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Marketing/Need guidance on how to promote Cloud ERP Softwares


QUESTION: Hello Sir,

I am a fresher in ERP industry and joined a start up company who are into cloud ERP solutions for institutes and SMEs.
Please guide me how should I generate leads for the same and what should be my Promotion strategy in order to promote these software.
Waaiting for you response, thank you in advance.


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Here are a few tips and tricks to get started:
• Invest in a marketing automation system where you can segment your leads and develop nurture marketing campaigns. We’re in the age of information overload, and remaining top of mind requires carefully executed, regular interactions with your lead pool.
• Design a cloud specific sales and marketing strategy, and stick to it. Cloud computing isn’t an addendum to your current on-premises business; it’s a fundamental shift in the way your business should operate. Sales, marketing, cash flow and operations all need to be specific to a cloud business.
• Website Optimization is key. People start their research online, and if they can’t find you quickly through their searches, they never will, especially in the cloud.
• Capture your leads. Even the best optimized website will fail you if you’re not capturing the leads. Insure you’re offering up valuable content that prospects will exchange their information for. This identifies you as an expert, while also giving you a lead to nurture.
• Start contemplating different ways to market. Direct mail isn’t your best option for a cloud based solution, so it’s time to start thinking outside the box. Email marketing, nurture marketing, social marketing – these are all less expensive tactics which should deliver a higher number of valuable leads.
• Identify your brand. Consider why someone would choose to do business with you over the guy next door who costs half as much but looks twice as good online. Consider what you offer that no one else can, and how can you demonstrate this offer quickly and easily at the beginning of the sales cycle.
Cloud sales and marketing is fundamentally a numbers game. You must drive the highest number of leads for the least amount of money.
Of course, if you can do that, you’ve solved the biggest marketing challenge to date. In the interim it’s about evaluating your strategies to ensure that you’re targeting the right people with the right message, using the right mix of tactics.

As more and more organizations decide they want to pro-actively position their solutions for consumption in the cloud, I thought I’d take some time to pass on a few of the main messages I’ve been hearing from businesses that buy cloud solutions. To follow are three critical requirements from a customer perspective that must be met in order for them to make a buying decision in favor of a cloud solution.
When businesses decide they are going to purchase a cloud solution instead of an on-premise one, we need to understand what they want to buy. Most business decision makers do not view cloud as simply being an alternate deployment method for business applications. Instead they view it as a way to outsource all of the IT requirements for an entire business solution. It is critical therefore, that we structure our cloud offerings in a way that allows them to meet that objective.
That means creating and marketing services that will allow customers to remove all application dependent in-house IT requirements by taking over responsibility for security, data conversion, connectivity, integration to other on-premise and cloud applications, maintenance, back up, upgrades, identity management, provisioning and decommissioning of users, help desk, client device support, end user training, as well as any regulatory compliance requirements for their data.
Positioning your cloud solution to provide all these services in addition to your cloud applications will provide you with additional revenue opportunities, and ultimately more highly satisfied customers.
The days are over when a vendor would capture a prospect early enough in their buying cycle to help them determine how best to solve a specific business problem, then offer a complex rework of the prospects’ current systems, business processes and licensed applications. Now most cloud prospects do not approach solution vendors to get help solving a business problem. Today prospects have most likely already self-diagnosed their problem, evaluated potential solutions on-line, conferred with their peers, shortlisted potential vendors, and that’s why they are talking to you.
To develop a meaningful long term relationship with this type of buyer you need to be able to convince them you understand what they are telling you, know their industry, can provide them with the solution they are looking for quickly without a lot of complex project scoping or ambiguous pricing, and that you have a reputation for delivering what you promise. Only after a successful initial engagement will you have earned the right to go back in and cross sell and upsell in a more consultative way. This type of buying behaviour underscores the need for you to position everything you think they’ll need upfront as clearly defined packaged and managed services that will ensure a fast deployment that delivers good business value right out of the gate.
There should be no surprise costs with cloud solutions. Implementation costs should be predictable, and subscription-based pricing should be transparent with no hidden fees. Despite the fact that cloud based solutions may seem like they require a lesser commitment than comparable on-premise solutions, most cloud buyers do not view them that way. After they have gone to the time and expense of implementing a cloud solution to solve a business problem, the last thing they want to do is tear it out and start again
Making sure that you have packaged and sold your customers a complete solution that allows them to achieve their goals and trim costs is critical to retaining long term satisfied customers who will provide you with good subscribable revenue streams for years to come
Now it’s time to take your solutions to market. Make sure you are properly representing your knowledge and capabilities in the Cloud to your customers. Feature your Cloud solutions prominently in your marketing and make sure your website is properly constructed with a strong SEO orientation. Customers who are ready to move to the Cloud and access their apps and data over the internet will be inclined to investigate your capabilities on-line before they engage with you directly, so feature your strengths and promote your expertise.
Finally, addresses your sales force. If you are truly pro-active in positioning your Cloud solutions then every opportunity in your sales pipeline should be made equally aware of your ability to deliver the solution on-premise or in the Cloud. Then, together with the customer, determine which solution is the best fit for them. When it comes to existing on-premise customers, take control of them. Make sure you are communicating your new Cloud capabilities to them so you can maintain your trusted advisor status with them. As a result, they will be more likely to turn to you in the event they want to explore Cloud options for new or existing solutions in the future.
Following these simple pro-active steps will help any organization enter a Cloud line of business with confidence and reduce the risks of delivering unprofitable solutions in a reactive and opportunistic manner. With proper planning and forethought the Cloud provides great new revenue opportunities for most channel partners and ISV’s, so take advantage of them.
Good luck, and good selling.
•   Improve customer relationships. Get a real-time view of customer and prospect data with the ability to define relationships and track correspondence, phone logs, and automatically generated activities. Take advantage of that information to strengthen customer relationships.
•   Increase sales force productivity. Identify and seize important sales opportunities with access to integrated sales information, and evaluate sales activities against the profitability of each segment or customer. Effectively manage your sales pipeline for increased closure rates.
•   Plan effective campaigns. Simplify campaign planning, execution, and analysis by leveraging rich ERP data with definable processes that increase effectiveness and help control costs by measuring the success and profitability of each campaign.
•   Optimize sales by managing sales and marketing activities together. Gain insight into customer needs, improve lead generation and qualification, and improve sales performance by combining sales and marketing I nformation.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thanks for the descriptive suggestions I am trying to follow all whatever was suggested by you. i would also like to know that how can we promote an e-commerce portal and what could be the promotional strategy for that. As we consider it as a shop on cloud what could be the benefits which may attract the customers. suggest some out of box ideas for the same.
waiting for your valuable input.
Thanks in advance.


As one of the most important online business method, portal offers a starting point for users to find, search, and access specific subjects. Portals are most generally considered to be websites that provide access to information, services, and other websites. Moreover, portals can take on many variations and offer an infinite number of specialties. There are both general portals that provide a starting point for a broad offering of topics, but there are also specific niche portals that focus just on a particular topic. The consensus general portals include Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL, Lycos, and others. These few dominate the portal market in terms of market share, number of users, and hit count. There is no need for special access to connect with those portals but they are open to anyone. Examples of a niche portal are, which specializes in golf course tee time reservations;, which caters to fishing enthusiasts; and, which specializes in home improvement forums. In addition, the most famaous one must be At first, was only spread among college students; but shortly afterward, more and more people join it. Until now, becomes an indispensable social network in our life.There are countless more examples of specialized niche portals, but the basic premise holds true that they all serve as a starting point for users and consumers. The major advantage that portals offer users is their ability to provide a wealth of information in an organized fashion. This has always been difficult before the widespread use of the internet because information was often highly fragmented among many different providers.

7 methods below are highly- recommended when developing your e-commerce promotions strategy.
1.   PR: PR, or Public Relations, is about getting online resources, including blogs, e-zines, and websites, to tell their readers about you. By getting these sites to post information and content about you, it will lead consumers to your website through back-links. Article marketing is another form of PR. You will need to create unique and informative content for article marketing to be effective for your e-commerce site.
2.   Referrals: Referrals are one of the best forms of advertising available. Make sure to keep your customers happy and they will be eager to tell their friends and colleagues about you! Consider offering incentives to your current customers for their referrals and ensure that you make it easy for them to spread the word; one way to do this is to have an easy-to-use system that allows customers to email friends directly through your website.
3.   Daily Deal Promotions: Daily deal promotions are quickly growing in popularity. An increasing number of consumers are becoming more price-conscious and are eager to get a good deal whenever they can. Use of effective daily deal software like Dealy to create and schedule daily deals to be posted on deal of the day websites and social media platforms makes it very simple to reach out to the masses.
4.   Banner Ads: We all know first-impressions are important. Create attractive, high-quality promotional banners to run on targeted websites. Take your time to research what websites are likely to draw a similar customer-base and don’t hesitate to try out several different sites or messages. Experiment!
5.   Affiliate Programs: Look into exchanging advertising or offering a small commission fee to related businesses that are willing to advertise for you on their website. When you are involved in affiliate-marketing, it is important to choose well-known and frequently-visited sites that are in some way related with the type of products you offer. For example, if you are a bakery specializing in wedding cake, it would be beneficial to have a wedding planner or wedding photographer advertise for you on their site.
6.   Contests: Who doesn’t enjoying the feeling of winning a cool, free prize? Create a contest or hold a monthly-drawing. Offer an attractive prize and you will find that the entries will roll in. Not only have you generated traffic to your website by those interested in entering the contest, but you will acquire contact information through the drawing entries for possible new leads and remarketing offers.
7.   Search Engine Optimization: The key to increasing traffic is to increase your online visibility by ranking high in search engine results. The majority of shoppers choose to click on a result from the first-page of results, so don’t hesitate to put in the extra effort to assure that you are among those results. Use the basic strategies of targeting keywords, inserting meta tags, and developing creative content.
Being an online entrepreneur is difficult, especially if you do not know how to utilize e-commerce promotions effectively. Implement some or all of these methods in your marketing approach to see what combination of strategies work best for your company.


Online Business Models
There are four major types of online business. They include B2C(business-to-consumer), B2B(business-to-business), C2C(consumer-to-consumer), C2B(consumer-to-business). The most common one is business-to-consumer online business-business that selling goods and services online to consumers. With this model, consumers can get almost anything by just typing some words and clicks without going out. More importantly, online stores now influence more and more retail sales. Marketers are now hiring integrated multichannel strategies that use the Web to drive sales to other marketing channels. Other than traditional markets, online markets offer consumers more freedom and control about their time and interests. They can select which web site they want to visit, what to compare with and how much information they need.
Another popular type is business-to-business online business. Business-to-business (B2B) describes commerce transactions between businesses, such as between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, or between a wholesaler and a retailer. It uses web sites, e-mail, pictures and other online resources to target business customers, serve current customers more effectively, and obtain buying efficiencies and better prices. Besides simply selling products online, companies also can build better relationships with business consumers and partners.
More and more consumer-to-consumer online businesses are founded on the Internet, which means consumers can buy or exchange goods or services from other consumers on the Internet platform. Since this is between consumers, both buyers and sellers will have more freedom and choices such as they can discuss about price, shipping method to match their willing. The most difference with B2C model is that anything could be discussed and made a change. Moreover, a large number of people have items which are set aside for a long time and may never be used anymore; and then those people could become sellers and resell their items to people who need them with a lower than brand-new price. In this way, both sides could get benefits.
The final type is consumer-to-business online business. Consumer-to-business (C2B) is a business model in which consumers (individuals) create value, and firms consume this value. Traditional marketing method has a block between consumers and business. Even if consumers have some good suggestions and ideas, they cannot really send them to companies directly. For example, when a consumer writes reviews, or when a consumers gives a useful idea for new product development, then this individual is creating value to the firm, if the firm adopts the input. Excepted concepts are crowd sourcing and co-creation. The C2B online business provides a chance for consumers to reflect their feedbacks to companies via web sites. Rather than waiting for an invitation, consumers can reach sellers on web to get their information and provides own reviews. Consumers can even drive transactions with businesses, rather than other ways.

1.   Focus on your target audience. As you design your B2B ecommerce site, consider your target audience. How they think about your products will help you develop your site's taxonomy and their key reasons for purchasing should be called out in your features and benefits copy.
2.   Brand your site so that it appeals to your target audience. What line of business are you in? Your color scheme, logo, graphics and images should reflect your industry, even if only suggestively.
3.   Make your site easy to use. Use a clear and consistent navigational structure to guide the user through the purchasing process. Employ the "three click rule" whenever possible to keep visitors from having to follow click after click to find what they want.
4.   Consider your SKU population. How you display your product population will depend on how many SKUs you have to display.
5.   Allow more than one way to create an order. B2B consumers require more than the traditional "browse and add to cart" order creation method. Consider allowing shoppers to create orders based on previous order history, using a quick list of previously purchased items as a reference, or by part number.
6.   Use images to improve site experience. Images aren't just for B2C sites anymore. Successful B2B ecommerce sites utilize thumbnail images of products to make product identification easier as well as strategically placed beauty shots to show their products in action.  


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Leo Lingham


I can answer questions on marketing, marketing planning, product management, advertising, sales promotions, sales planning, merchandising, direct marketing, and sales management.











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