When I consult with I.T. company owners who are looking to increase their MRR, and who want to build their sales and marketing programs in-house, I try to focus first on eliminating the most common challenges. You don’t need to look for “zebras”.  Most of the time, a pipeline problem is a “horse” problem, and it can be traced back to one of five things:

  1.  Volume
  2.  Consistency
  3. Data Management
  4. Training Gaps
  5. Wrong Person, Wrong Seat

The bad news?

It might be all five.

The good news?

All five issues are easy to identify if you’re using the right tools, and the fixes aren’t complicated!  Join me this summer as I outline each issue every week, and share how you can better utilize your PSA or CRM software to identify, solve and prevent problems.

Join Carrie Simpson, Founder of Managed Sales Pros, for the webinar “How MSPs Can Better Manage Prospecting in PSAs” on Tuesday, July 28 at 2 PM PT.



Problem One: Volume

For business owners or sales leaders that are self-professed “numbers guys”, this issue should be a simple one for you to isolate, and an even simpler one to fix.  Just do the math!  On average you should be able to schedule one appointment for every 120 dials made. A full time dedicated agent can make about 100 dials a day, and it takes 250 dials to get a qualified sales appointment.  If your goals are “5 new appointments every week” for your MSP, you’d need to make 5000 dials to hit that number.  With one full time outbound agent, that’s one meeting every 2.5 days.

Most MSPs don’t have their own full-time outbound telemarketer.  Are you making your own outbound calls?  Is a sales rep with other responsibilities making calls in-between other obligations?  Cold calling works, but it only works when you do.  If you’re not making enough calls, you’re not going to see the results that you want.  If you’re paying for five hours of calling, and you do the math on the hours of calling you need to schedule an appointment (around 20), it’s pretty easy to figure out where the wheels are coming off.

Identifying/Isolating the Issue:

This is a simple issue to identify.  Review your numbers.  Average them out for the quarter.  Did you or your team make the number of calls required to get the number of meetings you expected?  If you didn’t, the first thing you will try in order to improve your sales process will be super simple:  make more calls.

If you want more meetings, you need to make more calls.  Here are a few ways you or your team can increase your daily call volume:

  1. Integrate a calling platform with your PSA/CRM – if you’re still picking up and putting down a phone on every dial, switch to a click-to-dial solution that allows you to move quickly in between leads.
  2. Identify the repetitive tasks in-between dials and streamline or eliminate as much after-call work as possible.  Try adding drop-down defined fields instead of typing in call outcomes like “Sarah was not available” or “Bob no longer works here”.
  3. Stop researching in-between dials.   You can’t call 100 times a day if you’re spending half of your day on LinkedIN.
  4. Start with better, cleaner data.  You can’t make 100 great calls a day if 30 of those calls go to wrong numbers.

If you are still stumped here because you can’t pull reports on your calling activity, it’s time to learn how!  Your CRM will have step by step instructions on how to do this, but I find that anytime I’m trying to figure out how to do anything, the quickest route to success is a good old Google search like “How do I build a weekly activity report in (name of system)?”  

The bad news?  Your PSA doesn’t make reporting simple “out of the box”.  You may want to review solutions like BrightGauge, which allow you to create dashboards for all of the key performance indicators you want to measure for your MSP.

Most Professional Services Automation platforms were not purpose-built for outbound prospecting.  Your PSA was built to manage service requests.  Fortunately there are several simple changes you can make within your PSA that will allow you to better manage prospecting and prospect data.   Many of them you won’t even need to bother changing settings for.  For example, in most PSAs, you can use a naming convention for every note or activity logged, and this allows you to see at a glance what you or your caller has done daily, weekly or monthly.  Use a different note for every activity or task instead of adding information to previous notes.  Here’s how:

  • First the date:  DAY MONTH YEAR
  • Then the activity:  CALL
  • Then the outcome: NO ANSWER

When you’re ready to pull an activity report, it’s a simple as searching your notes – your closed activities can now be sorted and searched, so you can track results without creating custom reports, without disrupting any of your previously set up automation triggers, and without getting an admin involved.

In order to do this successfully, you will first need to decide on the naming convention, and then the language you use for activities and outcomes.  At Managed Sales Pros the calling disposition (or outcome) “FU” means “follow up scheduled”.  The disposition “FOAD” means “FU” in the manner in which most people would normally use it.  If one of your team is using “NA” for “not available” and another person on your team uses “NA” for “no answer” you won’t ever have accurate activity reports.

You can find our “Call Disposition Cheat Sheet” here:   (link to infographic)

Common sense but needs to be stated: Never make administrative changes to your CRM or PSA without consulting with the teams that use and support it.  

Next post, we’ll give you some ideas on how you can identify, isolate and solve problems caused by inconsistent activity.

Join us for a webinar on Tuesday, July 28 at 2 PM PT and learn how you can identify, isolate and solve sales problems by managing your data better in your CRM or PSA!

Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6466176614041020687

To schedule some time to discuss how Managed Sales Pros can help you create or improve your sales process, email us at hello@managedsalespros.com or schedule a complimentary consult with Carrie Simpson here:  https://calendly.com/coldcallcarrie