How to Sell Platform as a Service

Focus on benefits and outcomes and the value you will add with your expertise and IP.

Platform as a Service

Platform as a Service (PaaS) adoption continues. ResearchAndMarkets.com predicts growth globally from $47.29 billion in 2020 to $88.11 billion in 2025, a 13 percent CAGR. To capitalize on this trend and provide your clients with a platform for development and application management, you need to understand how to sell Platform as a Service and communicate the value it provides.

Build a Strong PaaS Vendor Relationship

Vendors in this thriving market have growing reseller and managed service provider (MSP) channels. PaaS vendors leverage their channels to build relationships with customers and prospects, recommend services based on business needs, assist with deployment and integration and bundle PaaS with other services to provide total solutions and customer satisfaction.

More PaaS vendors’ channel partners, however, means more competition for you. When you create your strategy for how to sell Platform as a Service, consider building this information into your marketing content and sales pitches to help your messaging stand out among PaaS solution providers.

1Focus on end-user advantages

Whether you are pitching Platform as a Service to existing clients with extensive technical know-how or starting discussions with a new prospect that is planning on bringing some application development in house, you need to emphasize the advantages to their businesses and to end users.

Application development via traditional processes takes time and can delay much-needed functionality or taking a new app to market. PaaS offers your clients the ability to innovate faster and scale more easily. Low-code and no-code platforms also make development easier, giving your team drag-and-drop functionality that saves time and costs. Your vendor partner’s platform may also automate some of the tasks related to launching a new app, such as building integrations or testing.

You should also show how Platform as a Service can help your clients overcome some of their specific challenges and pain points, such as providing tools that employees with limited development experience can use efficiently or strengthening their market position with new applications. Take time to research your prospects, understand their goals, and build your sales pitch around what matters most.

2Be prepared to meet new decision makers

If your contact at a prospect’s business is a member of the IT team, prepare to talk to different decision makers. Platform as a Service impacts all departments of an organization, so to sell Platform as a Service, you will likely talk to C-suite executives, line of business (LOB) managers, and employees who will use the apps and, perhaps, even be involved in planning and development. Beyond management and production, you may also need to speak with reps in customer experience, marketing, or human resources departments who will use applications created with the platform to optimize their workflows and streamline their processes.

3Offer something unique

All PaaS solutions are not the same. Research your options and add solutions to your portfolio that meet your clients’ needs. For example, look for a platform that supports robust offline capabilities or that easily integrates with your clients’ core business systems.

Also note, channel partners can provide PaaS solutions via a simple reseller model. However, you can add value by bundling PaaS with other services or incorporating your own IP and industry expertise to build solutions for the markets you typically serve. You could also add value with tools that make developers’ jobs easier, such as managed Kubernetes or automation solutions.

4Impress with a demo

sales demo using the client’s content or data can have a powerful influence on a sales decision. Demonstrate how easy it is to use your solution, all of the tools available to the client, and how your solution is an upgrade from their current application development processes.

5Master the basics

In addition to PaaS-specific sales strategies, learning how to sell Platform as a Service requires many of the same solid sales practices you’ve used to build a successful MSP business. Before deploying your sales force, take time to identify your target market, project revenue, make informed investments, and build a compensation plan that incentivizes and accelerates sales.

Besides mastering how to sell Platform as a Service, you also need to create and take advantage of regular engagements with your clients to share technology advancements in the evolving PaaS space or to gauge their changing needs. Make sure when your clients are ready for the next great thing, they’ll call you.