A man tapping the word 'Cloud'

Finding Your First Cloud Customer

28 Apr 2015 by Shay Moser

Where do you think your first cloud customer is going to come from?

If you said “my existing accounts,” you are absolutely correct. It has long been agreed that it’s “five times easier to sell to an existing customer than to create a new one.” So let’s focus on finding that first customer from within your own account base.

The More You Know About Yourself, the More You Know About Your Customers

Where is your market focus? Small-to-medium business? Enterprise? The “mid-market” in between? Are you focused on specific vertical industries? Who within your customer’s organization do you target? The Business Decision Maker (BDM)? The Technology Decision Maker (TDM)? Influencers? Line of Business Managers with specific needs? Purchasing Agents? Financial or Operational Management?

There are many arguments about which markets are better for cloud and which are not. Some claim that the large enterprise market will never allow their data and apps to be moved to the cloud, but we’re seeing many examples to the contrary. Some say small companies can’t afford cloud, but isn’t lower cost part of the whole reason companies use cloud?

A Financial Sell

The cloud sell is a financial sell, and you’ll be focusing more on managers who are concerned about budgets and finance than ever before. You won’t be talking about bits and bytes, or comparing one manufacturer’s hardware to another. In the cloud, those things don’t matter. It’s all about better service at lower cost.

Using the Market Mapping Grid

Start by listing every cloud service you’re aware of that you might want to sell. You’ll find many here in Insight ON – Service Provider. Try to filter out those you don’t feel would be relevant to your customers or your business.

Next we’re going to build a grid.

Cloud Customer Market Mapping Grid

  1. Down the vertical axis we’re going to list all of your customers. It may serve you to group them by the salesperson or sales team that is responsible for managing their account.
  2. Across the top we’ll list those cloud services that we found relevant to your business.
  3. Now we start calling in the sales teams one by one. For each sales team, we start with the first of their customers and the first of the services and ask, “Do you think it’s likely that this customer will want to buy this service?”
  4. If they agree that, yes, this customer would definitely find this service interesting and may want to invest in it, then check that box. If not, leave it blank and move to the next service. “Do you think it’s likely that this customer will want to buy this service?” And then check the box or leave it blank.
  5. Repeat this for every service, and then repeat for all of the services along the next customer’s row and the next until you’ve moved through all of the accounts for which each sales team is responsible.
  6. Now look at your market mapping grid in both directions:

Across

As you look down the grid, you’ll immediately notice the rows that have the most checks in them. These will be the likeliest of your customers for you to approach about cloud computing.

Down

Then look down the columns. The ones with the most checks are the services you’ll most likely want to focus on first.

Instant Visual Guidance

Not only will this method help you identify your first cloud customer, it will help you determine which of your existing customers you should focus on to sell cloud services, and which services you should become most familiar with first.