Frank Colletti 2017-06-28 01:08:29
6 Successful SMB Sales Strategies for MSPs Growing your business depends more on your sales practices and operational processes than the technology you sell. Here’s why. YOUR ABILITY TO EXPAND your MSP business doesn’t just hinge on the technology or services you offer. It’s your sales practices, engagement, and operational processes that make or break deals. The relationships you nurture and the results you achieve make them stick. So how can you successfully stand out during the sales process? Here are six sales strategies to help you elevate your game: Find the right customers. A customer who already believes in the value of proactive managed services will be more willing to engage with you than one who sees IT as a cost to be paid when something goes wrong. Proactive customers understand that preventive IT services are essential for decreasing system downtime and increasing employee productivity. These prospects are typically more likely to sign a fixed-fee contract to ensure their IT needs are met on an ongoing basis. As you engage with prospects, find out if they see value in managed IT services. If they push back out of the gate, don’t waste your time. Perfect the way you price. It often takes baby steps to move a customer from reactive to proactive services. One way is to establish an à la carte model in which you sell individual IT services such as anti-virus, backup, and patch management delivered as a managed service over the cloud. This can make it easier for smaller businesses to buy from you. Offering such a menu also gets reactive customers onto your dashboard with a goal of easing them into profitable managed services relationships. Sell to the pain points. One of the top drivers for pitching managed services is replacing aging and failing hardware. Prospects faced with making massive capital investments in new technology are often more receptive to a proposal for a virtual, cloud-based environment that eliminates the need for new servers or other equipment. And, resources-trapped businesses are often looking to free up in-house IT personnel from low-value tasks such as troubleshooting, enabling them to focus on growing the business. Upsell for the win. Experts say acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more costly than retaining an existing client. Look at your installed base and identify your clients’ unique needs and pain points. Speak with them at least quarterly about how you can help them meet their business goals. Discuss the benefits of other relevant services in your portfolio—how they can save money, increase productivity and collaboration, and gain a better guaranteed level of service. And remember, you’re not selling technology or services; you’re selling solutions to their business challenges. Implement automation. In addition to IT service delivery automation, there are advantages to MSP business automation, including stronger profits, reduced costs, streamlined services, and a better customer experience. It also differentiates your business. Your customers sleep better knowing that you have the bases covered across their networks. In fact, your RMM platform should allow you to automatically launch an automation policy when a problem is detected on a client’s network (now that’s a selling point). Automation gives you a way to capture the subject matter expertise and skill sets of your most experienced technicians, and scale that knowledge across your business to better serve your customers. Demonstrate value. Being an indispensable MSP requires establishing a trusted relationship with prospects and clients. During the sales process, skip the email or text message and instead send a personal note, initiate a phone call, or arrange a follow-up meeting. Your responsiveness will speak volumes about the value you can provide. Throughout the sales process, it’s important to remember that your success isn’t just driven by the technology you offer. It rests squarely on your ability to communicate and demonstrate how you can help prospects overcome challenges and be more effective in their businesses. FRANK COLLETTI is vice president of sales at SolarWinds MSP, a provider of IT service management software for the channel, headquartered in Austin, Texas.
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