In sales, understanding your clients’ needs plays an instrumental role in determining what it is that you’re going to sell them. It also sets the stage for how you’re going to then position those services.

One way to simplify this process would be to create and then research a “target list” of prospects. This will allow your sales team to tailor your company’s service offerings to those prospects specifically and will also assist with the marketing aspect of your sales campaign. This process is also beneficial to those companies that might be looking at targeting a new industry or vertical with their services.

Once you have determined “who it is” you’re going to market your services to, you then have to look at what those prospects “need” in order to ensure that your company’s services are properly aligned. Not all of your customers are going to have the same IT needs or have the same dependency on their network. Having both flexible & scalable services to match all the different profiles types will go a long way to meeting their needs. Whether you choose to focus on specific industries… or if you take all the customers you can get – being able to address these variables is key.

The difference between selling a solution over an actual tangible product is huge. When selling a product, generally the prospect has an understanding of what the product is. They have a mental picture of what the product looks like or what its functions are. It’s a tangible item and hence a commodity.

When selling a service or solution… the prospect often doesn’t fully understand the entire scope of the service or what’s involved with its delivery. The reason for this gap is simple. A product performs or allows the prospect themselves to perform a task that may or may not generate revenue like a server, firewall a copier or even a paper shredder. A Managed Service solution is a “bunch” of service deliverables that, when combined, offer the prospect “Peace of Mind”, “Cost savings” and “ROI”. In order to sell a service or a solution, MSPs must make intangible service offerings real for customers by matching those services to the prospect’s core business functions and needs.

The simplest way to achieve this is to develop a sales process that illustrates your prospects’ current IT costs as well as any inefficiency in how their network is currently being supported. The main objective is to allow your prospects to identify and then associate a greater cost by not proactively managing their network. An easy way to do this is to demonstrate the cost savings between the typical break fix service arrangements over even an entry level managed service offering where their core network devices are being monitored. “Mean time to resolution” is a very effective tool when selling managed services.

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