In our direct coaching work and sales transformation peer groups, we have worked with many of our clients to overcome this sales chasm. The owners who successfully built their sales engine shared a common roadmap and set of best practices that other MSP owners can emulate.
Here are the 6 essential steps for sales transformation that can serve as your roadmap:
- The owner has to be "all in" and lead the charge: The owner must drive the changes within the company, which I'll explain further below, but even more importantly, they must change their own way of doing things. They will have to be personally dedicated to build a new sales model - complete with implementing new processes, developing a new team and mastering new ways to lead/manage. This will have to be a top personal priority or it won’t work.
- The owner must invest: The biggest investment an owner must make is their own time. Our clients commit to investing 50% of their time specifically on sales transformation (often more). Secondly, they have to invest substantial money in five areas: 1) Sales process definition and automation 2) Hiring the right level of talent (recruiters and compensation) 3) On boarding 4) Training - Development and Tools 5) Training and coaching for themselves. We will cover each of these aspects in the points that follow.
- The owner needs new skills: Leading, managing and motivating a sales force is far different than overseeing the service department or your administrative staff. The owner needs new skills to engage in the performance producing sales management activities - weekly sales objectives; daily huddles; pre-call planning; post-call debriefs, weekly sales meetings, activity tracking and one on one coaching sessions
- The owner must build the sales infrastructure: Here is the infrastructure that you will need:
- Sales Playbook: The sales process you follow systematically - including skills, tactics and stage gate criteria (how do you know you are progressing in the sales process)
- Tools and Training for Appointment Setting: To set up call blocks and ensure the volume of activity and disciplined follow up required to be successful
- On Boarding: Establishing a roadmap for success by your sales force - especially in-depth understanding of your offering catalogue, quoting, weekly calendar of activities and shadowing on client and prospect calls.
- CRM/Sales Process Automation and Pipeline Reporting: This will make your sales force more productive by following a standard sales process that feeds into the management systems that you will use to direct effort and produce the desired results.
- Metrics to Manage By: You need both activity metrics and results metrics. Fortunately, only two activity metrics matter: 1) number of new prospective clients meetings per week and 2) how qualified these opportunities are in terms of client’s “pain” points; the appeal of your business case and their readiness to change.
- Sales Skills/Call Execution
While results vary depending on the owners’ commitment, time investment and follow through, here is what our owners can expect to produce:
- 8-10 discovery meetings per month with qualified MSP prospects per sales person
- 1-2 new MSP sales per month for each sales person
- 20-30% increase in sales to existing clients
The Sales Transformation Program has been refined by over 3 years of investment and learning. Here is what the program requires for you to achieve results:
- One on one onboarding meeting and readiness plan with Michael Cummings in our Saint Charles, IL offices
- 4 quarterly working sessions (two days each in Chicago)
- Monthly action plans
- Weekly or bi-monthly accountability calls
- $1,800 a month for an 18 month program. Limited to 8 participants in each group.