The uncertain economy has many MSPs seeing fewer leads in their sales funnel as well as a longer sales cycle with extended negotiation rounds. The changes in prospect behaviors are impacting MSP business growth projections. To overcome this, Kendra Lee, president of KLA group, shared some key steps on how to build a successful sales and marketing prospecting plan to achieve your business goals in a recent webinar with Barracuda MSP.
The magic lead to opportunity ratio
In a market without cautious buyers, MSPs can expect three times their lead to opportunity ratio to achieve their pipeline goal. However, as buyers are preparing for economic uncertainty, MSPs are likely seeing a five to one ratio in order to meet their pipeline objectives.
This is caused by prospects and buyers having tighter budgets. They are receiving pricing pressures which are causing buyers to seek discounts. The buying process has increased in complexity as more stakeholders are involved in budget spending projects and decision-making power is moving higher within the organization, causing a slower approval process.
Overcoming the cautious buyers
It is not all doom and gloom. Here are some simple steps MSPs can take to refine their processes to drive their sales pipeline and create quicker sales success:
- Increase testimonials – Testimonials are a great way to highlight the success of a company. Be persistent with getting testimonials from your existing customers. Embed the ask in all activities. This can be a follow up from a service call, send a quick note asking how you did and ask them to provide a testimonial through ‘Google My Business’, or if a prospect is looking for a discount, ask them if they are willing to provide a testimonial online.
- Market to customers – Do not ignore customers. Customers are already familiar with your service and your abilities. If there’s a new service offering, customers should be the first to learn about it and it will likely lead to a shorter sales cycle.
- Implement a referral program – Many companies get most of their leads from referrals. This happens especially when the MSP has not built a foundational marketing plan or put a repeatable sales process in place. Having a formalized referral program that is easy to use is especially important. This allows salespeople to become comfortable with asking for referrals. Also, it’s a great idea to put the referral information on your website and in your campaigns.
- Free promotional offers – Everyone likes a free offer. By implementing a free offer that is seen as valuable, such as a security evaluation or tech review, you can entice more hand raises. Take advantage of the opportunity to showcase your expertise, demonstrate your knowledge, and get the prospect thinking about partnering with you. If they can alleviate some of their workload and gain expertise in areas that they may not have knowledge of, they’ll be interested.
- Follow up process – It is important to have follow-up plans in place for all leads, no matter where they come from. This means, whether they are hot leads from the “contact us” page, email campaigns or asset downloads from your website, or a sales call, there should be a follow up process. The follow-up process will look different between marketing leads and sales calls. From a marketing point of view, it is crucial to have funnel campaigns where leads are moved closer to an appointment. For sales, the process may show more urgency and be more time sensitive, with one goal in mind, closing the deal.
- Make yourself known – Speak at local events, join local groups, host webinars, push beyond your comfort zone, and get your business in front of people. This will expand your reach, and you’ll establish yourself as an authoritative MSP that can help them with their IT needs.
The more you get in front of people to be seen, not just read about, the more you will emulate stability and demonstrate your value. To learn more about the best sales and marketing strategies to use during a cautious market, watch the webinar replay with Kendra today.
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