Three Ways to Really Elevate Your Sales Operation
Customers, like people, don’t like feeling unimportant when it comes to large investments in their company. Three ways to improve your sales operations to be competitive in today’s changing marketplace. MSPs must continue to evolve in order to be competitive in today’s highly competitive and constantly changing marketplace. Not only in their products and services, but also in the way that the entire sales process works… and more specifically how it works for customers.
Alex Farling, cofounder and channel chief at Lifecycle Insights, discussed the top three things MSPs (or any sales team) can do to improve their sales operations and build lasting, meaningful relationships with customers and prospects during a session at ChannelCon 2022.
1. Learn about Consultative Selling
Traditional selling was transactional. One party provided and the other bought. Although this method was effective to a certain extent, it is no longer a driving force behind provider or vendor partnership decisions.
Farling stated, “People buy from people” so it is important to build that relationship, especially for MSPs. “It’s becoming a hypercompetitive space, and we want to go deeper and wider with our customers. It’s only possible with strong relationships.
Today’s customers have different expectations and needs. Companies conduct research online before they contact potential providers and start the discovery process with more education and information than ever before. Your sales team is likely to be focused on closing the sale instead of building relationships.
Farling stated, “Bringing the cash register to the first meet cuts out all opportunities to get to know your customers and find out their needs.” The biggest challenge in today’s sales environment is to move from a business transaction into a business conversation. He said, “Consultation can be a conversation.” “You don’t want your voice to be cut out.”
2. Create a framework for success
Once your sales team adopts the consultative mindset, it is possible to “land and grow” opportunities. It is important for companies to realize that this is not a quick sales process. Building quality relationships takes time. To help manage the long-tail process, you can create a framework that gives insight into prospects’ pain points and helps you to determine what business value you could add.
Farling identifies three main steps to take, despite the fact that there are many options.
Identify your specialty: Identify the key factors that make you stand out as a provider.
You need to identify your niche in order to be able to help the right people and not just marginally qualified. Customers are willing to pay for market knowledge and experience that is proven.
You can create a customer profile to help you as an MSP know who you want. Consultative thinking allows you to focus on customers you can grow with and create impactful strategies.
Differentiate yourself from your competitors. It’s a competitive market and it is only getting more so. Prospects will decide who they want to give their time, energy and business to. This is because of the value you can offer, and this goes beyond one-time transactions.
Define roles and responsibilities. While the CEO/CFO/CTO may be the one who pulls the trigger, it’s equally important that everyone involved is on the same page. Establish clear expectations, define roles, and set a realistic timeline for delivery. Don’t forget about the other departments.
Farling stated that allying sales, marketing, account management and customer service allows prospective customers to feel the same way. It shows that your relationship is one cohesive thing.
You need to create a communication strategy. Because the sales and implementation process is a conversation you want to make sure your communication is clear and concise. This includes how you speak and how long each section of the process takes, from initial discovery calls to implementation to training to ticket responses. Respecting others’ time is a key factor in building and maintaining customer loyalty and trust. Neglecting to respect this can lead to irreparable damage.
3. Develop effective habits
Building long-term and meaningful relationships takes effort and time. Cold-calling prospects, eblasting large customer lists and only reaching out when a new prospect becomes available were the old ways of thinking.