At Dattocon 2018, Carrie Simpson was able to catch up with Managed Sales Pros client, Daniel Johnson of Machine Logic.

Daniel shared some  tips for MSPs who are considering a potential engagement with a third party sales development firm like Managed Sales Pros.

Important factors include:

  1.  Find a good fit for your business.  Not every vendor will be a partner.  Once you understand what you want from a vendor, find a company that matches the way that you like to work.
  2. Decide what you are great at and what you want to focus on.  Then find partners that help relieve you of the tasks that you aren’t great at or don’t want to be doing.  You run your business, and let your partners support you in being the best you can be.
  3.  Give your partnership time to work.

Successful sales prospecting (cold calling, sales development, telemarketing, whatever you wish to call it) requires a process that ensures that you’re gathering all the data you need to create a solid sales pipeline, and isn’t about one-and-done calling.   Our strategy includes attempting to learn one new piece of information about every prospect on every call.  Your strategy should, too!  Then we manage that information, and collect even more using a process that ensures we are growing the client database, identifying contract end dates, learning about competitors and qualifying opportunities.  If you’re only focused on sales appointments, you’re going to miss out on the long term benefits of sales prospecting, which include a predictable pipeline for years to come.

The biggest challenge with sales prospecting for most MSPs is the amount of time it takes to see success.  Most of the time you won’t see R.O.I. from cold call prospecting for over a year, and that’s a long time for most companies to wait.  We know that cold calling can and does produce over 1000% R.O.I for companies that stick to it for two years or more.   We don’t all have the budget for two years of third-party cold calling services, though – so what should a company with a smaller budget and a shorter timeline for success try?  Well, don’t try an abbreviated cold calling program.  We advise companies to spend their money elsewhere if they aren’t going to prospect for a full year.  Three months of third-party prospecting with zero follow up afterwards will not be a valuable sales campaign.  If you’re looking for short term outbound prospecting wins, we suggest trying some of the following ideas:

  1.  Plan an event – with or without your vendors – that gives you a reason to call new and current prospects.  This allows you to grow your email marketing database, qualify or disqualify leads, and meet prospects face to face in a fun, no-pressure environment.  These shorter call campaigns are effective for creating pipeline.  Remember that once you finish the event you’ll need to nurture your leads, so plan accordingly.  You may close a deal from an event, but the real “gold” in events is gathering referrals and building your reputation.  Don’t like cold calling?  You’re going to need to build a very aggressive referral network, and that’s still going to take time and process.
  2. Host webinars.  Having a reason to call takes a lot of the “cold” out of cold calling, and while webinars have huge no-show rates, they allow you to create opt-in contact databases for your marketing initiatives.
  3.  Create an e-book or other online resource on relevant topics that you can offer at no-cost to the prospects you are calling.   There are so many ways to track how a prospect is interacting with your content.  You can tailor your follow ups specifically to what your prospect is interested in.  For example, if your calls direct your prospects to a content library and they continue to view security-focused articles, a follow up call hyper-focused on security increases your chances of moving the relationship forward.
  4. Start calling your network.  Your best referrals will come from happy clients, so first and foremost your goal should be to ensure the satisfaction of your current client base so you can confidently ask them for referrals!

If you’re going to use cold calling as part of your sales arsenal, we’d love to chat with you about our services – we can do the calling for you, we can teach you or your team how to cold call, and we can help you build a better cold calling process.  Call or email us to learn more about how we’re helping companies just like yours win more business more often! You can also fill out our contact form for a call back:

If you’re looking for a small block of calling time to “try out” prospecting, we’d be happy to help you create one of the smaller programs described above!