Ask an MSP ExpertQ: One of the largest challenges our sales team faces is booking meetings with potential customers. Any ideas on how we can overcome this hurdle?

We know that reaching your prospects can be challenging. In fact, a recent Hubspot report found that 37 percent of salespeople said that is the largest challenge they face. So, we talked to Matt McCarthy, who leads the new business sales team at Barracuda MSP. With over 19 years of sales experience, Matt offered a unique perspective of how your team can overcome this challenge.

Make sure your messaging is on point

With cold calling, your message is the most important thing. This might take a little bit of experimenting with different messages and looking at your sales team’s success rate — what has worked and what hasn’t? For example, a marketing team often tests different subject lines for emails. They then can measure their success by looking at the open rate and measuring responses to the message. If the open rate is high but there aren’t a lot of responses, your messaging to the audience might be off track. In cold calling, it is important to use similar metrics, how many decision makers have you gotten on the phone, how many book a follow-up meeting, and more importantly how many people show up to the meeting itself? Using the right messaging is critical to your success.

Some of the most successful MSPs focus on a specific vertical and tailor their message uniquely to highlight the pains and challenges they might face as a business. These IT service businesses are laser-focused and find a way to set themselves apart from their peers. I strongly encourage all MSPs to sell to their strengths and find their niche – this could be a certain vertical, industry, or service that you have found success with. By finding and selling to your strengths, you can build loyalty. 

Don’t be afraid to ask

The first rule I teach all cold callers is to be forward and always ask for the meeting as soon as possible. For example, if they are on the phone with a prospect in the morning, I tell them to ask for the meeting that afternoon. “I know I caught you off-guard, but can we schedule a meeting for this afternoon?” The tendency for the person on the phone is to push this off, until they are less busy. So, if you give them the option on what’s best for their schedule, they will say next week every single time. However, we all know that it can be hard to plan far in advance for an MSP, who never knows when a customer fire drill might come up. The further you book the next meeting out, the chances of them showing up dramatically drops off.

While you want to ask for the meeting as soon as possible, take the time to explain what your company can do for them and what pain points you can solve. After this, you should always quickly add, “today my afternoon is pretty open, do you have time to go through this a little bit more?” I want to tell you how we helped XYZ customer like you. Give them something they want to hear to show up. After all, the reason why they are taking that meeting is that they are interested.

Often, if you say, “are you available for a meeting this Tuesday?”, they will come back and suggest next Tuesday. Instead, if you ask them for time in this afternoon, they may say tomorrow. If you can get them to commit to a time that early, that’s a win.

We all know that catching your prospects on the phone can be difficult, which is why you want to make the most out of the opportunity once you do. If you have a clear message that highlights and addresses their pain points, it can help you book more meetings – and ultimately help you close more sales.

Photo:  Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock.

Lauren Beliveau

Posted by Lauren Beliveau

Lauren is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Barracuda MSP. In this position, she creates and develops content that helps managed service providers grow their business. She also regularly writes The MSP’s Bookshelf and our Ask an MSP Expert column.

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