For decades, B2B organizations have made their millions by selling solutions to major enterprise clients and supplementing that income with the smaller clients they were able to acquire along the way. However, with a massive resurgence in local business preference among consumers, we are entering a timeframe where the B2B sales opportunity in local may surpass that of enterprise. But, this opportunity can only be realized if B2B organizations evolve into cloud brokers.
But what’s a cloud broker?
Cloud brokers will be the face and the future of the B2B model. Whether you’re a marketing agency, a financial institution, a software company, or a TV/radio provider—the opportunity now exists to become an end-to-end solution provider for your clients.
Here, I’ll show you what I mean.
Table of Contents
What is a Cloud Broker?
A cloud broker is a B2B organization that manages the use, delivery, and reporting of a suite of cloud products and services. The broker is an intermediary between point solution providers and the end business consumer. The broker acts by funnelling numerous cloud services into a single client-facing login and payment solution.
First off, we should probably clarify what B2B sales entities this would apply to. In essence, a B2B solution provider would consist of any company that sells products or services to other businesses (of any size). Some examples of B2B solution providers would be as follows: marketing agencies, publishers, directories companies, technology companies, TV & radio, telecoms, financial services, insurance, etc.
These companies sell everything from a wide spectrum of service offerings, to software-as-a-service (SaaS), to good old fashioned hard products. Yet, they all serve largely the same markets.
Any one of the industries that I mentioned above has an equal opportunity to become a cloud broker for their clients. All they have to do is consolidate a large number of cloud solutions into one place, perform massive product integrations, align new products and services with their existing offering, and provide in-depth dashboarding and reporting to their clients.
Okay, maybe not yet. Let’s explore why any one of these businesses would want to transform into a cloud broker in the first place, and then simplify the equation.
The SMB Opportunity for Cloud Brokers
Now that we’ve worked out what exactly a cloud broker is, let’s dig into the numbers and determine precisely what the B2B sales opportunity is.
SMB SaaS Spend is Growing Dramatically
Historically (even recently), the global enterprise spend on SaaS has been greater than that of the global SMB (small- to medium-sized businesses) spend. However, according to the Google Accel Report, that’s all about to change.
SaaS spending is skyrocketing, and the small business sector is leading the charge. In fact, the SMB cloud shift is happening at three times the velocity of enterprise adoption. These local businesses are beginning to recognize that they need the best of breed software solutions if they want to stand a chance against the big enterprise players in their markets, so they’re gearing up for combat. By consolidating a variety of SaaS solutions and becoming cloud brokers, B2B resellers can more readily tap into this massive $76B market opportunity.
SMBs are Purchasing a Spectrum of SaaS Solutions
According to Blissfully, local spend is relatively even across the following categories, with growing emphasis on sales, engineering, and business ops. Here are some solution examples from these top categories as well as a spend growth analysis:
- Sales examples: Salesforce, Outreach, HubSpot
- Engineering examples: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Zapier
- Business ops examples: G Suite, Slack, Asana
This same study demonstrated some fascinating stats. According to Blissfully, the average SMB is already using 20+ paid SaaS apps, and an additional 30+ free apps. But these businesses aren’t satisfied because this massive list of logins and payment outlets creates a great deal of accounting headache, wastes valuable time, and leads to excessive SaaS expenditure.
Although certain enterprise companies may have the ability to manage a higher degree of accounts, logins, and integrations; local businesses simply don’t have that luxury. They are generally much too busy managing day-to-day operations and serving their customers. They need a single entity that can provide them with the entire spectrum of solutions through one login and one bill at the end of the month. They need a cloud broker.
SMBs Trust Cloud Brokers
SMBs are looking for a partner, so they don’t have to enter the growing sea of SaaS solutions alone and without guidance. According to ISVWorld, there are 71,000 SaaS solutions for these local businesses to choose from.
When a chef decides to open a local restaurant, they don’t do it because they’re an expert in social media marketing, they do it because they have something special to offer consumers in their market. So, when it comes to social media marketing solutions, that local restaurant owner likely isn’t going to know ‘a’ from ‘b’. They need a cloud broker to guide them through the noise.
Local businesses require the guidance that a cloud broker can offer, as well as the simplicity that comes with having a single source of truth. But, time is of the essence if you are a point solution provider. In fact, AppDirect’s Cloud Services Adoption Report suggests that 51% of SMBs are already purchasing SaaS solutions via cloud brokers.
The Challenges in Becoming a Cloud Broker
This probably sounds all fine-and-dandy, but becoming a cloud broker is no small task. To become a full service cloud broker, most B2B organizations need to achieve the following during their transformation:
- Product line expansion
Cloud service brokers need to be able to successfully add additional products to their offering without diluting brand value or sacrificing other offerings in the process.
- Effectively fulfill and deliver more orders
When expanding product lines, cloud brokers will be required to either expand their fulfillment services in-house, or else outsource these duties to a third party.
- Improve billing efficiency
More products, services, and integrations means much more complex billing, and brokers cannot allow turnaround times to suffer in the process.
- Lower sales and marketing costs to compensate for new costs
Operational expenses are likely to climb during this transformation, so it will be critical for brokers to be able to trim costs elsewhere as a means of budgeting the move.
- Redesign go-to-market to accommodate product expansion
With an evolving offering, positioning and go-to-market strategies need to be re-evaluated and redesigned to accommodate the ongoing addition of cloud services in a scalable manner.
- Improve customer retention
The new cloud product and service additions will drive customer retention, but only if service levels are not sacrificed during the transformation.
- And all the while show clear proof-of-performance & ROI
SMB’s churn if they don’t see desirable ROI and proof-of-performance. If not already established, powerful reporting tools will need to be integrated so that these local clients can clearly see the value that you bring them.
That’s a tall order for any organization, now let’s explore some alternatives for making it a reality.
How to Become a Cloud Broker
We have identified the massive opportunity ($76 billion to be exact), we understand the challenges this transformation presents, now let’s look at some strategies for completing the cloud broker transformation.
1. Build-out Cloud Service Offerings
One option for B2B sales organizations that aspire to become cloud service brokers is to build new cloud based solutions in-house to meet growing client needs. This option is better suited to businesses that already have a strong R&D presence such as point solution SaaS providers.
However, some of the challenges in building a solution include:
- Delayed time to market
- Incurred cost (generally millions to billions)
- Required work is outside of core competency
- Long payback period
2. Solicit and Perform Solution Integrations
On the flip side, B2B organizations could grow into cloud brokers by soliciting integrations with other SaaS point solutions to build out their own custom platform offering. This option would be best suited to B2B entities that have little R&D backing and a larger service orientation.
However, some of the challenges in building a solution include:
- No unified client login or centralized reporting
- Vendor clutter / fragmentation / time-consuming requests for proposal
- No white-labelling / Loss of brand recognition
- Long implementation time
3. Adopt a White-Label Cloud Broker Platform
And lastly, B2B organizations could minimize resource requirements by looking to adopt a cloud broker platform. Cloud broker platforms are entire solutions that have already been built to instantly enable B2B organizations.
The clock is ticking, and the longer B2B organizations wait, the faster the market window will close. Alternatives one and two require time, capital, and extensive resources. If companies want to mitigate the bulk of the risk, adopting a cloud broker platform is the best bet. Rather than delaying time to market, B2B’s can simply import their client lists into a full-service platform, slap their branding on the platform, and plug-and-play their existing offerings.
But what about marketing collateral? How do we reposition? How do we upsell our existing clients?
The Vendasta Platform
Ever heard of the B2B2SMB business model? Quite a mouthful, but that’s exactly what Vendasta offers. An end-to-end solution that is built to enable cloud brokers to slash costs and super-serve their clients. Pictures help, so here’s what the business model looks like:
If you want to become a cloud broker, you can think of Vendasta like a cloud brokerage. The cloud broker platform is designed to transform your B2B organization into a cloud broker overnight, giving you the power and confidence that comes with having the solutions to answer all of your clients’ needs.
For example, consider that you’re a marketing agency and deliver three core product and service offerings to your clients: Email, reviews, and social media marketing. Overall, your clients are beyond satisfied with your products and the customer service that you provide. However, more and more clients are approaching you about getting custom domains and buying productivity solutions from you. You applied to become a G Suite reseller and weren’t able to get certified. BUT, there’s another way. By partnering with Vendasta, you can instantly become a certified G Suite reseller, and price and pair best-in-class products like this with other great offerings such as GoDaddy Domains. It’s that simple, you pick the products, you pick the prices, you give your clients single sign-in access, and you can start selling 40+ cloud powered solutions in addition to your core offering that clients already know and love.
Your clients trust you, and that’s why they want to give you more business. If you don’t adopt a greater breadth of solutions, then you’re leaving revenue on the table that another provider is going to swoop in and steal.
The Vendasta Advantage
The secret sauce to Vendasta’s cloud broker platform is the fact that it operates two-fold. It has a completely rebrandable partner center and marketplace for client facing business, and it also has a powerful CRM that enables you to run your business better by automating: sales, marketing, task management, billing, and reporting. Other unique advantages with Vendasta include:
- Data-driven insights. Vendasta leverages the multitude of SMBs already in our system, and the sales reps that use the platform everyday to make real-time changes which give our channel partners access to leading edge insights on how best to meet evolving client needs.
- The Vendasta cloud broker platform was built with the SMB in mind, not retrofitted to work for smaller clients post-development.
- All of the marketing collateral, email campaigns and product messaging you need to bring these new offerings to market is pre-built for you, all you have to do is press “go”.
Cloud Broker Platforms: Competitive Analysis
So you probably get it; Vendasta is the bees knees (and I’m definitely not biased). But there have to be other cloud broker platforms in the market, right? Here is a brief competitive comparison of Vendasta against all of it’s largest direct and tertiary competitors.
Vendasta is not the only solution for B2B companies that are looking to become cloud brokers, but we are confident that we are the best equipped to provide B2B sales organizations with the end-to-end solution they need to transform their trajectory, super-serve their SMB clients, and do it overnight.
- Vendasta is uniquely positioned to fulfill your growing digital service requirements through our digital marketing services team, so that you don’t have to worry about scaling up your workforce to meet the demand increase that comes with the adoption of new solutions.
- Vendasta’s award winning Snapshot Report is the most powerful AI-driven sales tool on the market, allowing cloud brokers to deliver prescriptive needs assessments that drive real conversions.
- With one of the largest channel sales forces in the world, comprised of 28,400 reps, we present a very enticing opportunity for vendors interested in partnering with us to better enable the channel partners and cloud brokers that we serve. If you’re an interested vendor, this are tens of thousands of sales reps that can be out selling your solution without costing you a cent.
- A completely cohesive experience. Unlike other solutions on this table that meet certain needs but would have to be paired with other solutions; the Vendasta platform will delight your clients with a unified and user friendly experience.
- Other competitors have compelling offerings for various needs, but the Vendasta platform is the only alternative that is truly built to fully enable the cloud broker transformation.
The more complex the technological landscape becomes, the simpler the B2B equation becomes: your local clients need a single solution provider. With the power of established cloud broker platforms such as Vendasta, any B2B entity can become this single source of truth by bolstering a marketplace of cloud solutions to meet the every need of your clients.
Seize this opportunity before your clients find a provider that has.