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Selling Cloud Based Supply Chain Services To Non-Technical Clients Featured

john salvino 417565 unsplashIt's still one of the toughest jobs an IT professional faces. It's not the providing of cloud computing services, but convincing your non-technical clients that it’s safe to take the plunge and migrate to the cloud. This remains a frustrating task; especially when they’ve reviewed reliable and credible data and still resist.

it’s never about what you are offering. Instead, it’s the client data you uncover ahead time that will shift the sale in your favor.

Here’s a short analysis for your review. The objective of this information is to hand over details that will:

  • reduce labor costs
  • provide you with unique client insight
  • spot the non-technical client ready to move forward
  • sell cloud based supply chain services to clients who want the technology

Have you ever considered a client audit?

You read that correctly. We don’t mean the client’s systems, but rather the client, themselves. You already perform system, platform, infrastructure, and cybersecurity audits, why not an examination on your client and their cloud computing views, with the same scrutiny?

So, why a client audit? Though we are a well-connected world, not all CEO’s, C-Suite Executives or Engineers want to be that connected. If you knew ahead of time, your client hates technology and any changes it brings; you wouldn’t try to sell cloud computing to that individual. Would you? Of course not.

However, due to the business or industry they represent, they are forced to accept modernization. But deep down that CEO or Engineer may harbor a bias; they keep in check. It only comes out when you are trying to suggest a superior alternative. What may seem like an objection, in reality, they want no part of it. That is why the next section is crucial and provides a hidden client awareness you need to know.

There are four non-technical client types.

Before you begin your client audit, it’s best we advise you, the client types you’re facing, even if it’s a long-standing account. No matter whom you encounter or interact with or what position they hold at their company or facility, each will fall into one of four categories.

  1. Resistant – This client type backs away from any innovation, even if they have it. You could have the perfect solution for their problem, but they want no part of it, even to the point of steering the conversation away from cloud computing.
  1. Eager – This client type gets very excited about the idea of cloud computing, migrating to the cloud, and storage expansion solutions. But when it comes to nailing them down for a commitment, they stall out, won’t decide or return messages, and their eagerness falls away.
  1. Distracted – Unlike the Eager client type, this one will commit, but there is always something else preventing them from moving forward. They want cloud computing, it makes perfect sense to have, but it’s one delay after another. They may take your call and say, “It’s on my to-do list.”
  1. Engaged– As the title suggests. This non-technical client not only gets it but must have the latest technology advancements. They know the benefits and the hardware savings. They’ve been waiting for someone to come along and help them make the shift to cloud computing.

Now, why are these client type descriptions a need-to-know priority?

In one sentence, it comes down to this: “How can you find genuine cloud computing buyers without assessing them first?” No technician wants to drop by a client’s office, without some background intel.

Let’s assume you have an existing client, who won’t move to the cloud. But you did your due diligence and executed a client audit ahead of time. Based on the results, this particular client fell into the category of “Resistant.”

Would there be a need to send a representative from your company, when this client has already stated they were not interested? Of course not. That’s time you can’t afford to waste. Instead, your rep can focus on clients that are in the “Engaged” category ready to move forward. So, assess your non-technical clients or prospective ones first, before trying to sell them on cloud computing.

How to create a client audit questionnaire?

A client audit questionnaire does not need to be in great detail, but it must ask pointed questions. You want to identify which client type they fall under and if there is any bias towards technology. So, your questions need to provide negative answers. The reason for this, the more they can unload how they genuinely feel about technology, gives you the deep seeded issues they have with modernization.

Below we’ve provided sample questions to get you started thinking and then creating your client audit questionnaire. We would recommend that you begin with existing clients. Having that current relationship with them, they will speak more freely with you or your technician.

  1. What technology could you live without today?
  2. What do you see is the most invasive technology?
  3. Which technology has proven to be an expense than an investment?
  4. Do you see cloud computing as a fad or a permanent solution?

Does your dialect speak to or at your non-technical client?

We’re all guilty of doing it. We love to speak informatively, intelligently, and use words and phrases that show, we are very knowledgeable about cloud computing and technology. However, the non-technical client doesn’t speak our dialect, let alone have a clue what we just said.

Among your technical peers, using technical jargon is okay. But around non-technical clients swap those words for content they can grasp. For instances when we describe data flow to clients, we love to use the phrase “ingress and egress” instead of saying “enter and exit.” The first pair is technically correct, but so is the second pair, but now that important client you’re trying to sell cloud computing understands what you said.

To sell cloud based supply chain services to non-technical clients, begin with your client’s view of technology. Deploy a client audit with existing clients, then move on to prospective ones, to determine their client type.

When speaking with your client, especially non-technical ones, be mindful of your technology dialect. When your client does not understand what you are describing, how will you make the cloud computing sale?

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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