As much as we are all talking about the impact that cloud, subscription based consumption etc will leave many channel partners in the dust....I believe it's the new world of sales and marketing via the buyers journey that will be the real culprit.............
Time and time and time again, talking to, and working with ITSPs of all types (VAR, MSP, CSP, SI etc) and sizes I hear "ok, I'm ready to sell cloud - let's go!". Really?
Forget that fact that they have no idea what their differentiated business-outcomes focused value prop is, or they have not identified specific verticals and personas to target, or that they have no compelling cloud bundles that IT and non-IT folks will be interested in, that solve their business problems - the real issue is they think,
a. the good old banging on doors, cold emails and calls with their legacy reps, pushing, pushing, pushing for a deal or referrals, referrals, referrals (what got them where they are today) will work today - it won't!!!!
b. cloud is so hot we just need to put up our "we're a cloud provider and we're open for business!" sign and business will walk in the door - it won't!
And the fact that even when you do get a deal via the good old model, now you are getting 2, 3, maybe $4k per month vs a sweet $50-100k up front.....hmmmmm how long is it going to take to recover that Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) now - answer - too long with the old model.
I then show them all the evidence - simple example,
65% of B2B buyers have already researched and made a purchase decision before they contact a sales rep.
IDC Research Study, 2015
Microsoft/IDC eBook Series Part 3: Modernize Sales and Marketing
and examples of how I went through my own buyers journey when I bought my last TV, laptop, SaaS app etc and then ask them for their own examples, they agree 100% and give me their own buyers journey examples. I then say "don't you think every IT and non-IT person in the world, whether it's the owner of average Joe SMB, or the CFO at a regional bank or the IT guy at the local manufacturer does the same thing today - especially for cloud?" Yes, I guess so. So why would you even consider getting cloud customers the "old way".
I gotta tell you, I have countless examples where I told the ITSP, "don't hire that legacy sales rep to sell cloud, and give him/her the legacy job description and comp plan, it won't work today" - guess what, 6 months later it's $30-ish grand out the door with zippo to show for it other than frustration. Or the ITSP that "staffs up" and presses the inbound/digital marketing aka marketing 2.0 button and says "oh shit, I completely believe in marketing 2.0 and the buyers journey but it takes time - I'm burning way to much money with all this staff". Yes it takes time and lots of thinking and work.
Guys and gals, the old marketing and sales world is gone. There is a new world of sales and marketing - call it what you like - sales and marketing 2.0 or smarketing or inbound marketing or digital marketing - who cares, it's here.....................
You heard it here 1st - this will be the cause of death for more channel partners than cloud itself if they don't embrace it asap - like they must embrace cloud asap.
Join our webinar series below - we discuss exactly this topic.
Btw, this is one of the big topics addressed in the Microsoft/IDC eBook "Modern Partner Series"