To get serious about growth, MSPs have to become laser-focused on improving their sales and building a performance sales team. Many service providers rely too heavily on customer referrals. While referrals are the easiest sales deals to close, they don’t come in every day and aren’t a reliable way to grow your revenue, or your business. Waiting for organic referrals limits your ability to forecast and achieve steady growth. By becoming a more proactive sales organization, you can scale quickly. The first step is building the right sales team.
Your initial sales hires should be very strategic. Ask yourself these questions to understand your objectives before creating a hiring plan to match your sales forecast.
- What are you trying to accomplish?
Do you want to free up your time by shifting the sales role? Build incremental growth?
- How will you define sales success?
How much growth are you targeting in your sales forecast?
- What do you want the new sales rep to do?
Should they make cold calls all day? Upsell into your existing base? Do you expect them to bring an existing book of business?
- How will you manage sales?
What system(s) will you use? You will need visibility into your sales process—not just a summary of wins, but visibility into all of the activities that lead to new revenue. MSPs usually track activities and results in a PSA or CRM.
- What geography do you want to focus on?
Do you have a nationwide industry niche or prefer general sales in your local or state area?
“I know about going from average to world-class, or unprofitable to profitable to very profitable. That maturity takes time. Along the journey, if you don’t have your act together as an MSP or you’re not charging the right price, you’re giving up dollars to invest in your own house, which creates more risk for your clients, not less.”
– George Mach, President & CEO, Apex IT Group
The Three Roles in a High-Performance Sales Team
It’s important to understand the differences between sales roles and the personality traits each role needs to possess in order to be successful.
The Scout: Business Development Rep (BDR)
- Primary Objective: Keep New Sales Reps busy
- Daily Activities: Heavy outbound calling
BDRs relentlessly work the phones searching for new leads and qualifying inbound marketing leads to set appointments for New Sales Reps.
The Hunter: New Sales Rep
- Primary Objective: Grow MRR through net new sales
- Daily Activities: Virtual and onsite meetings with qualified prospects
Your first hire should be a New Sales Rep. Yes, even before a BDR. New Sales Reps are charismatic and empathetic towards customers. They’re persuasive and persistent with enough resilience to stay motivated even when 9 out of 10 prospects say no.
If you find someone who’s amazing but not experienced in tech and you have the time and resources to teach them, you can make a great hire. MSP leaders have discovered some of their best Hunters by finding the right personality everywhere—from food service to furniture stores.
The Farmer: Account Manager
- Primary Objective: Nurture client relationships to maximize lifetime value
- Daily Activities: Email, telephone and onsite communications
You’ve found a great New Sales Rep who is closing deals left and right. Your next investment should be in a talented Farmer, or Account Manager. Account Managers keep a regular cadence of communications with existing clients and contribute to revenue by minimizing churn and selling additional services.
Once you get your ideal team built, they’ll need the right tools to succeed from pre-assessment through post-sale. Liongard gives you full, unified visibility across your entire IT stack, so you can get a full picture of client systems to maximize deal size and upsell opportunities. Learn more—schedule a platform walk-through today.