Lessons from the Pursuit of Happyness
Your MSP business could learn a great deal from Will Smith’s character in The Pursuit of Happyness. What defines the character arc of this heartwarming drama is a man who simply will not quit and applies his whole being to achieving a goal. He goes through terrible hardships, but in the end, sees the goal he sought come to fruition.
Sales has this sort of a learning curve to it wherever you go. You’re going to have difficulties, even with experienced sellers. Until that proper selling niche is discovered, you’re in for a hassle. But you can diminish this through team-enhancing strategies which curtail redundancies. As Will Smith did in Happyness, holding his finger against the landline’s dial tone lever to expedite his selling, you and your team will have to find new methods of motivation and effectiveness. To that end, here are six tips which may help you with the process:
Your MSP business needs to reward good salespeople. You need to make it possible for them to double, or even triple their weekly earnings based on their sales. Sometimes commission is recommendable, but it will depend on the level of accounts you’re selling, the skill involved in selling them, and a number of other factors. Totally commission-based sales teams have their advantages, but they can induce high rates of turnover, minimizing profitability from manpower investment. A team with staying power builds multiple relationships and has more sustainable growth. Again, this will differ based on your MSP and the clients it serves.
2. Be Results Driven
A results-driven sales team is one operating under greater transparency than a team which uses some other catalyst. You want to demonstrate to your team the numbers you’re trying to hit, what you’re doing to hit them, and what needs to be improved where. When you give sales people the “why,” you help to optimize their outward endeavors. You give them direction. Additionally, you yourself know where things need to be tightened or loosened, depending on the level of success your team is having.
3. Comprehensive Training
Equip your sales team. Ensure they have a sales path to take clients on, strategies to employ, information to reference, and professionalism to exude. This last one will come in the hiring process; you’ve got to find those salespeople who can sell themselves naturally. During training, you encourage good practices, discourage bad ones, and give examples of successful sales, as well as successful sales techniques. Show where previous salespeople were effective, and demonstrate to the best of your ability why.
4. The Key of Coachability
When you’ve got recalcitrant, attitude thick employees, they’re likely not going to be very good at sales. You need a sales team that has a quotient of malleability to it. Your MSP is ever-changing. You’re going to require salespeople to sell new products and services, and this will require new avenues of approach that can be discordant to sellers who have already found their “niche”. Also, when performance lags, you need to be able to enervate sellers. If your sales team isn’t coachable, your MSP is wasting resources.
5. Achievable, Yet High, Sales Bars
You’ve got to set the bar high, but not out of reach. Make it so that salespeople have to work to get that incentive bonus, or that double incentive, or that vacation time; whatever the case may be. The bar will gradually get higher as your company expands, so this is kind of like a metaphysical carrot leading the sales horse of your business to profitability.
6. Remember: There’s No Silver Bullet
There is no one-size-fits-all, werewolf killing silver bullet to sales. Some sell through outspoken grandiosity, some through suggestion, some through persistence, and some through education. Don’t focus on finding the perfect track for your sales team to take; focus on helping each individual discover their best-selling approaches.
The Upward Spiral
An MSP business with a savvy, motivated sales team working toward a highly-incentivized bar, coachable, well-trained, and results-driven will bring in the clients you’ve been looking for.