Once you’ve established which managed services programs you’re providing, you need to ensure you and your team are actually ready to SELL them successfully. In her MSP Institute Business webinar, Stefanie Hammond, sr. channel sales specialist at SolarWinds MSP, provides a checklist of items and activities that you, as a business owner, need to review to ensure you’re ready to go to market.
Before starting to plan any sales and marketing campaigns, one key decision that needs to be made is which member or members of your team are going to be responsible for owning and managing the sales and marketing efforts and driving your managed services revenue.
There are going to be marketing activities necessary to help drive leads into the sales funnel. Most MSPs will not have the luxury of a dedicated marketing department that can build out their marketing plan and produce their collateral for them, so contracting outside marketing firms to assist with producing everything from flysheets, brochures, and PowerPoint presentations to direct mail, an updated website, and sales proposals, you still need to assign someone to develop the broader plan and vital marketing pieces to help support the sales personnel. Looking internally, who can you assign the marketing activities to? Do you have dedicated managed services sales personnel, or an individual you can repurpose into the role?
On the sales front, who will comprise your managed services sales team—i.e., who will be responsible for the sales activities? Again, this is tough, as many MSPs do not have the luxury of dedicated managed services sales representatives. But a plan needs to be made as to who is going to be tasked with finding potential managed clients and helping to drive them through the sales process. If you want to have success in this industry, having this focus is going to be key.
We’re not really advocating going out and hiring a dedicated managed services sales rep right away, as this can be costly, especially for one that has been in the industry for a while. So, what other options have we seen work? The business owner for many of our most successful MSP partners is often intimately involved in the sales process; and in many cases, it is the business owner that is accountable for the initial appointment and the proposal delivery and closing calls.
There is a great deal of power in the business owner being the managed services sales person.
In many instances, it would be business owner speaking to business owner, and there is a lot of credibility there. If you haven’t considered assigning the sales role to yourself as of yet, it might be something to think about.
Remember—whatever happens—for this to be successful, everyone in the company needs to be involved, everyone needs to have the vision, and this has to be delivered from the top, down or it will more than likely fall by the wayside.
Lastly, you want to ensure you have a proper CRM or PSA tool in place that everyone has access to, and ensure everyone utilizes and commits to keeping up-to-date with new client and prospect information that flows in from the various Sales and Marketing activities taking place.
Your team can strategically track which marketing and sales efforts are working or not working, allowing you to evaluate overall campaign success.
A number of other questions you need to look at include:
For more in-depth advice and guidance on preparing to go to market, watch the webinar below. To find out more about the MSP Institute, click here