Show Your MSP Sales People How To Sell
Managing IT sales is never easy, especially not for a business that's hoping to meaningfully expand. Many businesses can't afford a large staff of salesmen, and some people higher on the rung may not be within the budget of you and your business. Don't fret, though -- if you're experienced with sales and have the know-how, you can easily turn your sales team into a well-oiled machine of knowledge and experience.
The approach that most people take, though, isn't quite right...
"Don't tell me how to do my job!": Why Your Sales Team Doesn't Like Being Told What To Do
Even if you have good intentions and experience, most people working in sales don't typically employ the ideas given to them by their higher-ups. This is for the same reason your computer technician might give you a side-eye when recommending a new piece of hardware, or even a cook might get snippy with you for recommending a change to the menu.
Once you hire people onboard and they start working, they typically know how to do their jobs, and a part of knowing how to do their jobs comes with a sense of pride in the way they approach their work and the results they get in return. Even with good intentions, approaching these situations the wrong way can result in your employees feeling insulted by you. They work long and hard all day in the sales position that you put them in, and now you're telling them they're not good enough?
Of course, friendly advice or encouragement is never intended to come off that way. But professionals have a sense of pride, and unfortunately pride is what leads to these incidents occurring to begin with. So, some of you might be thinking -- why don't I just fire these guys and hire some better employees who will take my advice?
Firing Them Isn't The Right Solution
Think about it this way. We've all been in that position before: we're the underling working very hard for our supervisors and bosses, putting in work on the ground while they're comfortable doing god-knows-what. Regardless of what you're doing, this is how your IT sales team is going to see you until they see the way that you work and get things done.
Even genuinely great salespeople tend to take pride in their work and not let the words of their supervisors have too much weight...in most circumstances. There is a way to get your sales team to perform better according to your advice, and the best way to start doing that is by not giving them advice at all.
Instead of telling them how to do their jobs better, you want to show them how they can do their jobs better.
Show, Don't Tell
This is the secret key to getting your team working properly. Advice from someone that isn't working in the field can be easily disregarded, and sometimes outright being told what to do by a peer isn't ideal either. Instead, focus on members of your sales team who seem to be struggling. What you can do then is take charge and accompany them through on-site sales pitches, or to let them watch you perform a sales call and land the lead.
Once they see that you're doing a good job, they'll try and learn what they can from you on their own. This is the value of showing instead of telling, because, now, not only do they have more respect for you, but they can learn from your wisdom without putting their pride at risk. They may even directly come to you for advice after seeing you do a job well done.
That's the secret behind properly training your IT sales staff. Don't tell them how to make the sale, show them how you do it and how effective your tactics are. It avoids all the issues present with telling people how to do their jobs, all while still helping them get better at it in a constructive way.
About the author
Ron Vaughn is the Solutions Specialist of EMSCO Solutions, Inc. that has been providing IT services in Oklahoma City since 1993. EMSCO Solutions helps businesses develop a customized road-map on the best ways to utilize technology for their benefit, transforming technology from a necessary evil into a strategic asset. Ron has been selling Backup Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Solutions for the last 9 years.