Five Best Practices to Succeed in Selling Managed Services
Author: Mike Sardelli
If you’re not selling, you're not growing. If you’re not growing, you’re headed for extinction. In managed services, a tried-and-true way to avoid the business list of endangered species is to define and refine a sales process that matches your skill sand expertise, addresses customer pain points and needs, and relies on repeatable processes and practices.Successful MSPs thrive on consistency and predictability. When these attributes define your sales process, you increase the likelihood of closing the deal every time. Here are five best practices that successful MSPs employ to achieve a high
Define Your Target
MSPs can be successful as generalists, but typically you are better off zeroing in on specific verticals or customer types. Whether you define your market by industry – healthcare, retail, manufacturing, government – or size – SMB,enterprise or somewhere in between – you need clarity of purpose. Different verticals have different requirements, and the infrastructure to support a large corporation isn't the same as that required by a small businesses. Make sure you have, or acquire, the skills and experience to address your target market, and develop a sales plan accordingly.
Connect with the Target
Once you define your target market, research it thoroughly to learn and understand its needs, challenges and dynamics. When the customer lets you in the door, you should be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the market. Each customer has specific needs and pain points, and when you tie them to your market proficiency, you start building trust with the client from day one.
It's important to have a message for customers, but don’t forget to listen. Your message and services should be flexible enough to let you match your offering to the client’s day-to-day challenges and long-term business goals. Focus on value,and explain how the reliability and scalability of the proactive managed services approach trumps traditional IT models by minimizing downtime and boosting productivity.
Deploy the Right Tools
Your sales efforts are for naught if once you sign up the customer, the technology doesn't deliver. So take extra care that the platforms and systems you rely on to deliver your services perform as expected, and that your staff has the right skills to run the tools and react appropriately when something goes wrong. If the tools don’t work, your customer will want to replace you in a hurry.
Refine your Pricing
Managed services pricing requires a fine balance between making the cost attractive to the customer without destroying profit margins. This could mean walking away from unprofitable customers to focus on those who understand the value you deliver. Establish a profit baseline you won’t go below to protect your margins. And be sure to apply any lessons learned regarding price to future deals to avoid repeating mistakes that erode profits.If you follow these proven best practices, you’re on your way to managed services sales success. Find out more about best practices at http://www.mspalliance.com/membership/msi/.