How to Keep Your Best “Salespeople” HappyHow to Keep Your Best “Salespeople” Happy
Your customers can be some of the best salespeople and brand ambassadors your company can ever have. Your existing customers will help you find new customers. But how can you keep these customers/salespeople happy? Here are four ways.
April 2, 2014
By ManageEngine GuestBlog 1
Let’s say you’re an MSP surrounded by other, highly competitive MSPs. How do you find your way into an enterprise? How do you find salespeople who can constantly bring you new customers?
The answer to the second question is, you don’t have to go in search of salesmen or saleswomen. Your customers can be some of the best salespeople and brand ambassadors your company can ever have. After all, in the MSP market, most of sales happen through word of mouth. And that’s the answer to the first question: your existing customers will help you find new customers.
Now, comes the million-dollar question. How can you keep your best salespeople happy? Today’s business environment is fast changing, as are the competitive landscape and customer expectations. It has become extremely difficult to retain customers, let alone make them brand ambassadors. Here are four ways to keep your customers-salespeople happy:
Exclusivity– This is where the depth of your technical and marketing expertise will be put to test. Recently, one of the top IT services companies came up with a “one-stop shop” message, which promises it will handle customers’ entire IT from software to hardware to implementation.
When service providers and system integrators come up with such initiatives, the customer feels exclusive and would trust the associated brands more. As a service provider, you must keep your service catalog as creative as possible. Today’s business scenario opens up several opportunities to provide varied technology services ranging from security to RMM, cloud hosting, data center management and more.
Whereas vertical expertise is an imperative, having horizontal growth in services will ensure that customers do not have to shop elsewhere. The evolution of digitization in modern business is another example where service providers can stand out from the crowd. These new service offerings will allow service providers to recalibrate their business models and to better support today’s business.
Engagement– It is almost impossible to include every feature that your customers ask for, but engaging them in customizing the service catalog or the application development roadmap can go a long way in strengthening the relationships. The scope of engagement can go well beyond the technology.
With advancements in DevOps and supported tools, IT service providers stand at the right place to take enterprise feedback to improve their services and delivery models. Gamification is another form of engagement. It brings fun into IT and can be facilitated by active forums. As with digitization above, vendors need to include avenues in their feedback loop and engage the buyers by listening to them and incorporating the feedback at every stage, from conceptualization to consumption.
Experience– Most customers leave a particular vendor due to bad experiences with post- sales support. Once a prospect becomes a customer, the scope of support is not limited to the technical support. It goes way beyond that and demands today’s service providers see customers as their partners.
Account managers should be able to understand each customer’s business, so they can analyze and propose viable IT solutions that can transform the customer’s existing business. Service providers like Accenture and Capgemini have transformed themselves over the years, evolving being just IT service providers to being end-to-end business consultants. As a result, each has become one of the largest business units within its respective organization.
Expertise– A recent analyst survey of large enterprises that are using various services provided by MSPs indicate that more than 55 percent of the enterprises are planning to expand their business with MSPs. The changing dynamics of business have changed the MSP landscape immensely.
Today, enterprise buyers no longer rely on individual services. Enterprises expect agility and automation in their business. This expectation will shift the focus from the current capacity evaluation to capability evaluation, and that’s where the expertise of service provider will come into the picture to win and retain customers.
Capability evaluation will challenge service providers to tightly knit the application, infrastructure and software into one, end-to-end service. And that service will be results driven — or in current terminology, SLA driven — where every change introduced in the service that impacts the business will be measurable.
Taken together, exclusivity, engagement, experience, and expertise combine to empower your enterprise customers to stay ahead, concentrate on their core businesses, and let their offshore partner take care of the rest. Then it becomes easier for enterprises to spread the word about your services, and it becomes easier for you to build a team of the best salespeople you could ever hope to have — your customers.
Suvish Viswanathan manages product marketing and analyst relations at ManageEngine, a division of Zoho Corp where he manages the product-marketing department for its Unified IT management offerings. He plays a key role in addressing various issues and solutions in enterprise IT and MSPs with decision makers and organizations on increasing their IT productivity. Prior to ManageEngine, he worked as a global market/sales analyst for Syscon. You can reach him on LinkedIn or follow his tweets at: @suvishv
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