A quick Google search tells us there are approximately 18 million salespeople in the United States. A similar search reveals that there are approximately 1,500 MSPs across the country. We know from hosting numerous MSP events that, in many of the smaller MSPs, the owners usually wear multiple hats and are often the only salesperson on staff until the budget can support a dedicated salesperson. There are also larger MSPs that employ more than one salesperson. So, for the sake of this blog, let’s say there are approximately 1,500 dedicated MSP salespeople across the country.
Now let’s look at sales training. Is it safe to say that the bulk of Sales Training offered to Sales Professionals is NOT geared toward MSP Sales? I’ll bet you know the answer.
We’ve seen sales professionals come out of many channels who were top performers in their fields. But when they switched over to MSP sales and tried the techniques that had worked for them in the past, they failed. Badly. Naturally, they were confused: how could my tried-and-true sales training fail me? The answer is that they approached selling a specific service without taking the time to learn what they were selling and who they were selling to.
You might be the leading car salesperson at your dealership, or you might have closed the largest sales at your old real estate office, but when you tried to sell managed services, Backup Disaster Recovery devices, or cybersecurity solutions, well, you failed. Yet you’ve had hours and hours of Sales Training at multiple places across the country. Why can’t you sell?
Let’s take a look at the top steps of our MSP-specific Sales Process. I’m sure a few of these steps will surprise you.
I told you you’d be surprised! Yes, the MSP Sales Process starts with Marketing. Unlike selling cars or houses, the people who need managed services (very) rarely walk in your door and ask to buy something. The people you will sell to need to be actively searched for, found, and pursued. Marketing will help separate the cold leads from the warm and hot leads.
Yes, you’re going to have to call those leads. This will be the first interaction with the lead. The challenge you’re up against is that small business owners are barraged with numerous sales calls every day. You’ll need to use techniques like “Curiosity Strategies” through voicemail and email, and your goal is to get that precious first appointment.
Now that you’ve scheduled a meeting with a prospect, it’s time to hit the internet and learn as much about the company he or she works for as you can. How big are they? How many employees? Only one office, or multiple locations? Family-owned, or part of a franchise? Everything you can think of needs to be searched for and answered. You can never be too prepared!
This is where many new MSP salespeople fail. You will not try to close the deal at this appointment. Sure, that’s what you did when you sold shoes and jewelry, but that does not work here. Why you may ask? Because you don’t know what the prospect NEEDS yet. You might think you know what they need, but overcome this urge because it will impede you every time! Your goal at this appointment is to schedule a Discovery. Do that and you’ve done more than many new salespeople.
PERFORM THE DISCOVERY
While your best Tech is analyzing the network, database, and equipment, you’ll be on a fact-finding mission with every employee you can talk to. No one is too insignificant to meet with. In fact, you want to talk to the peripheral employees because they will often know more about the weaknesses of the business than management does. And, while you’re there, go ahead and make an appointment for the Presentation.
(You may find yourself with a chance to Close the Deal while performing the Discovery, but that’s a topic for another time!)
CREATE AND PERFORM THE PRESENTATION
Using all of the information you and your tech uncovered during the discovery, create a presentation that reveals issues that will surprise management. This is your time to shine as a salesperson! In order to get them to sign the deal you want, you have to build a strong case in your favor. If you can’t tell management things they didn’t know then you’ve failed at your discovery.
Remember, for the most part, you’re selling intangibles. Many, if not all, Managed Service sales are lost when the salesperson fails to create the proper amount of NEED for the prospect. It’s your job to create that need, as well as URGENCY because that creates your VALUE in the prospect’s eyes.
PRESENT THE SOLUTION
And now that you’ve succeeded in creating that NEED and URGENCY, the prospect is more than eager to pay for your SOLUTION. Well done!
Now that you can see these steps laid out, you can more clearly see the need for a thorough and complete Sales Process. Miss any of these steps and you probably won’t close the deal.
MSP Sales is a numbers game. It starts with Lead Generation, then those leads are filtered and the good ones sent to you. The amount of “touches” you make to your prospects will be many, so don’t give up! It’s typical that out of one hundred leads you’ll only have two that are warm or hot leads. With numbers like that working against you, it should be clear that it’s important to have a Sales Process!
If you have any questions or issues with Sales Training or Hiring a Salesperson, feel free to reach out to us anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org