As anyone who knows how to win sales, the only thing that really matters is actually getting on with the sales pitch. If you’re not actually engaged in the direct process of pitching a sale, you’re not actually selling. Also, if you’re not actually selling, you’re not actually making money for your MSP company or at least giving it a chance of making money.
Any time or effort spent on activities that are not involved in the process of delivering a pitch is not actually making you money. Obviously, there are certain activities that are required in order to sell. Generating leads, identifying prospects, creating the various materials used to cultivate prospects and/or present the pitch, accounting, forecasting, recruitment, training — all of them are required to support the actual pitch process itself.
Fortunately, there is a fantastic new tool that can take over some or all of these supporting processes and even refine and develop some of those processes to make them even more powerful. That tool is known as artificial intelligence (AI).
Don’t Be Afraid of a Little Old AI
AI has been given a bit of a bad reputation. In Hollywood, in those colorful celluloid fantasies, AI runs rampant, dominating and perhaps even destroying mankind. However, that is not the kind of AI we’re talking about.
What we’re simply talking about is computer systems, primarily software, that can perform some of the tasks that would normally require humans. The real benefit comes from the fact that computers can get through far larger sets of data and computer records than humans at a faster pace and with more accuracy. In one particular area of AI, known as machine learning, software is given an ability to ‘learn’ from its experience. That learning can be used to help provide even greater levels of sophistication and depth to some of these tasks.
What does that mean for your MSP company sales? Well, it means you can get on with just delivering your pitches, safe in the knowledge that AI is performing much of the administrative drudgery you used to do. AI will also be helping you deliver better pitches to better prospects.
So, what exact areas benefit?
- Administration – AI can help reduce your workload in areas such as logging calls, filtering and responding to emails, and cultivating new contacts. By deploying a CRM (customer relationship management) system effectively, a lot of the old communications administration can be handled automatically and in a way that prioritizes your work, leaving you free to focus on high-quality pitches.
- Identify/shape winning deals – Much of work in sales involves identifying worthwhile prospects, shaping the deal and producing the best presentation. AI helps to avoid wasting time and energy on deals that never really existed in the first place. It can also forecast the right solutions and pricing.
- Sales forecasting – As you move up through the ranks in sales, you’ll spend more time forecasting sales. AI can handle much of this work. AI can reduce both the time you have to spend on forecasting and the risk of forecasts falling too wide of the mark.
Assessing and analyzing sales history – One of the most powerful tools in your sales arsenal is a full understanding of your sales history and how that can be used to help shape your future sales. AI can help assess the history of your deals and analyze them, identifying trends, patterns and even fresh opportunities that would be difficult or even impossible to do yourself. AI can look at your past communications and work calendar to keep on top of new sales opportunities.
Competition is only going to get stiffer. The task of building sales in your MSP company doesn’t get any easier. As your experience and skills improve, the market becomes more challenging. With AI, however, you have a powerful new class of tools that can really help you cut through the admin tasks and focus on delivering high-quality pitches to high-quality prospects.