What’s an MSP to Do?
Mark Twain used this quote in his lectures: “Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Many MSPs act the same way about sales.
Some MSPs have grown and flourished, not because their sales organization was effective, but because their company was technically competent and developed strong customer relationships. Unfortunately, without a strong sales and marketing engine, even those MSPs will be doomed to stagnant sales or, at best, mediocre growth.
Many MSPs focus on technology and engineering issues, ignore the sales process, and hope for the best. They don’t understand how much training, work, and effort it takes to be successful in sales. As famed coach Lou Holtz claims his high school football coach said to him: “Son, it’s not that you don’t have a clue, it’s that you don’t suspect there is a clue.”
To get a “clue” and increase your sales effectiveness, the CSO Insights report recommends focusing on four areas:
- Talent: Place a higher priority on recruiting sales talent. Only 16 percent of sales leaders surveyed feel they have the sales talent needed to be successful.
- Sales structure: Reduce “generalists” and focus on vertical markets and application expertise.
- Sales and marketing alignment: Better integrate the goals and activities of these departments.
- Sales process: Pay more attention to a standard, customer-centric sales methodology.
These recommendations make good sense and provide a great basic roadmap of where to direct your attention to grow your revenue.
MIKE SCHMIDTMANN heads up Trans4mers, a peer group for sales vice presidents and sales managers in the IT industry. He works with solution providers across the United States on sales recruiting, new business development, and profit growth.