  • Your efficiencies in delivering these services

The less efficient you are at delivering service, the higher your price points must be to maintain your desired net profitability.

The Cloud Computing Primer by Erick Simpson Part 4

Determining Your Predominant Business Model

Your predominant business model may influence not only your deliverables and how successfully you are able to market and sell them, but also your target markets, customers, vendors and profitability. If your predominant business model is product-centric, you may be challenged when attempting to sell and deliver Cloud services, as the achievement of success in a more service-centric model requires unique skill sets centered on effective sales and long-term relationship-building and customer satisfaction techniques. As an example, it is logical to assume that a product-centric or time and materials based service provider would have a tougher time selling cloud computing solutions and delivering services as efficiently, effectively and profitably as a reseller who has already built a managed services model would.

The Cloud Computing Primer by Erick Simpson Part 4

Determining and Developing a Cloud Services Offering

As each of the three Cloud Services models offer different solutions and appeal to different end customers and markets, you must determine your Cloud offerings. This will also depend heavily on the vendors and fulfillment partners you align with, and their capabilities, SLAs and price points. Each Cloud Services model; whether Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service or Platform as a Service, has its own unique requirements and appeal from provider, end-customer, pricing, complexity and implementation and maintenance perspectives – and each delivers a different set of solutions.

You must evaluate each of these deliverables carefully and determine which of these, and in what priority, you will incorporate into your solution stack to begin offering to prospects and clients.

Determining True Costs of Service Delivery

Once you have determined your Cloud Services offerings, the first step in establishing profitable price points for each of these Cloud Services is to identify your cost of service delivery. In order to accomplish this, you must understand your hourly labor burden, your hourly overhead burden, the number of support hours it will require to support your Cloud Services customers and your costs for the Cloud Services you are reselling.

To calculate the labor burden for staff, you will divide all of their labor costs including those above and beyond gross compensation by 2080 work hours per year. To calculate overhead burden, you will total the yearly amount of all company overhead costs and divide that value by 2080 work hours per year as well. By adding these two values together, you can estimate your hourly cost of service delivery.

Once this has been determined, you will forecast the number of hours you predict it will take to support your Cloud Services customer and multiply that number by your hourly cost of service delivery. The final step for you to determine your total cost of service delivery is to add your costs for Cloud Services to the equation, along with any marketing and sales costs expended to acquire your customer.

The Cloud Computing Primer by Erick Simpson Part 4

Determining Retail Pricing

Once you have established your Total Cost of Service Delivery for your Cloud Services offerings, it’s a simple matter to determine the margin you would like to realize for each of your solutions and set your price points appropriately.

The Cloud Computing Primer by Erick Simpson Part 4

Next time in Part 5 of The Cloud Computing Primer by Erick Simpson: Marketing Cloud Computing Services.

CLICK HERE TO GET MY “PRICING AND POSITIONING CLOUD COMPUTING SERVICES” BEST PRACTICE GUIDE FREE!

Erick Simpson
Senior Vice President & CIO
SPC International
Website: www.spc-intl.com

Consulting Services for IT Solution Providers:
http://www.spc-intl.com/businessgrowth

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ericksimpson
Google+: www.google.com/+ericksimpson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ericksimpson
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ericksimpson

Posted in: Cloud, Secrets to improving an I.T. Services Practice

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