MSP Sales Tips To Close More Deals

MSP Sales Tips
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    I’ve been doing MSP marketing for close to 5 years now and have worked with a about a dozen technology businesses in some capacity and have had conversations with dozens more. For the most part I’ve been able to generate similar volume and quality of leads across the companies I’ve worked with in various markets. The biggest difference I have seen between the MSPs that extract a satisfying amount of value from the leads they get and those that continue to struggle is their ability to close deals.

    MSPs are often used to scorching hot referrals coming their way that already have an understanding of price and value and just simply aren’t used to selling to leads that come in from the open market. Although it does happen, it’s more rare for people to call in or submit a contact form and say something along the lines of “we’re looking for a new MSP” and quite frankly many of those people are just price shopping or really aren’t the best prospects.

    More often you’ll get leads that have a number of IT issues they are dealing with and are at a breaking point where they are looking for some help. These are often companies that 20-50 headcount in size and may or may not already have an IT manager or IT person staff or one that has recently left. However the person reaching out is most often not the IT manager, but usually some flavor of firm administrator or operations manager or something of that nature.

    These are sweet spot companies in terms of size for an MSP to service but closing them requires some skill in sales. You’ll need to sell them both on the MSP business model and your company. You’ll need to convince them that slapping a bandaid on their IT issues isn’t the best solution and that moving to a proactively managed IT department is the solution they are really searching for. It’s not easy, but it’s doable because I see it done all the time and I’m of the opinion that your MSP can’t truly progress until you’ve mastered the ability to close 20% or more of these types of prospects. In this post I’ll give you a few sales tips from a marketers perspective about how you can close more deals and grow your MSP.

    Get Excited And Bring Some Energy To Your Calls

    A good sales call starts with a good frame of mind. If you aren’t excited about the call why should your prospects be? I like to do two little hacks before my calls, both of which I saw in TED talks. One of them is based on the fact that smiling can elicity the same amount of happiness that being given $25,000 dollars can. Before calls I like to stand up stretch a little bit and just smile big to help lighten my mood. It works!

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    The other hack I like to do is power positions. This is from another TED talk that showed how athletes winning major sporting events and other people after achieving significant accomplishments tend to raise their hands in the air in celebration, also known as a power position. Again before sales calls I like to do a few power positions (while smiling) which I think helps to boost confidence and perform better on the calls.

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    Try these couple of hacks for yourself and put yourself in a good and confident mood before your sales calls. Your energy will be contagious and your prospects will feel it!

    Listen More And Talk Less

    It seems basic and obvious, but it needs re-iterating. I listen to call recordings of many inbound sales calls for MSPs and I can confidently say that many MSP owners and execs simply don’t listen to their prospects. They are so concerned with sharing the price or just going on and on about how great their software is or saying how transformational their solution is that they don’t take the time to let the prospect feel heard. We live in a world where people care about themselves and don’t want to hear anything about other people’s problems. At the same time people will shell out hundreds and hundreds of dollars per week just to have a therapist listen to them talk. They will gladly shell out thousands to hire your MSP if you just listen to them AND can manage their IT needs.

    Use Their Language Even If It’s The Wrong Language

    There can be a bit of an elitist and not so noob friendly culture in the MSP space, especially when it comes to terminology. If you’ve ever gone deeper in the world of software development you may be familiar with the concept of domain driven design where one of the core principles is ubiquitous language. The principal essentially says that while working within a given domain that everyone using the same language is more important than what the language is, because the proper language is contextual.

    MSPs could take a little something from this. You’ve got to shelve your tendency to correct, condescend, or be disrupted by the customer using incorrect language. Instead seek to understand what words they are using to describe things and talk to them in their language. It doesn’t matter if they are mixing up switch/router/hub and calling them the wrong things. It doesn’t matter if they are calling it a “doohickey” use their language and if you can’t and need to clarify things for the sake of continuing the conversation then take the time to educate them instead of passively aggressively refer to them in your own language or terms. All that makes the prospect do is think, “ok well screw you too then smart guy”. Note that to use the prospects language, you’ve got to listen closely!

    Create A Branded Sales Presentation

    If you’re having regular sales meetings you’ll come to see that people have different ways they preferred to be sold to. Some people just want to talk, and you’ll never need to open your slide deck, but some people, especially those with social anxiety really, appreciate watching or listening to your sales presentation. For those that crave a little more structure and would like to see a presentation, make sure that you have one ready and that you’re comfortable delivering the presentation without having to “drain the slides”. Make sure your branding is prominently featured so people can remember your company’s marks!

    Set An Agenda And Objective For Your Calls

    Your prospect’s time is valuable, set an agenda for your calls and stick to it. If it’s a qualification call tell them you’ve planned for 20-30 minutes of questions and then that at that point you can both decide whether or not to move forward to the next step of discovery. Ask them what they were hoping to get out of the call for the day and make sure you’re both aligned on expectations. Get aligned at the beginning of the call, execute the agenda and then decide whether you want to move forward to the next step and then ask them if they want to move forward to the next step. Impress prospects with your crispness and show them that you’ve done this before.

    Follow Up Promptly With Supporting Information

    Once your sales call is over don’t forget to follow up with a thank you for joining, a quick recap of what you talked about, and any supporting information such as:

    • Company Overviews
    • Slide decks
    • MSAs
    • Price lists
    • Proposals
    • Website Links
    • Other buyer enablement materials

    Todays B2B buyers are often purchasing via committee, arm your champions with the information they need to evangelize your brand within their organizations.

    Wrapping Up MSP Sales Tips To Close More Deals

    First impressions matter and you’ve only got one chance to make one. Set yourself up for success in your sales calls with these MSP sales tips. Put yourself in the right frame of mind before your calls, listen to what your prospects say, use their language, deliver a strong sales presentation, follow a call agenda, and don’t forget to follow up promptly with supporting information. Follow these tips and you’ll surely be ahead of many MSPs out there in the market still struggling to close new deals and grow their MSPs.

    Are you struggling to even get into sales meetings due to a lack of leads? Reach out to Tortoise and Hare today to learn how we can help your MSP generate more inbound leads and book more sales meetings.

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    Hunter Nelson

    Hunter is the founder and president of Tortoise and Hare Software, a digital marketing agency for managed service providers. Hunter has more than 10 years’ experience building web applications and crafting digital strategies for companies ranging from scrappy startups to Fortune 50 household names. When not on the clock, you'll find him spending time with his family and pups, relaxing on the beach, or playing competitive online video games. See for more.

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