15 Functions You Must Address for Profitable Sales Growth

15 Functions You Must Address for Profitable Sales Growth

Thousands of managed services providers (MSPs) are striving to build profitable sales strategies. But very often, MSPs don't realize the key responsibilities that their business development and sales leaders must manage. With that in mind, here are 15 key responsibilities that profit center employees -- CEOs, sales leaders, business development leaders, etc. -- must oversee.

First, a little background: I got the following list from Ian MacDougall, founder of Corporate Lifecycles Inc., a consulting firm that focuses on large scale organizational change. According to MacDougall, your profit center employees -- the green hat people -- need to be responsible for these 15 priorities:

  1. Revenue Growth
  2. Profit Growth
  3. The Customer Value Proposition
  4. Product Champion
  5. Competitive Positioning
  6. Product Requirements
  7. Pricing
  8. Product Lifecycle Management
  9. Sales Channel Selection and Management
  10. Product Line Extensions
  11. Strategic Planning
  12. Business Development Partnerships
  13. Market and Sales Analysis
  14. Budget and Forecasting
  15. Marketing Programs
When I saw MacDougall's list, it was the first time I actually "saw" every trait that made my business partner, Amy Katz, so unique. I don't know many people who focus on the entire list above. But Amy is one of them, which is why our own company -- Nine Lives Media -- carved out a unique niche for itself during a bleak economic climate.

For MSPs, the list above is a valuable reminder: Someone within your company has to actually connect the dots between corporate vision, execution and profitable sales engagements. It's not just enough to "sell more" right now. You need to continually adjust your product and services mix, analyze margins, and fine-tune your business.

In many cases, particularly within small MSPs, I suspect CEOs should be responsible for the entire profit center list above. But as MSPs grow and build out new services, perhaps your VP of Sales of VP of Business Development will take on the roles above. Either way, you've got the list. Go execute.
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