It can really cost your MSP company if you lose clients that have been poached by former sales staff. It takes a lot of investment to win that business. Fortunately, a little further investment, much of it before you even lose a salesperson, can help protect you from the theft of your clients. Here are seven ways to secure your client base:
1. Hire Salespeople with Integrity
You can do yourself a huge favor by striving to employ salespeople with solid personal and professional integrity. If you endeavor to employ people with integrity, the risk that they’ll steal clients when they leave is reduced. So, it starts by making sure you do not employ people of questionable morals and integrity.
Ensure that you don’t tolerate underhanded tactics among your own sales staff. It would be impossible to completely ensure that the salespeople you hire are totally honest. You simply cannot know in advance. However, you can insist that your sales and marketing tactics are always 100 percent professional and honest. By not tolerating anything but the utmost integrity from your sales team, you further reduce the risk of being in the position where a salesperson leaves, taking clients with them.
2. Keep Salespeople Happy
If you don’t lose salespeople, the risk of them poaching clients never arises. Therefore, keep your salespeople happy at work. Ensure that they are rewarded properly for achieving targets. When a salesperson is struggling, find ways to support them. If you can help a salesperson overcome a bad patch or, even better, grow into a sales superstar, they are much more likely to continue working for your MSP company. They’ll help you win clients rather than look for better pastures with plans to take clients with them.
3. Create Appropriate Contracts
You hope it never comes to this, but the reality is that contracts are a fact of business life. Don’t look upon them as onerous threats of potential legal action. See contracts as ensuring total clarity between all parties who are part of them. Make sure that appropriate, relevant legal wording is in place and that it isn’t too generic. Seek legal advice and ensure that the contract language is both relevant and realistic.
4. Include a Garden Leave Provision
A great way to diminish the risk of losing clients when a salesperson leaves is a garden leave provision. This essentially enforces a period during which the departing employee doesn’t attend work at your company but at the same time isn’t allowed to contact clients and employees or work for another employer. Hopefully, as the garden leave elapses, crucial business information will age, making it harder for the former salesperson to steal your clients.
5. Marketing Automation Tools
You want salespeople to focus on the hard part— finding and winning sales. A lot of salespeople are amazingly skilled when it comes to selling, but they’re pretty weak in other areas, such as paperwork, administration, and communication. You can help your salespeople by employing marketing automation tools to handle all this ‘drudgery.’ It leaves the salesperson free to concentrate on selling while ensuring that crucial follow-up functions are fulfilled. It also means that if a salesperson leaves, their accounts can easily be handled by other team members; there’s no gap in sales flow or support and the clients are still being contacted by your team.
6. CRM/Sales Support
Not everything can be handled automatically by computerized systems. That’s why you need sales support staff. Make sure your sales team is structured properly, which gives salespeople more time to focus on sales. It also ensures that CRM system inputs are being completed. The data is in the system where your business can control it.
7. Systems Security
By ensuring that your sales and support systems are properly automated and integrated, you can maintain control over functions and business information. Systems security can be automated and assured. When a salesperson leaves, the system continues to run smoothly, and the departing team member’s access can be removed. Your MSP company enjoys smooth sales operations, and the risk of losing clients is minimized.