Strategy & Best Practices

Unlock Cloud Sales: A Starter's 5-Step Guide - Part 2 (Steps 4 & 5)

By Rebecca Muhlenkort / March 20, 2024

Unlock Cloud Sales pt2 Blog

In Part 1 of our series, Unlock Cloud Sales: A Starter's 5-Step Guide, we laid a solid groundwork for advisors aiming to build or expand their cloud practices. Covering steps 1, 2, and 3, we covered essential conversations around email services, backup strategies, disaster recovery plans, and the significance of cloud migration.

In Part 2, we reveal steps 4 and 5, exploring Disaster Recovery solutions and navigating the complex terrain of Cloud Migration. These pivotal steps play a crucial role in shaping the success of your cloud and SaaS practice.

Building your cloud roadmap

We’ll also highlight the real-world success story of Brett Harney, CEO of Corporate Technologies Group Inc (CTG), who elevated his team's cloud practice through an AppDirect customer workshop, unlocking an impressive $156,000 annually. 

Missed steps 1,2,3 to unlock cloud & SaaS sales? Read part 1 here

4. Disaster Recovery (DR)You don’t have to look far to help your customer’s find reasons for having a disaster recovery plan: There’s always the possibility of natural disasters, major equipment failure, or a cyber attack. Any of these issues can cause significant damage to a company’s reputation, which also impacts customer retention and brand loyalty.

Many companies overlook disaster recovery planning, assuming cloud apps offer automatic backups or legacy DR solutions suffice. Emphasize the vulnerability of traditional systems due to high costs, complexity, and slow recovery times.

Focus discussions on cloud-based DR solutions, highlighting their cost-efficiency, scalability, and faster recovery. The cloud enables streamlined and flexible strategies, reducing the risk and impact of data loss and downtime.

Tip: Ask customers these DR questions

  1. Consider how much money is lost in a disaster if your IT systems were down for one hour. One day? Or one week?

  2. Remind customers legacy DR solutions weren’t designed for cloud apps. Virtual data is still kept on physical servers even when accessible over the cloud

  3. Changes to IT systems make it challenging to keep DR processes current (i.e., changes made to software, network, personnel, etc.)

  4. With legacy backup solutions, backup windows are too long for full and incremental data backups

  5. Slow recovery processes further impact revenue if a disaster strikes

5. Cloud Migration—The fifth step in the cloud and SaaS playbook centers on cloud migration. That’s because the adoption of multi-cloud and hybrid cloud setups is becoming the norm, driven by factors such as flexibility, risk mitigation, and avoiding vendor lock-in.

89% of companies use a multi-cloud approach. While 80% take a hybrid approach, utilizing public and private clouds.—Flexera

Considering economic trends and the benefits of cloud computing, now is an ideal time to discuss cloud migration with customers. Start with these talking points to brainstorm strategies for migration and how to optimize cloud spending.

Top cloud benefits

✔ Increased agility and flexibility

✔ Ability to innovate faster

✔ Easing of increasing resource demands.

✔ Deliver immediate business results

✔ Simplify IT

Tips: Consider these cloud talking points

  1. What are your goals for moving to the cloud?

  2. Where are you on your cloud journey?

  3. Do you have regulatory or security concerns that impact public vs. private cloud options?

  4. What level of resiliency do you need? How long can you afford to be offline or without software and systems?

  5. How are you optimizing your cloud spending if you’re in the cloud already?

Lean on AppDirect to sell more 

By following these strategies and leaning on the right technology partner, you will expand your business to include cloud and SaaS. You’ll also beat out competitors, grow customers' lifetime value by creating stickier customers, and strengthen client loyalty.

> Watch this quick-start video for more

Drive success with comprehensive sales support

If you’re looking for help to build your practice, AppDirect can also act as an extension of your team. The AppDirect Sales Support team consists of experts who assist you throughout your sales journey, from pre-sale to post-sale. They provide help with everything related to your sales process.

  • Account support—Our team can help fill your sales funnel with account management support, including assigning a Channel Manager and a Partner Success Manager to every advisor

  • Solution expertise—Solution engineers act as an extension of your team

  • Managed services—The AppDirect team and platform help you meet the service levels your customers demand through our Network Operations Center (NOC) and VEEUE monitoring platform, integrated tool set and other managed services

  • Customer workshops—For more support, let our team become your expert cloud resource, while you maintain your role as a trusted technology advisor and primary customer point of contact. With AppDirect customer workshops our cloud experts manage discovery, and engineering support

Maximize returns: How CTG earned $156,000 annually with a customer workshop

Brett Harney, CEO of CTG, is an advisor that exemplifies scaling a cloud practice with AppDirect customer workshops. These technical sessions are ideal for advisors new to cloud and SaaS sales.

Working beside Harney, AppDirect organized a workshop for Royal Chemical, guiding their transition from on-prem servers to a cloud-based solution.

Discover how CTG secured a 6-figure deal with AppDirect

“Most customers—and advisors—don’t have time to decipher the complexities of Microsoft licenses. That's why we engage AppDirect as a partner. They provide high-level expertise, allowing us to maintain our role as an objective and trusted advisor…” —Brandon Fogliano, Director of Technology, CTG

Post-workshop, Royal Chemical decided to embrace Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) and is contemplating the adoption of Microsoft 365 licenses and storage virtualization functionalities. Their goal is to consolidate expenses for a comprehensive overview.

Harney emphasizes that having AppDirect as a cloud expert partner gives CTG a distinct competitive edge. He describes customer workshops as the 'path of least resistance' to establishing a successful cloud practice.

In total, the AppDirect customer workshop opened doors for CTG, boosting Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) by $13,000, translating to $156,000 annually.

Explore the Anatomy of CTG’s $156K Cloud Deal

Take cloud and conversations to the next level—Start here

After you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you can elevate your customer cloud, SaaS, and security conversations to seize opportunities with our Security Sales Certificate. Dive into 60 concise video lessons, each under 5 minutes, tailored to fit your schedule. Learn more in our security certificate blog.

Or, join an AppDirect customer workshop session where we handle logistics and technical aspects, sitting alongside you and your customer!