From the moment cloud service providers launch their business, they seek to build a strong and loyal customer base as their main source of revenue. There is no business without customers and the revenue they generate, so providers must have a strategy for winning and retaining customers.
Though the tactics employed in selling can vary, there are typically two go-to-market models – sell direct to the end customer, or sell through channel partners. There are SPs who also choose to use a mix of the two.
There is no right or wrong answer of course, only a difference in approach. It’s up to the SP to decide which model they are comfortable with, keeping in mind their overall business goals.
Selling Direct to End Customers
For providers who prefer to manage the sales process and customer relationships, they will sell direct. By choosing to go direct they are placing high value on the long term customer relationship, and to realize the full value they prefer to own the relationship from the beginning.
Selling direct works well for providers with an in-house sales team already in place, or for those willing to staff up a sales team, but even this is not required depending on your overall business model. There are providers who sell their cloud services directly to customers through low-touch, self serve method. We looked at this in a past blog post, which can be read here.
Selling Through Channel Partners
The other common go-to-market model is selling through a network of channel partners. This works well for SPs who have no desire to build and maintain a sales team; especially if the expertise is not already there. Some simply aren’t comfortable with the sales process, preferring to focus on technology or products and services instead.
Selling through the channel is also idea for scale, and for reaching new markets and customer types. SPs can leverage a one-to-many approach, counting on their channel partners to build on their own customer relationships to generate business. This can be especially helpful when expanding into new markets where no relationships exist, or where knowledge of the market is limited.
SPs don’t have to choose one method over the other. If a provider already has existing customer relationships, a sales team, and wishes to continue bringing in new business, they can use the channel to expand into new markets, with channel partners becoming an extension of their own sales team.
Channel partners offer a way to grow revenue more quickly without incurring the operational costs that often come with growth. There is no need to hire new sales staff, or to spend the money to establish a presence in a new country – leverage the partner’s existing business relationships and experience instead.
AirSembly – For You, Your Channel…and Customers too!
Regardless of how you choose to sell your cloud services, AirSembly can support your model. Check out our most recent blog post for a quick summary of the benefits for customers and channel partners.
Ready to talk to us about using AirSembly to get your cloud services to market faster and more efficiently? Contact us today!