Are you bringing in more contracts than your MSP can handle right now? If so, you don’t need to read any further.
But if you’re looking for ways to grow your MSP in 2020, you should probably start by taking a fresh look at your sales process.
What Is A Sales Process?
Your sales process encompasses all of the steps a consumer goes through to become your client. (Think of it as your MSP’s role in “the Buyer’s Journey”).
Like any process, mapping this out is the key to smooth operations and scaling. MSPs that don’t define and follow a sales process usually have a hard time scaling past $2-3M.
Why Is Mapping Your Sales Process Important?
Processes are a sign of operational maturity and a requirement for success in the modern IT channel — but why?
First and foremost, clearly-defined processes can be tested, tweaked, and repeated. An MSP could afford to fly by the seat of their pants a few years ago, but not anymore. Competition is tough, consumers are smart, and the provider who can demonstrate their competence will prevail.
MSPs that survive over the next five years will have dedicated sales forces. When you map out your sales process, you’re able to optimize your labor costs and effectively delegate tasks. You simply cannot scale without processes.
And finally, a sales process allows the CEO to stop chasing leads. MSPs with no dedicated salesperson or sales team are already finding themselves at a huge disadvantage. It’s only going to get worse for them as the Channel continues to evolve.
How Did Our Sales Process Evolve?
Let me illustrate the importance of a sales process by using Your Sales Energy as an example. We started out like many small businesses, focused almost entirely on what we do and not as concerned with our own internal processes. In other words, we had processes for how we help clients, but we lacked processes for things like sales.
This made it very difficult for us to scale up as demand increased. Earning new contracts took a lot of time from the leadership team, so our ability to find and close deals decreased with each new client. At one point, we had to stop selling altogether. And because we do this stuff for a living, we knew stagnation was eventually going to kill our business.
If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
We needed to take our own medicine and clarify our internal processes. The sales process was the most important to the future of the business, so we tackled that one first.
Thankfully, we’d already developed sales organizations for numerous MSPs, so the challenge wasn’t insurmountable. It was largely a matter of taking pages from our own playbook and executing them within our company. That meant bringing on dedicated salespeople, embracing a sales enablement culture, creating systems and workflows, and other fundamentals.
Doing all of this was a shot in the arm for our business, naturally. We were able to bring on more clients and more accurately set expectations. We each had more time to do what we’re good at — helping our clients — rather than worrying about selling ourselves over and over again every day. That time freed us up to develop new systems and applications for providing our marketing and sales services, which in turn gave us new revenue streams.
Growth begets growth!
Now compare this story to a typical MSP — perhaps your MSP. Most started off the same way with the CEO wearing multiple hats and no sales team. I would say four out of five MSPs we’ve spoken with don’t have a clearly-defined sales process. And it’s no surprise that the ones who are struggling are lacking in processes. Most of them are losing clients faster than they can get new ones because they’re being beaten out by MSPs with better sales processes.
That’s usually all there is to it. There’s no great mystery behind why some MSPs are kicking ass and some are falling apart.
The math is simple:
- A good salesperson with 100% of their focus on generating new business will outperform a CEO or engineer trying to do the same part-time.
- A salesperson who is backed by quality sales tools and processes can meet their fullest potential.
- Processes allow for the easy addition of more salespeople as the business scales up — and processes ensure that each new salesperson is productive right away.
- This exponential growth nets increasing market share.
- Small fish are eaten by the bigger, process-driven fish (which fish do you feel like right now?)
How Do You Map Your Sales Process?
There’s a simple way to get started: reverse-engineer your last few deals to establish some baseline data.
How many touches did it take to close the deal? Who sent the emails or made the calls? What supporting documentation (slideshows, slicks, etc.) was used and when?
Now it’s simply a matter of organizing those touchpoints and responsibilities along a timeline. Group them into steps in a process and identify key conversion points.
An MSP’s sales process often looks like this:
- Outbound marketing and/or aggressive direct sales (often through networking events, cold-calling, and referrals)
- Discovery call and network assessment
- Proposal and closing the deal
- Long-term client management
- Upselling (hopefully!)
Improvement begins with understanding where you are, so mapping out a rough draft is a great start. From there, you can begin optimizing your sales process and create your finely-tuned sales engine.
Need expert input? Our team is here to help.
We’ve worked with dozens of MSPs and channel vendors helping them strategize their growth and optimize their sales processes. Developing these processes and assembling an awesome MSP sales team are part of our intensive onboarding workshop.
I promise if you have $5K set aside for improving your sales and marketing, there is no better way to spend it. We guarantee it. Contact us to learn more!