Harsh Realities MSP Owners Need to Know as They Build Their Sales Process

Table of Contents

Table Of Content
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Originally published on Simpleselling.co

    One of the biggest patterns I’ve seen in the industry is that many MSP owners believe that the work that we do at lead generation firms like Tech Pro Marketing (which I’ve been running for the past 6 years) and Simple Selling is all they need- and that leads are the only key to successful customer acquisition.

    As much as I’d love for that to be the case – unfortunately, it’s not.  

    MSPs (no matter how great their lead gen system is) all need an amazing sales process in addition to a consistent lead generation engine.

    Think of it like a relay race. Lead generation finds the prospects and delivers them to you so that they are ready to engage in your sales process, but it’s up to your sales process to take them from the handoff to the finish line.

    If engineered properly, your sales process can be the most powerful tool in your arsenal for a) closing contracts, and b) improving your retention rate. 

    All too often, I ask an MSP owner what their sales process looks like and they tell me something along the lines of: “Well, I provide a quote, and then they decide if they want to work with us.” 

    If this sounds like the extent of your sales process, you’re more than likely leaving money on the table. 

    The good news is building a sales process isn’t super complicated – but there are a few tough realities many MSPs run into while doing so. In this post, I want to talk about three big ones to anticipate. 

    1. No one is born good at sales. 

    A lot of MSP owners tell me that sales isn’t “their thing”. 

    As an MSP owner – or a business owner in general – you’re going to have to make sales your thing. There’s no way around it. 

    This is a big one that took me a long time to fully understand. 

    I struggled a fair amount with sales when I started Tech Pro Marketing. 

    It’s easy to look at skilled professionals – whether they be athletes, actors, the BDR team at Simple Selling, etc. –  and think: “Wow, they have a lot of natural talent.” 

    These people may be talented, but they weren’t born with these skills. They spent hours upon hours practicing, making mistakes, refining, and adapting to get where they are. 

    The same applies to sales. 

    Just like any other skill, it takes a great deal of time and dedication to learn a craft and continuously improve. Malcolm Gladwell, author of the book Outliers, famously wrote that if you do anything for 10,000 hours, you’ll become an expert at it. That’s exactly what most successful professionals have done. 

    So what does this mean for MSP owners? 

    If you’re struggling with sales, know that you’re not alone. Almost every business owner struggled with sales at some point in their career – it’s all part of the process. There are plenty of business mentors out there and communities to help you level up. 

    If you’re looking for help, talk to me. I would be happy to introduce you to a business mentor, I’ve worked with a lot of them over the years.

    2. You need a well-defined sales process – before you hire a salesperson.

    As an MSP owner, this comes with the territory of turning yourself into a salesperson. At the end of the day, your ability to close contracts boils down to your process. 

    A lot of MSP owners – of whom are not sales experts – believe they can just hire an experienced salesperson and it’s going to solve all their revenue problems. Bringing in an outsider to build a sales process – which involves customer CRM management, proposal building, closing, onboarding, etc. – is an insanely big ask. 

    Someone with the skill set to do all of this probably isn’t looking for a job; they more than likely run their own company. 

    The best approach here is to build out every step in your sales process, test it, evolve it, and hammer out a successful formula. Then, once all the pieces are in place, you can hire a salesperson to run it. 

    At Tech Pro Marketing, I spent years mapping out and refining every single meeting throughout our sales process. This involves having a crystal-clear purpose for each meeting, agendas, and what the next steps are. 

    Building a sales process is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. 

    For most business owners, it can take years of trial, error, and refinement to get to a good spot. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re struggling with your sales process, I’d be happy to provide some insight – or at the very least, point you in the right direction of a good consultant. 

    3. Relationships are the key to selling more managed services contracts

    A mentor once taught me that people buy from people they have great relationships with, and to build a great relationship, you need more interactions over a longer period of time. 

    A couple of years ago, my family and I relocated to the New England Area after years of living abroad. My daughter was super worried on her first day of school because she didn’t know anyone. 

    But by the end of the school year, she had built a group of friends in her class that was stronger than any friendship she’d had in the past. This is because she was interacting with the same people every day. When you do this, and consistently interact with the same people, you’re bound to develop good relationships. This is just a part of human nature.

    Now I’m not saying you have to sit in a room with a prospect all day every day. 

    My point is this: 

    Your goal as an MSP is to keep customers for the long haul. The most successful MSPs we work with have customers they’ve served for over 30 years. They did this by consistently meeting with their clients on a regular basis, building strong relationships.

    So what does this mean for the sales process? 

    In my experience, having more interactions in your sales process can do a lot to create good customer relationships. Most business owners understand the long-term value of hiring a good IT company – and they want to be 110% sure they’re working with a trustworthy person. 

    To get to this point, it’s better to have a 10-step sales process than a 2-step process. You’ll get to know each other on a more personal level and build trust out of the gate. 

    However, there’s a big caveat to having more meetings in your sales process. 

    To echo a previous point in this piece, there needs to be a legitimate purpose for every interaction. There’s a fine line between productive sales meetings and wasting your prospect’s time. Don’t fall into the latter!


    4. Bringing it all together

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a good sales process. 

    The best sales processes are continuously analyzed, tweaked, and sometimes, completely reinvented. Trust me on this. 

    I’m constantly refining our sales process at Tech Pro Marketing – and I’ve reinvented it several times.  More importantly, there’s no end in sight. It’s a constant work in progress. 

    If you’re struggling to get your sales process off of the ground, I’m happy to shed some light. Feel free to DM me on LinkedIn to start the conversation.

    Nate Freedman

    Nate Freedman is the CEO of Tech Pro Marketing and Ulistic, the only MSP marketing group with 12+ years of experience helping MSPs generate over 20,000 high quality leads, with over 150 5-star Google Reviews to back it up. Connect with me on LinkedIn.