What is the Financial Commitment for Cloud Communications?

Cloud services have proven to be a popular alternative for enterprises, but are the majority of small to medium-sized businesses ready to invest in this new technology when they're current system is working just fine? Then again, maybe just fine isn't good enough any longer.

If you're already selling cloud communications solutions, you know the value and opportunity these services bring to the market, as well as the industry’s growing demand.


Today, your customers are looking for agile solutions, and the cloud is their answer. Selling these high quality cloud communications solutions to your end-customers isn't as daunting as it sounds, especially if you have a solid understanding of the challenges these prospective customers face on a daily basis.

For customers, comparing and contrasting the various options available on the market can be too much to handle, notably for those who aren't technically savvy or knowledgeable about the industry. To make matters more difficult for these businesses, most services are dependent on the size as well as the wants and needs of the customer's business.

For example, a larger enterprise customer will need a dedicated team member just to manage the transition between on-premise and hosted systems—but a smaller organization might not have to prepare as hard for the shift. So for customers new to these services, it can be hard to verify which solution is the right fit.

Regardless, the majority of your prospective customers are trending towards cloud services, so you need to understand what their financial commitment is in order to effectively sell your services and solutions. Cost, of course, is a top concern for these businesses, but it's not the only concern. Others include:

  • Reviewing new communications options and solutions
  • Locating a single, simplified solution for all communications needs
  • Providing workforce with flexible communications options
  • Managing team and network across multiple channels
  • Focusing IT staff on other operational concerns

Once these businesses realize the value the cloud can provide (in addition to mitigating the concerns above), they'll start weighing their options past the price point. You might be wondering what happens when all the available solutions have ridiculously competitive price points? You move past that to sell them on the quality of your solution, not just the price. 

These businesses want services that work as expected, with the features they require, and if they don't feel like they're receiving a quality solution that will help their business succeed, the price becomes a moot point. They'll jump to another service provider that can, not only provide them with a low cost solution, but a competitive service offering as well.


Let's look at some of the top financial commitments your customers need to make before implementing cloud communications:

Cost to Get Started: The setup cost for each business is different, depending on the size and current infrastructure in place. That means the overall financial commitment for each business using your service can vary greatly. Make sure you educate your customer on the costs ahead of time so they'll have a better idea of the price to implement your cloud services.

Cost to Maintain: Most hosted solutions range between $10-50 per month for each user, although this number changes drastically depending on the quality of the phone and service. Your customers will have the ability to pay less upfront and less overtime thanks to the cost-savings of hosted-PBX and VoIP. Instead of installing new phones every time there's a new feature update, you can update your system online. When was the last time your customer didn't want an easier way of doing something?

Length of Service: Instead of paying per service, your customers will need to get used to a subscription-based model. That means they'll need to commit to longer-term contracts, though many start at the 6-12 month mark. You'll need to reassure your customers that the commitment is worth it, and provides more than bottom-of-the-barrel solutions. Remember—the cloud is an investment, not a hard, one-time cost for customers.

Call Quality: Depending on the level of service you’re offering, call quality is a major concern for businesses when making the switch to the cloud and VoIP. In order to get the best quality, they may need to increase their bandwidth, in order to receive the expected quality. Be clear about the difference so your customer knows what to expect from the start.

The key is educating your customers on the value of their services, not just the price. Businesses will pay for a solution that works and in order to build equity in your own brand, you need to establish yourself as an exception to the other cloud solutions on the market—one that works with customers to provide them with the best possible solution for there business vs. the one-size-fits-all sell other companies are shouting from the rooftops.

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That’s all good and well, but businesses aren’t one-size-fits-all, so that ideology is flawed. Talk about the quality, how easy it is to use, and how it can streamline their office. Let them know about business app integration like Salesforce.com, and how it can make their management and invoicing that much easier! The important thing is how your services can make them successful, not that you can undercut the competition by 1%.