MSP sales are fundamental to your MSP’s success. Certainly, it’s possible to stumble into success through client referrals and happenstance. But you can’t rely on this as an MSP. There are certainly startups that do. They know somebody who needs something and is aware of the skill supporting their burgeoning business. So, they hire the startup and that business has a steady client for many years. A few collateral satellite clients arise consequently, and for five or six years, there really isn’t a need for a sales team. But then that first client implodes through a political backlash nobody saw coming, and the vendors with whom they associated— and who were your satellite clients— fall away one by one. If you don’t have some sales experience, at this point, you’re just going to tread water until you realize your business is over. If you do have sales experience, you’ll have already expanded your clientele, and this will just be a general operational circumstance— nothing to worry about.
Sales are fundamental for your MSP’s sustenance, growth, security, visibility, and public relations. Your salespeople will, by dint of their very outreach, act as marketing antennae; transmitting a forward signal pertaining to your MSP’s existence. You’ve got to have good salespeople. If you’ve got anyone remotely gregarious, getting them involved in sales makes sense. It’s a skill that can be learned. Certainly, there are some with more aptitude than others; but anyone who is willing to fail and pick themselves up to try it again can sell. Strengths they’ll develop include:
- Facilitation of negotiation skills
- Effectively closing the deal
Facilitation of Negotiation Skills
Your MSP sales division will certainly encounter tough customers who want to work with you, but don’t want to “leave money on the table,” as the saying goes. Just as your prerogative is to sign up customers for as much as is professionally feasible, it’s their prerogative to get as much service and products as they can for as little expense as possible. You want a sales team that negotiates. Hire salespeople if you don’t have them. As the owner of your operation, you should have some of these skills yourself! If you don’t, find training opportunities to give you direction.
Effectively Closing the Deal
Selling helps you bring a pitch to an effective close. This is very important for you to learn as a manager of your business. You want salespeople who have a solid history of successfully converting prospects. With selling, making a living requires repeated failure that’s overcome by an iron will. Effective closing is difficult, but by the time a salesperson has gotten to this point, the rest has been so dramatic that to some degree this portion of interaction becomes especially honed. If you haven’t ever closed a sale, you’ve got to do it sometime. If you know how, teach your team.
The more you sell, the stronger you get. Consider some numbers. If you make five sales out of 100 pitches, you had 95 failures. To get those five sales, you had to fight for it. This builds metaphysical selling muscle. Better salesmen have failed more, and so succeed greater.
If you’re going to succeed through failure, it requires a disciplined approach. This takes time and effort to achieve. Set an example as the leader of your business. Selling naturally facilitates discipline but getting the ball rolling can take time.
Someone who makes sales is confident in what they do. This translates subconsciously to future pitches, increasing the likelihood of further sales. It’s a self-perpetuating upward spiral. Success in sales breeds confidence, which in turn produces more sales. Getting your team optimized for sales will make them more appropriately confident, and that translates well to potential customers.
Equipping Your Sales Team
Your MSP sales division is very important to your MSP. Fill it with the best among your ranks and acquire good salespeople if you don’t have any to help lead… or lead yourself. Just ensure you’ve got a strong sales team. This can be the key to sustainable forward profitability.