Q: Everything seems to slow down during the summer—especially signing new customers on to our MSP services. How can we close more deals in the slow summer months?
Closing deals during the summer can be difficult, especially when people are in and out of the office enjoying their vacations. While it might seem like a daunting time to ramp up your sales efforts, summer is the perfect time to generate extra revenue for your managed service business.
To help give you actionable tips on how to bring in more money in the slow summer months, we talked to Matt McCarthy, the director of new MSP sales at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda. Matt shared some advice that can help you grow your MSP sales this summer—despite looming vacation schedules.
Empowering your sales team
Any good sales representative knows that summer months can be tough, and any sales manager knows that this is the best time to over-communicate with your team. While summer sales can be challenging, when you empower your team and offer them incentives, it can make a big difference. Recognizing your team during the slow months helps them to realize that you’re behind them—and it gives you the opportunity to get creative with how you award them for pushing through and meeting sales goals.
The first thing you want to do is look at your business from a trends perspective. Traditionally, what are the slowest months for your MSP business? Identifying the slowest months can help you develop a strong action plan moving forward.
Something else you can do is run a contest for plan development—not just for booked orders, annual contract value, or revenue. The idea is to set up a strong foundation of opportunities for the coming months. Start the process early, and think about how to create additional opportunities that might be hard to find once people start to go on vacation.
When your sales reps are having conversations during the qualification process, encourage them to ask their contacts when their vacations are and really dig into the buying process. This way, your team can start to strategize how to get the order in around the prospective vacations and how you can get the evaluation process done. Knowing this information is essential to getting the deal closed.
Shortening the summer sales cycle
A common summer objection that you might receive is: ” I’m going on vacation, and I don’t want to buy from you right now.” To overcome this objection, you can encourage the customer to process the order now and delay the billing until after they get back from vacation. This could mean giving them a free month or a few weeks with the service free, but then you’ll have them all ready to go once they come back from vacation.
You can also create urgency by highlighting the value you can provide them now. For example, in your slow summer months, you might be able to provide more white-gloved service. Instead of getting backlogged, give customers the opportunity to add your services before you get too busy! This creates a win-win situation. While you may be giving customers a more hands-on experience, you’re able to bring them on as clients without rushing them onto your services.
Summer might be a difficult time to get prospective clients on the phone, but if you have a solid strategy in place and use Matt’s tips, you should be able to increase your summer revenue. And then you can sit back and relax!
Ask an MSP Expert is a weekly advice column answering common questions from MSPs and IT service providers. It covers topics ranging from pricing and selling to marketing and communications—and everything in between.