OK, so how often have you tried talking to a CXO and have been shoved up with the line “there are a lot of tools and products out there who do that”. If you are a little tired of being told this, this is the right blog for you.
Let’s get started by putting the context right and we need to acknowledge the fact that no one is right or wrong in this case. As a CXO he gets approached by a lot of people day in and day out trying to sell him something or the other, so naturally, he doesn’t have a lot of patience to listen to another product pitch that doesn’t make sense to him. As a product owner/ service owner you know how your product distinctly differentiates you from the rest of the world and you have the right intention of helping him optimize his/her cloud spend. But there is a disconnect, and this is where most MSP are still struggling today in selling there optimization offering (call it whatever you like).
What we are trying to sell is a tool; however, more often than not we ignore one simple yet powerful proposition. No one cares how you do it as long as the job is done. You might have a robust tool that provides really fancy dashboards to your customer, or it could be excel. As long as you are able to provide actionable insights to the customer that transcends (and this is important!!!) into visible cost saving you are good. But how do we go about, how to put “method to the madness”. Well here are a few steps that I recommend you start thinking of before you invest in any CMP/Fin-Ops/Cost Optimization tool.
- Think Service not Resell – The buy and sell model is now obsolete, people no more want to listen to the ‘SaaS-based platform’. People want to know how they derive tangible benefits from an engagement. Your GTM should be about the service offering, with a strong case study to back the offering rather than license resell. Any good CMP story should address the following areas
- Build a roadmap for the customer – Everyone wants to see a roadmap, people want to know how much time it will take to get started; how quickly can they realize benefits. Without a roadmap the story is incomplete. You want to give your customer a sense of how long the engagement will be, what benefits they can realize in each of the phases. Tie it back to the tangible benefit (Nothing speaks better than numbers). Most importantly your roadmap beings clarity and gives the customer confidence of what you are offering.
- Be Price smart – If you are saving 10K USD and charging 12K USD to the customer, your services don’t make any sense. When pitching such services (Fin-Ops / Optimization-as-a-Service) your pricing model should be lesser than the optimization that you realize for the customer. There can be different ways to build stickiness with the customer, you can either give them an ongoing engagement where you agree to a certain budget with the customer and ensure that you keep their cloud spend below that level or you can have a one-time engagement with the customer where you set-up everything from them and let them run and manage it. ‘
- Create a Knowledge foundation – As you go along this journey, there will be a lot of case studies that you want to build; ensure that you have them handy for customer conversations. Every customer is different but at a broad level, the challenges are the same. A solid knowledge base shows your grip over the subject and also gives a handy place to start.
- Learn Unlearn Relearn – Cloud is a dynamic place and things keep changing, including the need of the customer; the way OEM bill for services, and most importantly the way technology evolves. It’s a marathon but you run a sprint every time and every sprint is different. Cost Management on the cloud is not a one-time thing, it’s not something you do and forget. It’s a culture and like every culture, this needs to evolve as you go along. Keep your learning decks handy, make sure you have a running document of best practices.