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PlumChoice: Drive Sales & Adoption of Cloud Apps (eGuide)


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Learn why providing services for presales education, onboarding and activation, training, and application maintenance will give you the competitive edge you need to acquire and keep customers.

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PlumChoice: Drive Sales & Adoption of Cloud Apps (eGuide)

  2. 2. © PLUMCHOICE, INC. 2015 Drive Sales and Adoption by Closing the Cloud App Gap Development of cloud applications has been growing at 23% annually over the past few years with no end in sight. Almost two thirds of that volume is coming from the SaaS space, as opposed to PaaS and IaaS. There’s no mystery as to the reason. Cloud application (SaaS) solutions enable the use of shared resources with better governance, faster trials of new tools, increased scalability and flexibility, and the chance to focus on core competencies (and customers). Cloud apps for office productivity, unified communications, compliance, security, and backup make way for growth and profitability for small and medium businesses (SMBs). These products also fit in with the of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)/Bring Your Own Application (BYOA) trend and the overall shift to more virtual companies. Key to the benefits of cloud applications is the fact that SMBs can achieve them without investing in costly infrastructure. Taken together, that’s a tough package to ignore. Surprisingly though, cloud-based applications aren’t getting the love you’d expect. According to a CircleID report, 86% of SMBs admit moving to the cloud is very important, yet 70% of these businesses aren’t using cloud application solutions. Many are wary of the complexities of the cloud and never head down the path to adoption. Others who make the attempt decide the promised benefits just aren’t worth the hassle, so they give up and start looking for your return process. SMBs are looking to improve their businesses but they aren’t taking advantage of cloud applications that can help them get there. As a cloud app distributor, you want a larger share of wallet, a broader portfolio, and reduced churn, but huge obstacles stand in the way of SMB purchase and adoption. Welcome to the cloud-app gap. 2 CircleID – The BIG Impact: How Cloud Computing is Changing the Face of Small Business, June 2014
  3. 3. © PLUMCHOICE, INC. 2015 Why the Cloud App Gap? So the question is: What’s the disconnect and what should distributors and resellers be doing to close the gap? SMB Obstacles The reality is the transition to cloud app adoption is still too cumbersome for most SMBs. One problem is that SMBs are like kids in a candy store. Their eyes grow saucer-like as they sort through thousands of applications in dozens of categories, but they lack the product (and technical) knowledge to choose which ones can best help them. Once they decide, they face the nightmare of installing and integrating the app into their existing complex, multi-application/multi-vendor ecosystem. Add in the growing adoption of BYOD/BYOA and the complications multiply. If the SMB does manage to get the application up and running they can be hit with a loss of productivity as staffs struggle up a steep learning curve. Without the resources or time for training, SMBs watch their employees lurch forward through inefficient trial and error. This creates further resistance and stifles adoption. And just when the SMB gets the application running, things change. New employees are hired, others leave, the business may take new office space, and new applications are added to the ecosystem while existing ones are updated or changed out. Keeping up with these constant adjustments presents another hurdle SMBs need to leap and if they’ve made it this far, they quickly learn that doing it on their own just doesn’t work. 3 These SMB struggles translate to lack of sales and an increase in returns for you as a distributor or reseller. Your goal is to provide value to your SMB customers to create stickiness and drive market penetration, but cloud applications are often not your core product offering and not in your circle of core competencies for support. SMBs are looking to you for help with onboarding, activation, and ongoing support, but you don’t have a good answer. You both know the self-service model doesn’t work, but when it comes to providing qualified resources, your support cupboard is bare. The result is low customer adoption and greater churn. Distributor Challenges
  4. 4. © PLUMCHOICE, INC. 20154 The good news is that you can bridge the gap. How? By inserting a purchase-through-use support services solution into the cloud app equation. Distributors and resellers who have taken this proactive approach have seen dramatic performance improvement. A survey of PlumChoice customers who introduced proactive, technical services solutions for their cloud application small business buyers reveals impressive results: Bridging the Gap 60-80% Reduction in churn by customers who activated vs. those who did not CHURN 15-25% Increased revenue generated through upsell/cross-sell opportunities 95% CSAT score 289% growth in cloud services business as channel resellers wrap support around cloud applications 45-55% Support calls reduced By activating customer 400% increase of O365 license adoption as a result outbound call vs. no proactive action in activation stage Adoption is up. Support calls are down. SMB customers are happy. It can be done. Source: PlumChoice, Inc. 2015
  5. 5. © PLUMCHOICE, INC. 2015 Building the bridge means taking the right step at every stage of the customer journey. The components of a purchase-through-use solution include: Pre-Sales Consultation: Work with your SMB customers to help heighten awareness and education of their product. This will help them differentiate between available solutions and simplify their decision making process. Sales Conversion: Help convert your wary SMB customer with presales education that takes the mystery out of the product and clearly illustrates how it can benefit them. This will boost sales by converting these prospects into informed buyers. Installation: Once a sale is made, your customer will need support in the complicated startup phase. You can help by guiding clients through configuration, setup, installation, and initial device settings of client desktop. Onboarding: Startup is more than just installation and activation. Add value by helping your customer with the migration from existing to new applications. Training: Your customer will not realize the benefits of the product if they don’t know how to implement and use it fully. They don’t have time for training so by providing this service, you’ll help them increase customer productivity with their new applications. Offering best practices, tips and tricks, and reference to online materials will help ensure greater adoption and reduce the chances of them returning the product. Engagement, Break-Fix Support, Adoption Services: It’s never over until it’s over. Which mean your customer will face ongoing maintenance of the product. Keep them satisfied by helping them with general performance issues, upgrades to applications, and problem solving. MACD: Employee comings and goings, office moves and other logistical issues can severely lower staff efficiency. Taking that burden off their shoulders can have a huge positive impact in product adoption. 5 Key Steps to Bridging the Gap -
  6. 6. It’s time to be proactive It’s clear that self-service by the SMB can’t accommodate their growing needs associated with cloud applications. If you hope to drive revenue and promote adoption, you must take a proactive approach. Your SMB customers know they should be benefiting from your solutions, but the complexity of the cloud is holding them back. This is your opportunity to close the cloud-app gap: offer specialized, concierge-level technical services that complement and enhance product value throughout the customer lifecycle. The end result is a superior product experience that streamlines deployment, promotes adoption, and reduces churn. Now is the right time to begin providing this service to your customers. © PLUMCHOICE, INC. 2015
  7. 7. THE POWER OF © 2015 PlumChoice, Inc. All rights reserved. PlumChoice is a registered trademark of PlumChoice, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product and company names and marks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners and are mentioned for identification purposes only. Closing the Cloud App Gap 4.15 PlumChoice, the leader in specialized technical services for the Internet of Things, delivers highly differentiated customer experiences to consumers and small businesses. For more than a decade, the company has partnered with brands both large and small to provide a continuum of service that simplifies the dynamic, complex, heterogeneous technology environments for their customers. PlumChoice’s solutions span the buyer and customer lifecycle – from pre-purchase to installation, configuration, adoption and integration, to problem resolution and ongoing usage. Solutions include Connected Life, Cloud Application and Premium Technical sales, support and care services. PlumChoice enables brands to reduce returns and churn, increase adoption and experience value, drive revenue, control costs and create customer loyalty. To learn more, contact View our on-demand webinar, “The Cloud App Gap: Why prospects don't buy and customers don't stay! ", to gain insights and practical approaches to solve for high return rates, and low sales conversion, adoption and penetration rates in the small business (SMB) market. Learn why PlumChoice's Cloud Application Services are outpacing market growth, reflecting the importance of optimizing customer acquisition, adoption and retention. Connect with PlumChoice +1 866-811-3321