Virtually every business relies on sales to achieve its success. With a solid plan and team to execute that strategy, any organization can increase its revenue, cash flow, and profitability and create valued relationships that drive additional opportunities. Effective sales processes make that all possible.
In 2022, efficiency in those areas is more important than ever. As the costs associated with lead generation and client acquisition increase exponentially, sales must drive more revenue from each opportunity and close progressively larger and more profitable deals to pay for the rising cost of doing business. Inflation and other financial factors are pressuring everyone’s bottom line, and the only true solution is to do everything possible to grow income and trim costs without compromising quality. Expanding the “wallet share” of each client must be a priority. The more of a company’s goods and services that a customer uses, the greater the ROI per lead and the higher the potential for retaining that business. One best practice for creating client “stickiness” is to support more of that company’s services and critical IT infrastructure.
The first step is to attract and secure new customers. Demand generation and sales processes can require a substantial amount of time, hand-holding, and patience. Communications are often the most difficult part, especially when dealing with new companies and decision-makers on intricate or complicated projects with many moving parts. Getting up-to-the-minute prices and determining product availability can be an excruciating process for the sales team, suppliers, and prospective customers. Keeping on top of all that information to ensure a timely and successful deal and delivery is no walk-in-the-park for sales or the management teams.
However, IT firms that can simplify and automate the communications processes with distributors, vendors, and prospective clients can capture more business. Effective sales tools and industry-accepted best practices make it easier and faster to request, receive and share pricing and inventory information between the appropriate parties. A real-time sales communications process gives decision-makers more insight to make quicker decisions and allows providers to close larger and more profitable deals.
Managing By the Numbers
How easy is it to evaluate the speed and quality of discussions with prospective clients? Managers can study various business metrics to assess how new tools and processes affect their bottom lines and operations. Sales is the perfect example. Most successful MSPs regularly review their strategies and individual tactics with team members, using metrics to gauge individual performances and adjust methodologies.
IT services companies should be watching KPIs like monthly recurring revenue (MRR), cost of goods sold (COGS), and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). However, those metrics better reflect the health of the company, not the development and success of individual sales professionals. To measure those results, IT services companies typically focus on things like time to close, closing rate, and average deal size.
Understanding all the steps and processes from proposal to contract is essential. How long does it take to complete a deal? What could a sales professional do to increase the size and profitability of each proposal? Following the key metrics helps IT firms assess the performance differences between sales team members and evaluate pitches, pricing and bundling strategies. Effective communications can increase the speed and success of negotiations and ensure payments begin flowing in much faster.
New Solutions to Old Problems
Sales tools are force-multipliers. For example, an IT-centric quoting platform that links key suppliers, integrates with industry-specific applications and can track, manage, and complete RFQs in real-time is invaluable today. Not only can sales and account management teams close deals faster, but with a partner-centric management portal, they can easily locate and follow emails trails and review pricing and availability options. With two-way communications inside their quoting tool, negotiations and the procurement and logistics processes become less of a chore – and more profitable.
As the impact from COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on global supply chains (two years and counting), IT firms will experience more difficulties locating and delivering goods for their customers without a powerful quoting tool. The continually changing cost of hardware and issues with delivery require close collaboration with vendors, distributors and other suppliers. Technologies that can streamline and automate the communications process and share more critical information help increase revenue per deal, decrease closing times, and drive more success.
RFQ tracking is a big contributor. With the latest quoting and sales automation tools, IT services firms can overcome supply chain issues while enjoying higher revenue and margins.