IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Selling File Storage and Sharing Options in the Era of Free Cloud Storage

Offering file storage and sharing services to companies with so many free products on the market is challenging. While you know the importance of managed services, file storage and sharing, and cloud computing products, it can be a tough sale in a world that offers similar products for free. There are strategies for selling your managed services offerings however, and your business can thrive while doing so. Here’s how:

The Problem with the Free Cloud

Users turn to services offered by Google, Dropbox, and OneDrive. While they are useful for saving and sharing personal data, emails, and documents, they pose a significant risk to businesses large and small.

The problems with free cloud services are numerous. Just a handful of concerns with free cloud storage include file size limits, bandwidth limitations, a lack of security, and scattered customer support services.

While free cloud storage is generally okay for personal files and sharing documents with families, it shouldn’t be relied on for business transactions. The primary problem with free cloud storage for businesses is the false sense of confidence business owners and essential personnel have in such products and the security of the information stored in them. If the business is dealing with confidential or sensitive data they should absolutely not rely on free cloud storage options – but many decision makers are unaware of the security concerns. This presents a business opportunity for the managed services provider.

One thing that keeps stalling your sales when speaking with clients is simple – MONEY. Business owners may not understand the value of paying for cloud-based data storage and sharing solutions when they can use a variety of cloud storage and sharing options for free.

When you start talking cost, they start pulling away for a number of reasons:

  • Others offer cloud storage for free
  • Set-up costs concern owners
  • Price fluctuation in the past prevents confidence in new products and services
  • Poor data management has had a financial impact on the company

3 Ways to Overcome the Money Talk

As you can see, money to a company is more than the price of the products and services. For some, it has had a significant impact on operations overall. When money stalls the conversation, these 3 strategies will help you recover the sale.

1.   Keep talking about the money

This is a matter of redirecting from the negative conversation about money and shifting it to a positive one. Use the negative experiences of the past to ensure the company can see positive results, without tarnishing its reputation. Demonstrate the financial problems associated with a data breach when sensitive information is stored in unsecure, free cloud storage solutions – so that you can show that your solutions, while not free, save the business from such disasters.


When pricing and positioning cloud services, consider the efficiency of your managed services and what it is you really offer in the eyes of the business owner.  Five factors that affect the bottom-line price are your company’s business model, what you offer, what the cost of delivery is, sales, and how efficiently you can honestly deliver services. Compare that price to what is offered in the market. Position yourself so that you are competitive, yet attractive. This is the price you want to tell the customer to ease their anxieties about higher prices, especially if you can offer more than they are used to.  If you are talking about file sharing and storage options, don’t forget to show your potential customer all of the other services you can offer to go along with it, including data backup and disaster recovery. Paint a picture of the complete package of services you are offering and how it benefits the customer.

2.   Get off the tech talk

Take a step away from the tech talk for a moment when meeting with clients. If you talk at them with convoluted conversation, you will lose the client and the sale. Keep it simple. Stop talking about what you offer and all the specific, technical features that only you and experienced IT managers understand. Business owners don’t particularly care about all that. When selling any form of managed services, talk about the client’s technology, how to make them more efficient and profitable, and their security needs. Next, translate that into how your services address those concerns.


After talking about the customer’s comprehensive needs for technology solutions, it is important again to point out how personal and free cloud storage and sharing options are not equipped to handle their security concerns. Focus on the end result for the client instead of listing all the tech and services you offer. They present a problem, and you need to offer a solution. That’s it.

3.   Spend as much time on sales

Now that you have spelled out all the services and technology you offer to successfully close the deal, it’s time to move on to the next managed services agreement, right? Or is it? How much time are you putting into sales and the customer experience? Are they top priority for your managed services company? They should be, and should be treated just like any other service you add to your menu.

You upgrade technology, find the best products, and hire the best people, but how do you get it in front of potential clients if you don’t spend time and resources on sales. Free cloud storage service providers have excellent marketing strategies, and you need to break in with yours as well. We help managed services providers with website solutions that help you sell your solutions and explain your services in terms of benefits to your customers. Learn more here:


The post Selling File Storage and Sharing Options in the Era of Free Cloud Storage appeared first on SPC Managed Services Blog for MSPs.

About the Author

Erick Simpson's picture

An IT executive, advisor, author, speaker and consultant specializing in strategic business growth and improvement.

Erick Simpson is a strategic IT business executive and organization development consultant experienced in improving top and bottom-line business performance by increasing operational efficiencies, boosting marketing and lead generation outcomes, accelerating sales velocity and shortening sales cycles and maximizing service delivery efficiencies.

One of the most prolific, recognized and sought-after IT, Cloud and Managed Services business improvement and transformation experts, consultants, authors and speakers in the industry, Erick has contributed to numerous industry publications and events and has authored 40 business improvement best practice guides and 4 best-selling books including "The Guide to a Successful Managed Services Practice", the definitive book on Managed Services, and the follow-ups in his Managed Services Series “The Best I.T. Sales & Marketing BOOK EVER!” and “The Best I.T. Service Delivery BOOK EVER!” and “The Best NOC and Service Desk Operations BOOK EVER!”.

Erick leverages over 20 years of experience in the IT industry as an Enterprise CIO, VAR, MSP, Vendor, Educator, Advisor and Consultant; and hundreds of successful strategic vendor, manufacturer, distributor and IT solution provider, MSP and Cloud practice business improvement consulting engagements to deliver successful business improvement and transformation outcomes for his clients.

His considerable and unique expertise and experience on both sides of the channel allow him to develop and deliver focused Vendor Channel Program Development and Partner Acquisition and Enablement Strategies to improve Distributor, Manufacturer, Vendor and Franchise partner program performance and improve channel revenues.

Consulting Services for IT Solution Providers:

Strategic Channel Growth Services for IT Vendors:


ChannelPro SMB Magazine

Get an edge on the competition

With each issue packed full of powerful news, reviews, analysis, and advice targeting IT channel professionals, ChannelPro-SMB will help you cultivate your SMB customers and run your business more profitably.