As a managed service provider (MSP), you can’t afford to subsist on the old tropes which defined successful selling in the world of yesteryear. Today’s market has shifted drastically, and attaining the most successful return on investment (ROI) on your MSP business’ outbound campaigns requires recognizing that shift. Once you’ve seen where you need to change, you’ve got to determine how to make that change— that’s the hard part. Following are several features of the new selling environment that can help you map out your forward sales policy configuration:
- Consumer experience as a key performance indicator
- Rethinking how your best-selling teams operate
- Arming your sales teams with proper tech
Consumer Experience as a KPI
Your MSP business needs to carefully consider how it interacts with customers. One of the most important KPIs of successful companies today, in terms of sales, is consumer experience. MSPs are notorious for having socially awkward engineering personnel, and that’s probably never going to change. And while these individuals may bumble into a sale every now and again, MSPs will do a lot better using personable salespeople who look at client relationships as something more than strictly business, and give clients the same feeling— that takes talent.
You’re not going to find a lot of salespeople who can code, and you’re not going to find a lot of coders who can sell. If you get such a crossover, pay the individual well and invest in retaining them.
If you’ve made it a multitasking practice for engineers and other support personnel to sell as well, you’re likely leaving money on the table through negative consumer experience. The top 20% of sales teams among over 3,000 surveyed companies emphasized increasing, personalizing, and solidifying the experience of the consumer one way or another. It turns out that such teams are 2.8x more likely to do this if they’re successful.
Rethinking How Your Best-Selling Teams Operate
Tech teams and sales teams are often made up of individuals whose skills don’t “cross the divide” well. Oftentimes this leads to a compartmentalization of departments. But when sales, customer service, and your tech team can’t work together on solutions, clients have bad experiences with your company. That results in sales losses, profit diminishment, and bad online reviews.
A wise strategy in the current market is to communicate between departments. You want a sales team who can get answers directly from their tech team, and can check in on a project on behalf of a client. This can help salespeople sell clients realistic expectations. Most employees working on the hands-on side of tech have experienced a customer going “ballistic” because a salesperson who misunderstood some minor aspect of operations told them the wrong information. That can result in losses, too. Sometimes, even though the customer is improperly informed, your department has to remunerate the losses which come from false expectations or risk permanently losing that customer. Communication reduces such friction, and opening lines of contact between sales and tech concordantly makes sense.
Arming Your Sales Team with Proper Tech
Again, salespeople aren’t tech professionals. Give them something that’s easy to interface with and doesn’t require them to hold their mouth just right for a sale to go through the system. They should have access to selling resources, and they should be using a program that isn’t antiquated. Even big companies suffer from slow programs that lag on internal networks. Use your tech team to properly diagnose such issues and better enable sellers to succeed by giving them simple tools they can use.
A Well-Oiled Sales Machine
An MSP business likely to see profit margins increase is one who properly arms their salespeople in terms of technology, designs a communicative strategy which crosses departmental boundaries for maximum effectiveness, and focuses on KPIs like consumer experience as a means of determining selling acumen. If you haven’t rethought your sales strategy, modernity demands that you do.