If your MSP is relying on word-of-mouth referrals or individual methods to bring in sales, it’s probably time to put a formal sales process in place.
A sales process is a documented, shared procedure that can be measured, analyzed, and replicated. It gives your sales team a framework to work within that also aligns with your company mission.
How do you implement a sales process, and how do you know if it’s effective? Here are some tips to get started:
What a Sales Process Doesn’t Do
First, let’s clear up a couple misconceptions about the sales process.
Don’t confuse a successful sales process with a successful salesperson. No matter how excellent your sales team might be, remember that people leave. Without a company sales process, you’ll lose your team’s current methods to turnover.
A sales process also doesn’t rely too heavily on word-of-mouth referrals. Yes, referral customers are a crucial part of MSP sales, and they come into the pipeline mostly ready to buy. Sometimes, MSPs lean too much on these sales, without a process to manage them.
Now, let’s look at what a sales process should look like.
What Should a Sales Process Include?
Your sales process should be well-documented and transparent, so anyone conducting sales knows the preferred methodology for your company.
One simple way to do this is to create basic, branded sales materials. That would include collateral like presentations, data sheets, company information and pricing structures. The key with these materials is to make sure they are updated frequently, and reflect your current company structure and methodology.
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Beyond the physical materials, there should be a framework for how a sale is conducted. Here are some examples of what that might look like:
Ideal Buyer Personas: Who is your ideal customer? What are their needs and pain points? What problem will you help them solve? Starting here ensures your team will know who to sell to.
Research: Your salesperson might need to learn about a variety of industry requirements before they sell to a potential customer. What works for someone with an online shop might be different for someone in health care, for example. Make sure your team is well versed in a potential customer’s industry before selling to them.
Education: Your customers might not have a strong understanding of what you do and why they need you. Your sales team should take the role of educators, demystifying the jargon and requirements of your customers’ industries.
Demonstrate: This might seem obvious, but make sure your potential customer can see what your products or services actually do. Show what the day-to-day would look like, how you track security, how you deal with potential problems, and what your customers can expect from you.
Referrals: Referrals can be some of your best customers, but there should still be a process for navigating these potential sales. When you onboard a new client, try building a referral request into your process. This could be as simple as sending out a follow up email with simple instructions for sending a referral. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but forgetting to ask could cost you qualified new customers.
Starting Your MSP Sales Process
Ultimately, having a process in place that is specific to your company will give your sales team a strong starting point, and ensure continuity as your company grows (or faces unforeseen challenges). If you need help putting a sales process in place or you feel there are gaps in your sales operations, we should talk.