MSP Sales Habit #1:
Persistence and Closing Skills
We’re going to cut right to the chase and hit you with some hard facts:
80% of sales require five follow-up calls after the meeting. 44% of sales reps give up after one follow-up. (SiriusDecisions, Inc.)
It takes an average of 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer. (Topo)
About 47% of top performers ask for referrals consistently, versus only 26% of non-top performers. 84% of buyers kick off their buying process with a referral. (HubSpot/Mark Wayshak)
Long story short:
A large percentage of salespeople struggle with the ask. Even more fail to follow up enough to get the sale.
Without a doubt, persistence pays off. It typically takes eight touches before the salesperson books the first meeting. Those that are giving up after one or two calls or emails are leaving opportunities behind.
Selling — especially in a B2B environment — is more than pushing a pen into the prospect’s hand so they can sign the contract. Look at it more as guiding prospects through a series of small commitments that are (hopefully) mapped out in your sales process.
One leads to another with an almost organic flow. When the prospect reaches the final step — signing the paperwork — it should feel anything but forced.
Because the selling process requires a handful of “asks”, it’s important that a sales professional know a variety of closing techniques. Some work better than others depending on the commitment, the prospect, and the offering.
To learn more about closing techniques, create a free account at MSPhD.co, a new online learning platform for MSPs. Once you’ve got your login, you can access several courses for free, including a helpful course on closing techniques.
There's Such a Thing as Being Too Pushy
While closing will always be important in sales, you don’t want to risk being too aggressive too early. Research shows that B2B buyers are looking for information that is useful, relevant, and not overly “salesy.”
This represents an evolution in B2B sales. An evolution that puts one factor front and center: Trust.
A research team at LinkedIn recently surveyed more than 1,000 B2B decision-makers and sales professionals to understand what matters on both sides of the buyer/seller relationship. Trust came out on top on both sides.
For buyers, trust is hands down the most influential factor when closing a deal, ranking higher in importance than cost considerations like price or potential ROI.
That being said, there are three skills that MSP sales professionals should be honing alongside closing:
1. Learn about the buyer and their business.
These days, buyers expect personalized, relevant messages. The LinkedIn study found that 77 percent of buyers wouldn’t engage with a salesperson who didn’t do their homework or know about their business.
Of the top sellers surveyed, 94 percent use social networks to gain insights into prospects’ trigger points, like job changes, promotions, and new mentions, and personalize their outreach accordingly.
2. Find common ground.
Strategic network building is a new standard.
A mutual connection significantly builds trust: our research shows that buyers are five times more likely to engage with a sales professional if the contact is made through a shared connection. Eighty-seven percent of B2B buyers have a better impression of sales professionals who are introduced through someone in their professional network.
Buyers are also more likely to trust a sales professional with whom they share an interest, skill, or industry group. On LinkedIn, sales professionals see a 46 percent lift in message acceptance rates when they have one of these things in common with the prospect.
3. Demonstrate expertise and industry knowledge.
Buyers prefer sellers who are educated about their business needs and are thought leaders within their industry. Top performers are realizing their online presence and thought leadership are assets that can open the door to greater opportunities and more receptive prospects.