Sales is a lot like a formal dance. In most cases, both parties employ choreographed steps and countermoves, and the process is highly dependent on smooth conversations. Of course, before the biggest dances, negotiations often come into play. Transitioning through the various phases of a sale can be as challenging a process as the steps a high school student goes through asking a prospective date to the senior prom. Both typically involve a fair amount of anxiety and stress, and cheering is common after a successful close.
Whether discussing sales or a dance, the approach is key. The first step in either relationship is to establish a baseline level of interest before beginning to align other points of your value proposition. This is where a proposal or quote comes into play. For an MSP, that process can become a very long dance as prospects discuss a variety of short and long-term requirements and objectives, and providers work to overcome numerous objections. Upselling and working through different service options often extend those timelines, and just when you think decision-makers are ready to sign, other issues tend to pop up.
One of the primary sales goals for MSPs should be to simplify and speed up those activities. Many MSPs are adopting CPQ software to modernize their quoting process and create accurate, personalized, and feature-rich proposals and quotes. A CPQ software automates the entire process of creating well-designed quotes saving a lot of time for your closers (sales reps) to focus on what they do (and should be doing) - building strong and healthy customer and client relationships. Moreover, the quicker your team can conduct an assessment and send out a quote, the faster they can uncover and overcome any objections and, if all goes well, close the deal. Constructing a successful proposal in the least amount of time is crucial.
Although CPQ software can help you create rich quotes in no time, you shouldn’t treat creating quotes as a mere perfunctory measure that never needs to be innovated. In reality, creating an effective template that you can quickly fill in and share with your customers is super important. Even if the prospect asks for adjustments, this step creates a framework for the engagement, so the decision-makers have something to begin their evaluation process.
Some consider a proposal to be the make-or-break point of a potential deal. Sending your prospect a thoroughly developed quote is the “make it real” point in the sales cycle, where you hand them the ball and expect their decision-makers to take some action. That may include asking your team for more details or requesting additional products or services.
Delivering a quote to a sales prospect typically kicks off the most important part of the dance, objections, and negotiations. This is the point of the conversation where your team finds out if they paid close enough attention to the prospect’s wants and needs. On the flip side, they may uncover previously undisclosed issues or requirements that they have to address before the decision-makers will sign off on the contract.
The initial quote should be fairly close to the prospect’s expectations. If the proposal misses key technology or compliance requirements or includes services that fall far outside the previous discussions' scope, the sale may be in jeopardy. Prospects need to know your team is listening and not just wasting their time.
When business owners seek out quotes from multiple suppliers, they may screen out the outliers – the proposals missing the products and services they need and those exceeding their price range. While MSPs may occasionally get a chance to amend their initial bids, you can avoid losing most deals by completing a thorough pre-sales assessment and including proper documentation to support each quote. A little homework and attention to detail will vastly improve your team’s chances of making the first cut.
Most importantly, to avoid any chances of sending quotes with inaccurate information or missing out on key requirements always use a CPQ to edit product quantities, altering services and support levels, and adjusting financials, instead of manually going through a revision process. This is especially important if your business includes a lot of complex products with even more complicated pricing models.
Here's some helpful advice on how you can use a CPQ software to build a modern quoting process.
The work that goes into preparing a quote can be laborious and quite repetitive. MSPs typically rely on a core group of trusted suppliers and address a similar set of technical requirements for most, if not all of their clients, which leaves sales teams entering much of the same information into each new proposal.
Streamlining that process using an automated tool such as a Quote and Proposal Builder can save an IT services firm a lot of time, even when sending out just a few quotes each month. For MSPs with highly productive sales teams, optimization could significantly reduce the workload and greatly speed up the delivery of proposals, reducing close times and increasing company cash flow.
Simplification must be a priority. That starts with a concentrated effort to build and maintain a core portfolio of products and services. Most CPQ software integrates with PSA (Professional service automation), product catalogs, and distributors to give you the most up-to-date information about your products and services. IT Partners must continually review and eliminate duplication and complexities in their procurement process and strengthen relationships with their key vendors. Simplifying your supply chain whenever possible, especially for core offerings, creates greater efficiencies for the sales, implementation, and support teams, and helps boost your MSP’s margins.
After streamlining and enhancing their quoting process, MSPs should invest in quality sales tools and CPQ software. Zomentum’s powerful and flexible CPQ editor can save you and your team a lot of time and frustration and increase your incremental revenue, with a built-in feature that allows prospects to add products and services right in the quote. In effect, they can procure the latest technologies and upsell themselves on other lucrative offerings from the privacy of their office or home.
People tend to buy more when they have time to review their options and reflect on their current and future business needs. Zomentum’s intuitive Sales Acceleration platform streamlines the entire lead-to-close development for your MSP, from a Sales Funnel management and CPQ application to valued integrations with channel distributors and IT services management tools.
How efficient are your sales and marketing processes? Are you ready to use quotes to create meaningful relationships with your clients and dance the night away? Now is the perfect time to modernize your quotes to increase your revenue and margins. Contact Zomentum today, and we’ll show you how to make those objectives a reality.