Sales can be a time-consuming and complicated process. Closing deals often requires months, if not years, for even the most skilled professionals who must cultivate quality leads, design and pitch proposals, and work through all the specific options for each prospect. That doesn’t happen without solid communication skills and strong attention to detail.
Experienced sales leaders know many leads will never convert into clients, no matter how hard the team works to secure the deal. It only takes one key decision-maker who may not see the fit to sink the agreement, or the company may not have the budget to pay for recommended solutions. Throughout negotiations, those opportunities might stop making sense for the provider when pricing, profits and workload concerns creep into the project.
Prospects could also fall off the sales team’s radar when bandwidth is limited. Whether they sign up with a competitor or hire someone to manage their systems, not every lead turns into a real revenue opportunity – some slip through the cracks no matter how good the fit is. Sometimes MSPs simply cannot hire quality people fast enough.
The sales process has many moving parts, especially when proposing various complex IT service options. Keeping track of all the communications, documents, notes, and changes can be a nightmare. Things tend to fall through the cracks, especially for productive sales teams working dozens, if not hundreds, of prospective deals with constantly shifting timelines. To prevent those slips, providers need effective organizational processes, tools, and integrations that can bring order to all that chaos and keep the process moving in a positive direction. Automation is an essential piece of that equation.
With many communications check-ins, Request for Quote (RFQ) requirements, and validation steps often needed to close new deals successfully, the sales team can benefit tremendously from a platform that streamlines and manages everything.
Automating and tracking calls, emails, and document sharing eliminates headaches. Just as importantly, a well-connected sales platform reduces manual tasks and human errors, improving the team’s efficiency while boosting their opportunities to close more and larger deals. IT services companies can leverage a variety of complementary technologies to ensure all of their critical business activities move faster (and in the right direction) today.
Building the Perfect Sales Beast
Revenue generation is critical for every business. Without consistent increases in sales, most organizations will eventually experience cash flow problems and struggle to fund growth plans. Today’s most effective sales strategies include playbook development, continual training and extensive use of technologies. From lead generation to close, each step of the process should be documented, tracked, and evaluated to ensure team members stay on top of every opportunity and can maximize the size of each potential deal.
Which tools can MSPs implement to accomplish those goals?
1Professional Services Automation (PSA) platforms
Few providers operate effectively without tools to optimize the management of their services-related activities. When MSPs integrate critical systems into their PSAs, it becomes a hub for all business actions, collecting and arranging relevant data and making it accessible to various team members.
2Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
While the PSA is the hub for all operations, these data-enabling applications become the center of the universe for sales and account management teams (though many providers use one or the other). The information MSPs’ teams collect on prospects and customers and interactions with influencers and decision-makers is invaluable, and the CRM makes it even more so. These applications can help employees track activities and plan the next steps.
3Marketing automation platforms
Quality leads are one of the most critical elements of a successful sales program, so MSPs must do whatever is possible to create, manage, and nurture each opportunity. Utilizing and integrating HubSpot, Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Marketo, or other marketing tools with PSAs or CRMs gives providers better control of those processes, allowing team and business leaders to monitor and view reports on all related activities.
4Accounting and payments programs
While QuickBooks may not seem like a priority for sales teams, the outcome of their commissions may hang in the balance if invoicing and collections activities go wrong. Building a seamless financial platform by connecting quoting and payment systems helps complete the sales process – receiving compensation to commence services. Relevant billing and payment information can automatically pass through the shared systems and initiate the appropriate processes. Monthly recurring revenue is worth nothing if the MSP cannot collect and deposit the money in real time.
5Integrated quoting systems
Success is in the details, especially when MSPs create proposals and get pricing and delivery options for prospective customers. That is one of the many reasons why QuoteWerks integrates with several managed services-enhancement tools and services, including CRMs, PSAs and accounting packages. Integrating with distribution and vendors streamlines the quoting and procurement processes. By leveraging and populating data across multiple platforms, MSPs can save time, money and hassles in the sales process.
Automate Quotes, Increase Revenue
Successful IT services providers rely on many interconnected vendor-agnostic tools to simplify and enhance their business today. From client-facing RMM and cybersecurity applications to back-office suites that enable sales, marketing and collections operations, the stronger the integration options, the more valuable the solutions.
Providers deserve the right to choose. Platform independence allows MSPs to not only build the portfolios that best suit their needs and those of their clients but to find the mix that best optimizes their operations (not pad the bottom line of a specific vendor).
In today’s complex and threat-laden technology environments, providers must maximize efficiencies and minimize manual tasks and human errors, especially with rising labor costs and ongoing talent shortages. The sales team should receive the same tools and attention. With the right integration plan, they can close more deals, increase the value of each contract and drive more repeat business.