What’s the biggest challenge for any technology company? It’s not security or even building the right bundle. It’s sales! No matter how large or small your company, you need a steady stream of new prospects and new clients.
Almost everyone says they hate sales. But they don’t, really. Sales represent new clients, new projects, new recurring revenue, and new money. Everybody loves that!
The problem is that most of us don’t like the activity of trying to make sales. We love the sales once we have them.
As a master of SOPs—standard operating procedures—naturally my solution is to create a great sales process. Just like any other process, success is all about execution.
Once you have a documented process, all you have to do is execute. What exactly does that look like? Let’s look at both the process and the execution.
Build a sales process you can execute
Build your sales process backwards. In other words, start with the sale. What do you want the sale to be? Is it a cloud migration project? Is it a monthly managed service package worth $2,500? Whatever it is, write that down.
Next, draft up an outline of the proposal and supporting materials. Not sure where to start? Look at the last ten sales you made. You know these were successful because you made the sale. What did those proposals look like? Document them!
Next (working backward): who did you sell to? What do your ideal clients look like? Be specific! You can’t sell to everyone, so stop trying. If you want to sell to attorneys or dentists or manufacturers, write that down. You have to have someone to sell to.
You should have bundles, no matter what you’re selling. See other Sherweb resources on building bundles for managed services, cloud services, vertical markets, and security. Pick a bundle you’ll sell to your ideal client.
Many people think it’s difficult to build processes, especially for activities they don’t enjoy. But that’s not completely true. You already have a process, it’s just not written down. It hasn’t been diagrammed in a linear fashion. It hasn’t been formal.
Create a multi-stage process for the sales process. Marketing gets you in front of a prospect. Sales is the path you take them down to define the value you can bring to their organization. People will pay for value all day long—they don’t want to pay for technology.
Don’t forget to add value
Value is defined by the client. More precisely, value is what the client expects to get out of the relationship. As a result, value is never about technology unless you’re selling a piece of hardware. If you’re selling a service, especially a recurring service, you need to help the client see the value in your service.
A successful sales process will always have a value-defining stage. This involves you listening to the client, gathering information, and repeating back to them the needs that will be filled by your engagement.
Value can never be about money. Price is simply money; the sales process is about service and value. If you’re talking about money, it means the client doesn’t understand the value of your service. First, agree on the value. Second comes a price associated with that.
Understand your client’s needs
Collect information about your clients’ fears, requirements and unfulfilled desires. Reflect that information back to the client. Find out what the client wants—in their terms. Reflect this back to them.
After you both agree on what the client needs, you may proceed to talk about how you can deliver it and as such, provide value.
In almost all cases, the value is provided by one of your bundled services, plus one or more add-on services. The result is a unique solution for each client, even though the core technology is in a pre-defined bundle.