Managed Services is not a short lived fad nor a way for IT companies to fatten their corporate wallets. Managed Services is a way for any business to eliminate problems before they occur, manage their IT budgets better while creating a solid long-term partnership with a managed services firm that's protecting your most important assets… your business data.
BENEFITS OF MANAGED SERVICES
The benefits are many: In 2014, only 30 percent of organizations used managed services, but within a year, the figure had nearly doubled. Managed services can cut IT costs by as much as 40 percent while doubling businesses operational efficiency.
One of the biggest benefits of Managed Services is discovering and fixing problems before they can negatively affect your business.
As a Managed Services Provider, in order for your business to gain new clients and generate new sales, you have to find prospective clients as well as deepening existing client relations. Understanding everyone you may encounter is either a potential client or potential referral source is the first step in your sales team building a sales engine that produces results.
The most important thing to grasp about Managed Services sales prospecting is everyone is a potential client. It all starts with education. It is not educating them on your offering because quite frankly they don't care about your offering yet. Why? You haven’t learned about the IT challenges their company faces, so you can’t possibly know if what you offer fits their needs, correct?
I ask you to think about this... in order to be successful in adding new clients and gaining referrals from your current clients you must set aside the "selling-game" and shift your mindset to the "evangelizing-game." Broadcast and impart out to the business world education and how you can help them do their jobs better while helping them protect their data.
ESCALATE NEW CLIENTS THROUGH EFFECTIVE PROSPECTING
Ask any sales rep in any industry and they will stress the importance of integrating effective prospecting techniques as part of their new business strategy.
The good ole days are behind us though some feverishly think the past still exists. Times have changed and so has prospecting. Cold calling is not dead it is just different now. Why is this happening? Simply stated the buyer's journey has changed the way they interact with salespeople.
Here are a few stats to get you excited as you prospect for new Managed Services opportunities...
- In 2017, 15 new ransomware families are predicted to be discovered each month (source).
- Cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021 (source).
- 81 percent of organizations claim that negligent or careless employees are the top risk to endpoint security (source).
- 60 percent of businesses will go out of business within six months of a data disaster (source).
There is a great study out by Richardson, inside the 2016 Selling Challenges Study; they surveyed more than 400 sales professionals and revealed the top three prospecting problems salespeople are grappling with today:
- Identifying triggers/sales signals that indicate issues you can resolve
- Identifying target accounts
- Qualifying prospects
This is 2017 and as a Managed Services Provider, technology is driving change and so should your approach to business development.
HERE ARE 3 SIMPLE WAYS TO PROSPECT AS A MANAGED SERVICES SALES REP
Guess What? It Is Not As Hard As You Think!
LEVERAGE THE POWER OF YOUR NETWORK
Your network is your net worth and is bigger than you think but how do you tap into its power? I suggest starting with your current clients. Look for 5-6 people inside each account to connect with on LinkedIn. Your current clients hold the key to rapid introductions into the people they know. People love to help others because it feels good. You may be surprised as to whom within your network has connections that can help you. Look for relationships inside their social networks and ask for introductions.
People are more willing to spend time with someone that comes “verified” by someone they trust.
SHARE EDUCATIONAL CONTENT ONLINE
As a Managed Services Sales Rep today, you must be able to build relationships digitally. Face to face relationship building is critical, however just as important is building these relationships online. Sharing educational, relevant content online helps position yourself as a trusted adviser as the content curated may help your current clients or potential clients solve possible pain points. This also may enable your prospects to humanize the relationship as they may see you as someone who knows them and actually cares about them as individuals.
"Continually educate your clients or someone else will!"
Prospecting is tough, let's just face it. Staying top of mind with your clients and prospects is difficult. Sharing educational content through a "drip" market campaign within LinkedIn is a terrific way to keep your name in front of your clients and prospects.
Engage with content online and...
FOLLOW YOUR CURRENT CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS
You must listen to understand what is going with your current clients and prospects. Ask your current clients what social media channels they use and follow them. Throw your social detective hat on and do the same with your prospects.
Why? The use of social media isn't going away! Corporate identities and how businesses communicate these days is accomplished by leveraging social platforms. Two simple ways to learn more about your current clients and prospects is by following what they post or comment on within LinkedIn or Twitter.
What a great way to learn more and insert yourself into their online conversations, posts or comments. In doing so you may even find opportunities to help solve issues you may not have known about if you were not following their social media channels.
As a Managed Services Sales Rep, reaching and influencing the B2B tech buyer is tough. Let's acknowledge the fact the demographics of the buyer are changing. The time is now! You must realize adjustments are needed to your prospecting game plan in order to keep the sales funnel flowing with sales possibilities.
I urge reps inside the Managed Services channel:
Adjust, Adapt, Adopt and Augment prospecting efforts!
Implementing these 3 steps you will:
- Generate an increase in sales revenue
- Create stickiness inside your current client base
- Increase profits through becoming a value added sales professional
- You will enhance the client experience thus creating raving fans
It isn't just about growing your business; it's about achieving meaningful, sustainable and achievable growth. All too often, companies simply chase progressively larger revenue patterns, without really considering whether their business will be able to remain stable. Coaching and guiding Managed Services Sales Reps to become efficient business developers helps you build a stronger foundation for the future.
Managed Services Providers allow businesses to effectively maintain a secure and efficient network to conduct their work without the need to manage and look for the current technology on their own!
I understand, I get where you all are coming from. I have walked a day in a life of your shoes and still do on a daily basis.
I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow net-new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way!
In 2016, Larry was recognized by ENX Magazine, “The Difference Maker” as someone who is making a difference inside the copier channel. Larry is passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image
You can find more blog posts inside the Social Sales Academy website.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive copier world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire B2B Office Technology Sales Professionals to grow net-new business by helping them tell their story and communicate integrating the use of social. My commitment is to help office technology dealers thrive in a drastically changing marketplace. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Social Sales Academy and on my podcast at Selling from the Heart.