Are you maintaining an effective sales funnel? The aim is to fill one end with new customer leads so that the other end flows with new business.

April 16, 2013

3 Min Read
Five Stages of the MSP Sales Funnel

By MAXfocus Guest Blog 1

Are you maintaining an effective sales funnel? They are a key concept in the sales world and frequently discussed as part of various marketing training courses. The aim, is to keep filling one end of it with new customer leads so that the other end can continually flow with new, revenue-generating business for your Managed Services Provider.

If you remember a previous MSP Mentor blog article it outlined the importance of customer referrals – some of the most valuable sales leads your MSP will ever come across.  However, this article goes further into practices for maintaining an effective funnel with constant attention, and splits neatly into five stages taking into account that the average MSP owner may well be a technical specialist and not a sales expert.  Software is really just the start for your MSP, you need the sales tools to grow your business.

1. Lead Generation

What methods do you use to generate new leads for your MSP business? Well known methods include networking, cold-calling initiatives, flyer mail outs, email marketing, social media and clients who have arrived at your company website.  Look for sample flyers,  phone scripts and email content,  there’s lots of royalties free marketing material available online.

2. Trial

When it comes to your MSP business, this phase doesn’t necessarily mean a trial of an online service. It could equally refer to the offer of a free system audit, network review or security check using tools such as asset tracking. The general idea is giving the potential customer a good impression of the service you can offer including managed services such as Managed Online Backup.

Steven Thom, who is president and CEO of Thom Infotech in Batavia, Illinois, went within months from two clients for managed services to several clients. Thom uses the easy-to-read reports available with his RMM tool to let the managed clients know that Thom Infotech is proactively monitoring their businesses.

3. Sales Follow-up

In the context of your MSP business, this phase has broader meaning. It could involve following up on the system audit report you produced as part of a network review, or nothing more complicated than a follow-up phone call for feedback on your service.  There are even sample phone scripts available for such follow-ups.  The key is maintaining momentum in your contact with the potential customer.

4. Conversion

This is the negotiation stage – the stage where you may need to offer some sign up incentives to close the deal. Check out how Stephen Younger of Eurotech Services converted his clients to workstation services.

5. Contract

It’s essential to keep up momentum and communication with the client.  The most cautious businesspeople only see a sale as truly closed when the first invoice payment hits the bank – and this is a wise strategy indeed.

Put all of these techniques and other proven marketing techniques into play simultaneously, and your sales funnel will quickly be overflowing with hot new clients.

Above all, the biggest key to an effective sales funnel is to make sure that you are continually working on new prospects at every stage of the process. If you allow any stage to become neglected, the most likely outcome is a funnel that periodically runs dry at the bottom!

Finally, don’t forget that the Successful MSP in this changing landscape will be the one that is able to react and respond quickly and effectively, changing their mix of products and services to suit each prospect.

GFI MAX RemoteManagement is is a hosted remote management and monitoring (RMM) tool with antivirus and backup software built specifically for IT Support companies and MSPs. The platform includes managing and monitoring servers and work stations, delivering remote support, offering asset/inventory tracking, patch management and client reporting with integrated managed antivirus and backup solutions.

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