Most managed service providers (MSPs) are better technically experts than in business or sales. Many MSPs struggle with the key aspects of running business successfully. While some growth occurs organically through referrals, it is not going to consistently bring in new business, even when great MSP services are delivered.
To witness the expected growth, MSPs should take a practical approach to sales. The key goal of the MSP sales process is to bring new business for the company. For an MSP, sales and marketing is not just about finalizing deals - Since MSPs sell a service, sales and marketing should ascertain winning the right prospects. MSP sales is about identifying prospects who have a set of IT requirements that the MSP can cater to, in due course.
MSP sales funnel is a visual representation of the customer’s journey towards purchasing goods or services. It looks like this:
Awareness > Interest > Decision > Action
The sales funnel begins with making potential customers aware of the MSP’s product or service. The next step is about generating interest in the product or service, followed by the customer showing interest in it. As the last step, the customer takes action by purchasing it.
When it comes to MSPs who are beginning the business, it is important to know what metrics they should be tracking regularly. There is no simple answer to this: Knowing what data to use depends on the client’s preferences. There are many key performance indicators (KPIs) that can influence different teams in the MSP’s business operations. Tracking metrics and KPIs is just the first step towards running a data-driven business.
Manually analyzing data can be tedious, leading to loss of time and productivity. This is where automation helps. Common MSP sales metrics include financial Metrics like cash on hand, months of cash, Accounts receivable, Profit, total number of customers, customer lifetime value, Revenue Vs. end user support, cost per end user, ROI, Gross profit, Net profit, and more.
In the case of MSPs, sales automation means freeing up the sales staff to make sales and onboarding staff to serve more customers. This can be accomplished by building a strong foundation right from the beginning —a system that precisely and steadily automates everything that slows down the business.
MSP sales automation offers insight and operational efficiencies continuously, to manage the Modern IT stack. A comprehensive interface that integrates with other programs helps in documentation, change detection, assessment of best practices, and more. In short, MSP automation helps achieve the following:
- Quickly onboard new customers
- Automated and continuous documentation
- Set proactive alerts for domain expirations, certificate renewals, mismatches configurations
- Security risk assessment
- Assessments of customers and prospects
- Rapid periodic business reviews
Sales incentives and compensation plans motivate sales executives to close more deals. Normally, sales compensation plans consist of a base salary and commission, which is connected to their success in bringing in new clients or refurbishing existing customer contracts.
There are many sales incentive options for selling managed services. There is no one right way to incentivize sales executives. It is better to incentivize the team to perform the tasks they are accountable for. Incentives should be tailored to individual members in the sales team.
Developing an MSP sales process is another essential step needed for sales success. The specifics differ for different businesses, but on the whole, MSP sales process is a repeatable set of steps that sales teams follow to impress potential clients to become customers. The stages of the MSP sales process typically include:
• Lead generation/prospecting
• Initial contact
• Technical presentation