IT service providers are in high demand. This can be either a good or a bad thing for your MSP depending on how you approach prospects. Prospects have more options than any time before, but how do you make sure they choose your MSP? Are you making the most out of every prospect? In this article, we will go over some of the key things to know when doing sales in the IT Industry.
1.Remember that you are providing a service
This is the first thing to remember when doing sales in the IT Industry. The role of a Salesperson can be thought of more as a “Customer Relations Person”. If you are going in with the attitude of just wanting to close sales, it will come across to a prospect. Make sure it is clear to the prospect that you are there to provide a service, to make life easier, not to close sales. Again, they don’t have to choose you, but they are likely to choose someone who they feel really cares about their best interest.
2.Choose/know your audience
When going into any situation, we want to know what we are getting into first. When reaching out to prospects, it helps to narrow down the type of audience you will be dealing with. For example, you could specialize in providing IT services for dental offices. You would then find out as much as you can about your audience and figure out how you can provide solutions for them. Visit their website and find out what they are all about. A prospect always appreciates when you did your homework on them.
3.Identify your goals
Success cannot be measured without setting goals. Setting quotas and goals should not be an option, it should be a required part of your sales process. At first, when setting new goals and quotas, especially when never done before or when reaching out to a new target audience, it will be more of an evaluation phase. How many prospects need to be reached out to this month to turn them into leads? How many leads do I need to generate this month to get a meeting? How many meetings does it take to close a deal? Once you know these numbers, which are referred to as your conversion rates, you can build upon them and keep improving your conversion rates.
4.Listen more, talk less
When you are talking to a prospect, you want to gather as much information about them as possible. This does not mean to ask a million questions, but ask the right questions. Ask with clear intent and let the customer tell you the laundry list of problems they are having. Once you have identified their pain points, you can then offer your solution.
You are likely to be working closely with a companies’ employees and you will definitely be handling sensitive equipment that they rely on. Therefore, if a prospect is to consider signing up for your services, the prospect will want to feel not only that they can trust that you will get the job done, but that you will treat them and their employees right. Instead of having the mindset of just being a service provider that is there to only make technology work right, add an extra value by building a relationship with not only the decision makers, but everyone you come in contact with in the company.
If you call a target account hoping to get in touch with a decision-maker, but the only person to talk is the receptionist, make the most out of that. The receptionist is likely to know the schedule and best time to reach the decision-maker and not only that, but every employee within a company can be an advocate for your MSP. An employee advocating for your company to a decision-maker can build trust. We all know how valuable referrals can be. Figure out a way to get as many people at your target account advocating and referring your company. Word gets around quick. It is bound to make it to the decision-maker.
6.Use your time wisely
There are many channels you can use to reach out to prospects and to sell your services, but not every channel is the right one for your company and some are more efficient than others. If you are still knocking door to door to get business, you may be falling behind. Knocking door to door can be very time consuming, same with cold calling.
If you are on the sales side, you are heavily relying on your marketing team to produce valuable leads to reach out to. If you are an MSP building both your sales and marketing processes, it is essential to start a solid marketing foundation that can support your sales process. The main point is to make sure that every channel you use for reaching out to prospects and nurturing leads gets you a maximum return on your efforts.
7.Differentiate between hot and cold sales leads
Having persistence is key and will get you far, but sometimes you have to know when to call it quits. Not every customer is right for you, and you are not right for every customer. This is why it is important to know your target audience, know as much as possible before reaching out. Use online tools such as HoneyCRM to automatically track actions that prospects take when you reach out to them, such as clicking a link, or even opening an email. This goes back to using the right channels. For example, do you want to be spending time calling someone that has never even opened an email from you? Or, do you want to call the person that has opened all the emails you sent them and clicked on the links that were included in those emails, or maybe someone that submitted a form on your website? Use all the tools there are to make your job easier and “sift the needles from the haystack”.
People are indecisive. Sometimes they may just not be ready for your services. This does not mean scratch them off and delete them from your contacts list. It could take 1 week to close a deal or it could take 2 months. This does not make you a good or bad salesperson. It just means that sometimes people are not ready to buy, but they could be ready at another time. Unless they told you to never talk to them again, keep a list of prospects that you think may have potential in the future. Most importantly just keep at it, because sales is ultimately a numbers game. Having patience, a good attitude, and persistence will get you far.