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A Few Simple Sales Strategies Can Help MSPs Beat Out Competitors

May 04, 2015
By Laura Stotler - Telemarketing Software Contributing Editor

Managed service providers (MSPs) have carved out a sizeable niche for themselves in the communications and IT worlds. The migration to cloud computing has only boosted their value, but nothing replaces a good sales strategy when it comes to differentiating your brand from the competition. And there are a number of sales strategies that work exceptionally well for the MSP business model.

It should be a no-brainer in any industry, but knowing your customer and their needs is essential to selling managed services. When it comes to technology services, customers are becoming more and more savvy and have very specific ideas about the types of solutions they are looking for. A good sale will involve taking the time to listen to customers and prospects and understanding their needs so you can help them grow their businesses.

Along those same lines, MSPs should be selling the services their customer needs at any given time. Your customers’ needs are inevitably going to change as their businesses fluctuate and grow, and you need to be sure you are giving them the right types of services so they will stay happy. A happy customer means recurring revenue for your business, and happy customers also go a long way toward attracting new business. Understanding the industries and businesses you’re marketing your services to and staying informed and educated goes a long way toward keeping recurring and prospective customers happy.

The sales funnel is an interesting phenomenon for any type of business, and it certainly works well in the MSP space. The sales funnel consists of lead generation – whether from referrals, ads, cold calls, marketing efforts or partnerships – with the end goal of generating sales. The funnel theory ensures you mix up your efforts and try different lead generation approaches. This means you are able to reach a broader and more varied audience and that you keep your efforts fresh with the end goal of bringing in new business.

Setting measurable goals is a good business practice in general, and applies especially well to the sales process. By breaking down sales efforts into realistic and achievable goals for the short- and long-term, your team can operate more efficiently while benefiting from incremental success. This will ultimately boost productivity along with the quality of your team’s sales efforts.

Finally, MSPs specialize in technology and managing IT and communications tasks that may be too complex or cumbersome for their customers. Automating IT functions should be standard protocol for service providers and should be a regular business process. Everything from software updates to application deployments can and should be automated to free up staff to focus on core business initiatives, like boosting sales.