I have a homework assignment for you that you don’t want to miss out on. Don’t worry, it won’t take that long, and it can have an immediate payoff. Write down a few sentences that reflect the primary message you want your customers to know about your cloud beliefs and your cloud offerings.
Did you do it? No cheating. Once you’ve jotted down a few sentences, answer the following question: “Does my brand reflect what I’m saying?”
Ok, time to submit your homework and check the answers to see how you did. Let’s take a look at some of the main ways your brand is defined and conveyed:
1. Your website. How does the message on your homepage align with the cloud message you just wrote down? Would it be obvious to someone visiting your site that your company knows about the cloud and sells cloud solutions and services?
2. Your newsletter. If you send a physical newsletter and/or email newsletter, check out the last three and hone in on the cloud message you’re sending to customers and prospects. Are you including customer success stories that highlight your cloud offering? How about thought leadership articles educating your audience about the cloud?
3. Your Social Media. Does your company have a Facebook page? LinkedIn? Twitter? A blog? How strong is your cloud messaging on these pages?
4. Your Salespeople. If you’re able to, it would be very valuable to hear a sampling of your salespeople’s interactions with customers and prospects to get a sense of how similar their cloud message is to what you just wrote down.
Hopefully, you can see from the examples above that if your brand isn’t getting your cloud message to your customers and prospects, it’s going to make selling cloud that much more difficult. After all, let’s face it, many of your customers are curious about the cloud, but they also have a lot of reservations. If they get the sense that you’re not a cloud expert, but just another IT company trying to sell them something they probably don’t need, they’re not going to want to engage with you on this discussion.
If, on the other hand, they start to associate your company as a cloud expert — because your brand consistently proves to them that you are — then (and only then) can you earn their trust, which is the first step in addressing their cloud questions and concerns with your cloud solutions.