We DO need Sales!

Jan 13, 2021 · 1330 words · 7 minute read sales marketing cloudification

But why? Your customers are also in DT group?!

Pan-Net is providing cloud services for the DT group, so we mainly deal with internal customers within the Group, and we are frequently asked “Why would you need sales department, when your main customers are internal?”. The question comes from the “legacy” understanding of sales person being somebody like a used car seller, a guy with a wide smile trying to sell you a lemon, haggling with you and forcing to buy something what you may not need for a higher price to get better profit margin. Or in other words a person mainly responsible for the commercial negotiations. As an internal supplier we shouldn’t spend efforts on pricing negotiation as the prices are based on internal costs and are standard, so why would we need a person to do sales?

Sales & Marketing in the Cloud Age

The answer is very easy – our sales team is not like this! Working with DevOps and cloud technology changes the way of business a lot, including the sales and marketing approaches and goals too. Our main goal as cloudification partner is to be the teacher, the go-to source for the telco cloud industry. And this requires a totally new “cloud” approach to sales and marketing. We are focusing on finding what interests our internal customers the most and being not afraid to answer any and every question they may have. The sales and marketing ultimate goal is to bring transparency to sophisticated and complex world of the telco cloud.

So many questions to answer …

Now what does “bring transparency” mean? Buying cloud is not an easy task. Every cloud platform offers multiple products with different capabilities and combinations of features, different consumption models and combinations of value-added services. There are multiple options how to design, build and operate the infrastructure for the same application.

  • Which services to choose? IaaS, CaaS, dedicated resources or shared? Or combination of it?
  • How to distribute workload on different set of resources the most effective (from cost and availability point of view)?
  • Which operation model to choose? Public cloud or fully manage private cloud in my facilities or operate the private cloud myself in my own facilities?
  • What is the business case for which option?
  • Do I need any PaaS or SaaS (like security or DNSaaS) services on top of IaaS?
  • Can I combine private cloud with public PaaS/SaaS?
  • Can automation reduce the cost of operations in my case?
  • How to arrange effective testing without spending millions on test tools, environments and professional services?
  • What will be the business case for automation and which tools should I pick? How to calculate TCO for complex multicomponent solution with multiple dependencies?
  • How to forecast resource and service consumption for TCO estimation? What can be the drivers for TCO optimization?
  • What will be the cost model for the E2E solution and how the costs will be distributed between CAPEX/OPEX? How this can be optimized according to my budget?
  • Availability vs costs – how to consider HA and DR but still fit in the budget?
  • Can I reduce the amount of required resources by smart resource placement and automated lifecycle management of the application?
  • How many environments (Dev/Stage/Prod) do I need and what are the cost implications?
  • What are the costs of migration and is there a business case to migrate to different cloud platform?

Every project owner has to answer these and many more questions while making a decision to move to cloud, and the answers are not very straightforward. It requires deep understanding of the technology from both technical and financial points of view.

Our approach to sales and marketing

And for a great sales and marketing team it’s an obligation to provide this level of knowledge to every requestor, even when some of the questions could be perceived as “bad” or “ugly” in traditional sales understanding. But we are here not to make profit of customers’ problems, but to find together the best future proof solution and move the technology forward together. We strongly believe in cloud and its benefits for the business, and we are here to explain, prove and deliver these benefits to every project in the Group. The sales and marketing team is putting a lot of efforts in listening, understanding and addressing our customers worries, problems, questions and concerns. But we are here not only to address these issues in the best possible way, but also to explain what our customers are thinking, feeling and asking to our product management and engineering, so that we can shape our whole business to solve the real-world issues and understand how our business model should evolve. Our sales and marketing personas are always here to explain, guide and find the real solutions fitting from both technical and commercial point of views to every specific customer situation. Our marketing activities are not focused on beautiful NDA-only high-level powerpoint presentation highlighting only product benefits, but on creating and sharing useful content explaining what are the products, for whom they are designed, and for whom they are not, so that many of the initial questions can be answered already by reading this content and customers have enough information to make justified decisions and proper planning of cloudification.

So who is the cloud sales and marketing person in Pan-Net?

  • It’s a person really passionate about cloud technology and digital transformation, knowing all our products and technology the best, but also continuously learning about new trends and technologies in the market.
  • It’s a person who can guide the customer through the cloud transformation process being a single point of contact on every step, bringing in all needed experts, sharing knowledge and documentation and collecting the feedback.
  • It’s a person who loves our products and services and loves explaining them to everybody regardless of the technical background or position in the company, because we love sharing our passion and we want to evangelize and show other people the beauty of the cloud.
  • It’s a person who understands the cost model and drivers to the very tiny details to be able create a solution which will give maximum benefits to the business considering every customer situation, restrictions and needs.
  • It’s a person who closely works with our product and onboarding teams to ensure that all relevant customer feedback is known in product development and in case a customer choose to our cloud products makes sure that the on-boarding team has the full information about the customer to help him in the best way when onboarding to our cloud.
  • It’s a person who understands also the risks of transformation very well and is absolutely transparent about them, warning the customer early about any possible difficulties or issues, because we are more than everybody interested to make it work! We only want to deliver products which are solving issues and not creating them. We will never recommend a solution, if we see a risk in implementation.
  • It’s a person who wants to learn from our customers, partners and competitors, as we truly believe that cloudification and building the common infrastructure for Telco is a must have for the whole telco industry, a mandatory step, without which communication technology future is not possible. We want to make it work more than anything else, so we are here to share our knowledge but also to learn from you, to make this future possible together.
  • It’s a person who is always online and who shares the information online. We want to achieve maximum transparency with sharing as much information with public as possible, to spread our knowledge as wide as possible. We read digital marketing as digital education and we want to be the go-to source for Telco cloud. We are starting small with articles and blog, but we will be sharing more, creating better content by joint efforts of sales and marketing team with engineering teams.

Do we need such a person? 😊 Of course, we do!

Sofya Danilina
Head of Sales and Marketing
Stefan Schnitter
Managing Director