Video Above: Zach Wilcox, Strategic Business Advisor at Collabrance, share a few healthy prospecting tips to help MSPs have a more balanced sales cycle.
Cold calling and broccoli. Email campaigns and cauliflower. Asking for referrals and green beans. These are all things we know are good for us, but they’re also the easiest to skip.
“As long as I eat mostly healthy, I should be OK! I’ll definitely start eating my veggies next Monday!” There’s no point in trying to sugar coat it— for some of us, prospecting can be the least enjoyable part of the sales cycle. And if you’re anything like me, the vegetables are the least enjoyable part of any meal.
The sales process for MSPs can be the same way. When I think about selling, I think of the enjoyable parts. The high of closing a deal, the rush that comes with blowing away a prospect with the presentation, or the nervous excitement right before you walk into your first appointment. Those moments are what make sales fun, and keep you coming back for more!
But unless you eat the vegetable first, you’re not going to get to spend a lot of time enjoying those high points of the sale.
Each step of a managed services sales process is critical to achieve the best outcome, just like adding veggies to your plate. A few years ago, I was getting dressed for work, and I realized the dress pants that fit so well 6 months prior, had turned into slim-fit pants whose waist had shrunk to the point of being unwearable. At first, I blamed the pants, but after trying on two more pairs with the same results, I realized that maybe a steady diet of breakfast pizza, chicken wings and fast food wasn’t doing me any favors.
Most people who walk around with six-pack abs on the beach know they need to consistently eat their vegetables, and most sales reps whose commission checks look like six-pack abs know they need to consistently prospect to keep their sales funnel healthy.
I won’t tell you to go out and start eating a pound of vegetables every day, and I won’t tell you to start making 250 cold calls a week as a sales outreach benchmark. That’s not sustainable, and that’s going to set you up for failure when you can’t stick to it.But if you can start to introduce more “sales vegetables” into your daily activities, and prospecting into your sales process, it could help your commission checks look healthier!
The most important thing to remember is that people and companies don’t buy tools, they buy solutions and/or outcomes. Once you have positioned yourself as the fix to their troubles, that’s when you can move into the meat and potatoes of the sales process (my favorite part)!
The first area of focus in your sales process should be on making sure your message – - whether online over the phone or in an email - includes answering your prospect’s questions, even if it’s not a question they know they should be asking yet!
Just like you’d go crazy if you did nothing but eat carrots, it’s important that you have variety on your prospecting plate as well. Using video messages that are customized to prospects is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition, as they show you’re willing to take the time and energy required to personalize your outreach. It is also a great time to start building your presence on social media, and sharing solutions to questions other prospects may have is a great way to establish yourself as an industry expert.
As salespeople, we can have a habit to focus on the proposal and close, but if we don’t have a full pipeline, we’re going to severely limit the number of times we will get to shine later in the process. By putting a stronger and more continued focus on eating our prospecting veggies, we will set ourselves up for long-term success and the six-pack commission checks!
Looking for some recipes for success? Collabrance has got you covered with our proven sales process for MSPs! See how we recommend incorporating your “sales veggies,” along with all of the other critical parts of the sales process!
Zach Wilcox, Strategic Business Advisor for Collabrance, is responsible for helping Managed Services Providers grow their business through customized coaching, training, and planning sessions. Zach graduated from Cornell College with a B.A. in Economics and Business.