Building Block 5 Assisted Sales


Building Block 5: Assisted Sales


When it comes to the cloud, many SMBs feel overwhelmed. Helping SMBs understand their choices and make the right decisions for their companies often takes multiple steps, including human interactions, across multiple channels, both online and off.

Given this reality, what do providers need to do to help ensure that both their assisted sales and self-service efforts are a success?

Self Serve Options
Digital Economy

73 percent of SMBs said that there are so many cloud services on the market that they need help understanding all of their cloud technology options.

Selling Cloud Requires a Different Mindset

To effectively sell cloud-based business applications, sales teams must become trusted advisors and pay attention to the customer. The salesperson must ask questions to understand what the business is about and what challenges a company may be facing with the sole aim of solving business problems.

Trusted Advisors for Customers

Strategy Tip

To truly make the shift to a solution selling approach, sales team members and leadership need to:

  • Acknowledge and enforce of a customer-centric culture from the top down.

  • Build a solution selling training and certification program as part of an ongoing training curriculum.

  • Review compensation plans and structures to include sales of cloud-based business apps.

  • Change monthly targets: IT solutions rarely abide by a four-week sales cycle.

Sales Training and Compensation Changes

Training can play a critical part in helping sales teams learn to reorient their approach to customer-centric solution sales. Trying to accomplish a complete transformation of your entire sales team, however, is complex and usually ends up being cost-prohibitive. From what we’ve observed in the field, only about 10 percent of a sales team will stretch to try a new solution sales approach. The rest of the team will quickly default back to their comfort zone, selling core products.

Sales Training and Compensation Changes

Create a Lead Generation Engine

You should create create two layers in your sales organization. The first layer—your frontline sales team—should act as a lead generation engine for the second layer, which is the solution specialist team. This tiered approach simplifies what can potentially be a complex sales conversation.

When it comes to implementing this type of overlay sales approach, you have two options: The first is to hire a solution sales coach who will spend three to six months with your sales team identifying the 10 percent of your team who can stretch and learn the ins- and-outs of selling your specific cloud offerings.

Lead Generation Enginie

Hire an Overlay Team

The second option is to hire an overlay team, which is faster but may also incur greater upfront and long-term costs. In addition, this approach can pose challenges when it comes to integrating the outside team into your company’s sales culture, not to mention bridging any seniority gaps between teams.

No matter which approach you choose, you will also need to consider how to incentivize your sales team. Your incentives should also be attractive, but rather than based on pure sales numbers, they should be based on activation and usage. It will motivate them to position the services correctly, which includes articulating the business value and identifying the need that it addresses. Also, it will push sales teams to follow up with customers to make sure that they have engaged with the onboarding team.

Overlay Team

Speak to an expert about how AppDirect can power your digital transformation.