Fun fact – it is 92% cheaper to sell to existing customers than to find new ones. This is true for just about any company, but especially true for managed service providers. Survey after survey, including our own 2019 Global MSP Benchmark Report, has shown that most MSPs struggle with sales and marketing, at least until they start making specialized hires in those areas. So to get the best bang for your buck, consider how you can sell more to your existing client base.
If You Only Remember One Thing
Here’s what you must always remember. When you are selling to existing customers, it works exactly the same as selling to a new customer. You need to find out what their needs are, and if you have the ability to solve those needs, you can have a productive conversation. Don’t lose sight of the fact that sales is mostly about helping your customers solve problems – we talk about increasing revenue but you do that by increasing your usefulness.
Add Services to Add Value
No matter what your pricing model, you’ll do better in terms of selling more, by having more to sell. Chances are that your clients don’t know much about IT, so you cannot assume that they are asking you for all the services that they need. It’s your job to communicate to them, so make sure that you have a cadence for doing so. A regular email is one way to tell your client base about new services you have, and your salespeople should be equipped with the same talking points as well. At this point, I’d be surprised if there was any MSP out there that offers, today, all the things their clients need. More likely, there are things they need that they haven’t thought of – and you might not have, either. Stay up to date on the latest trends by reading industry media, and make sure you know what revenue opportunities are available to you.
One of the things that happens when an MSP looks for new offerings is that they quickly find there are dozens of possibilities, and that they cannot possible do them all. This is where active listening comes into play. Every MSP should have multiple different touchpoints with their clients – sales calls, QBRs, social media, the service desk and more. Every person on your team who interacts with clients should be trained in active listening, so that they can learn from each interaction with each client. When your team is able to pick up on little clues, and ask probing questions to learn more, everybody becomes involved in the sales process. This doesn’t mean asking your service desk techs to sell; it just means that they can make notes and pass those along to the people who do.
Consistent Structure and Messaging
Selling is easier when it comes automatically. So make it really easy for your salespeople to sell. This is why the all-in seat price is often recommended by industry experts. It gives your offering a consistent structure, and each sales conversation is roughly the same as a result. Keep it simple. If you want to pitch a SECaaS offering, it’s easier to say “we’ll do A, B, and C for $99/seat” than it is to dissect each individual component and debate its merits. Ask your clients to trust you, and then make them feel good about it by delivering on exactly what you said you would.
From what we know about MSPs, most of you are sitting on untapped revenue streams, right within your own customer base. They need things that you don’t currently sell them, but could. When you know what those needs are, you can focus your energy on meeting them.
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