A recent report on the impact of COVID-19 on the cloud computing market revealed the rising importance of agility in the new landscape. The size of the cloud landscape will grow from around $233 billion in 2019 to $295 billion in 2021.

The shift to cloud technology has been one of the biggest trends in the business landscape over the past few years. Through flexible cloud solutions, companies have discovered a new level of flexibility and diversity – unlike anything they’ve experienced before.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit at the beginning of 2020, cloud transformed from a point on the average digital transformation roadmap, to an essential concern for the modern day. A recent survey indicates that around 82% of IT leaders say they’re now increasing their investment in cloud in direct response to the remote working shift caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staying Competitive in the New Normal

Lockdown restrictions across the globe forced businesses to reconsider their approach to cloud at break-neck speed. Businesses needed to move away from the in-office PBX and deliver phone technology to employees that had no way of visiting the office. Without the cloud, companies simply couldn’t survive this landscape.

However, as we quickly discovered on a global scale, the cloud isn’t just a new trend intended to support companies in lockdown. As restrictions started to ease around the globe, 66% of survey respondents said they would continue to increase their investment in cloud. Why? Because cloud is an obvious competitive strength for today’s agile companies.

In an increasingly crowded market, IT resellers must strengthen their proposition in hosted voice to maintain a competitive edge. Cloud solutions are quick and easy for customers to access. More importantly, they’re available on a subscription-based, pay-as-you-go format, with customers being able to turn their access to services on and off at any moment. The ability for customers to easily unlock new functionality or even switch to a new service entirely, calls for IT resellers and service providers to strive even harder to retain customers.

Differentiation is the Key to Reseller Success

The year 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic proves that cloud technology is essential for business continuity. It allows the wheels of a company to continue turning, even when the office can’t remain open. However, there’s more to cloud than this.

The right cloud solution also helps resellers to differentiate by portfolio. In a cloud framework, resellers can bring specialist and best-in-class vendor technology into their portfolio to create a truly unified customer solution, rather than just offering a list of features and products.

For example, Gamma’s Horizon hosted telephony platform already integrates seamlessly with Akixi’s call reporting solutions. The in-built integrations bring together the flexibility and robustness of the Horizon environment, with the analytics and real-time reporting of Akixi. The result adds unique value for customers, enabling them to understand their business like never before and make business-changing decisions based on live data.

This is an example of how modern resellers can integrate holistic solutions together for their audience, rather than just providing basic bolt-ons.

It’s not just differentiation on a product level that the cloud offers either. Companies can also take steps to differentiate themselves through service. Even in the new world after COVID, customer experience will still be an essential consideration for any business. Customers will always want to deal with companies who they know are easy to get hold of, understand their challenges, and can be relied upon when things go wrong.

Resellers today need to aim to build partnerships with vendors who can provide technology that fits well with both their existing offering and the requirements of customers. However, it’s not just the functionality that guarantees a long-lasting relationship. Aside from the product features, resellers should also be seeking out partnerships with those vendors that can highlight their credibility with testimonials, peer recommendations, and case studies.

Shifting Strategies in Sales

In this new landscape of massive remote working opportunities, some people may find that new deals are much harder to come by. But in many cases, the practice of virtual selling can also make it much easier to tie down the decision-maker and accelerate the buying cycle. Overcoming trends like this is a significant concern for the modern reseller.

The good news? Many companies are still offering the same copy-paste deals to all their customers. In a new environment where customers are less comfortable spending their money, resellers need to be as imaginative as possible.

Differentiation has never been more critical in today’s world of virtual selling, particularly when your physical location and proximity to the customer isn’t necessarily important. There are more cross-sells and up-selling strategies happening. This means that sales teams are spending more time educating themselves on the benefits of ‘value-add’ services for differentiation.

The cloud supports this unique method of growth, while simultaneously unlocking the opportunity to boost monthly recurring revenue and average deal size. And if resellers see their customers struggling, consider being proactive in offering subscription pauses or flexible payment terms. Not only will this give your customers peace of mind during these strange times, but in a post-pandemic world they won’t forget that you supported their business.

Selling Cloud in the New World

Ultimately, the conversations around cloud that sales people were having in the months before lockdown have started to hit home on a different level. Resellers, up until this point, have been able to deploy temporary solutions quite rapidly to keep customers operational.

These temporary offerings shone a light on the potential of UCaaS and cloud solutions. However, with the requirement to support effective home working in the longer term, there’s still plenty of room for growth.

As a reseller, this is the perfect chance for you to demonstrate your value and show your customers the true benefits of integrated cloud solutions.