Seven Tips For Improving Your MSP’s Sales Team
Of all the activities occurring every day at a managed services provider (MSP), few are more directly critical to success and growth than the ability of the sales team to close deals and generate revenue.
But creating an effective sales component takes more than disseminating pricing and assigning leads.
In a blog post for CIO.com, Jennifer Lonoff Schiff suggested the following strategies for getting your sales team operating at peak efficiency.
1. Use a CRM: Having a good customer relations management platform – particularly one that is optimized for sales – allows your team to stay focused and organized. A CRM can provide sales staff with lead prioritization, reminders and details about the status of prior contacts. It also allows management to track productivity metrics, like how quickly leads are contacted, frequency of follow-up and idle time.
2. Qualify leads: Recognize that anyone outside of your target audience is likely a waste of the sales team’s time and effort. Scour your leads to ensure your sales team is only calling on prospects that fit a narrow profile. Also, provide potential buyers with much of the critical information they need about your offerings, and then hand them off to sales only when the customer is ready for that conversation.
3. Provide appropriate mobile tools: Make sure your people are equipped with everything they need to be productive and effective, no matter where they are. Sales staff should have remote access to the CRM, product information and contracts. Some firms will want to adopt an enterprise-grade communications app, with adequate security and privacy.
4. Regular training: Provide regular training for your sales team to ensure they’re fully up to speed on the key details of your firm’s service offerings and products. Staff should also receive regular training on sales best practices to help them make the most of every sales call. The sessions should include an opportunity for team members to exchange ideas and strategies for generating more revenue.
5. Minimize administrative tasks: Time spent by your salespeople doing anything besides selling, is time they’re not spending closing deals. Consider hiring sales support employees to handle tasks that don’t require sales professionals. Sales staff can often end up as the primary contact for customers, so put processes in place that get non-sales inquiries off their desks and to the right departments as quickly as possible.
6. Employ gamification: Create a healthy competitive environment among salespeople that fosters a natural inclination to strive for better empirical results. Allow team members to view one another’s numbers, when appropriate, and consider a system that utilizes a ranking or leaderboard that they can use to keep score and aspire to climb.
7. Track performance: Carefully track the efforts and results of each member of your sales team and regularly discuss why things are or are not going well. Through this process, management should constantly be on the lookout for areas that need improvement and develop plans to help each salesperson address any weaknesses.
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