Improving Your MSP Sales Process

Managed Sales Pros Sales process Improvement

Long before I began consulting with technology business owners who wanted to improve their MSP sales process, I was introduced to the concept of “Constant Improvement”.  I was selling vaccuum cleaners door-to-door way back in my early 20s.  While door-knocking wasn’t a glamorous job, I was fortunate to have a charismatic and focused sales manager who challenged me (and all of his sales recruits) to “Commit to CANI!”  

CANI=

Constant

And

Never-ending

Improvement

I bought in to the Commit to CANI approach 100%.

Commit to CANI

I understand now that “Commit to CANI” was a Tony Robbins concept shared by this sales leader – and likely credited at the time, but who knows? I remembered the message, not the messenger.   The goal was incremental daily improvement, and the idea is sound: you can get anything you want if only you just work towards that goal every single day without fail.

Ultimately, winter came and my commitment to not freezing my butt off in Winnipeg overshadowed my interest in door-to-door sales. I moved on to inside sales and telemarketing roles.   Starting your sales career door knocking on a commission only basis makes you pretty immune to rejection.  Starting your sales career eating what you kill makes you less tied to the idea of base salary – in short, commission only cold sales gigs create sales beasts who don’t fear hard work or rejection.  I have off-the-charts risk tolerance and rejection doesn’t bother me. Losing bothers me. It’s not surprising that I ended up as an entrepreneur.

Atomic Habits

The world has changed a bit.  I don’t know that I would want my 20 year old daughter going into strangers homes to vaccuum their carpets and sell them small appliances in 2021 (pandemic or no, it’s just weird juju).  I certainly don’t want her on the road in a poorly maintained  hoopty heading to small town nowhere to open new Filter Queen offices with a bunch of rowdy sales enthusiasts – but I would love to be able to recreate the feelings of both urgency and achievement that came along with that sales role.

A few years back, we discovered “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.

I apply that book – and the concept of improving by just one percent every day – to most areas of my life today.  Most people give up not because their goals are unattainable, but because they can’t tolerate the mundane and often unnoticable incremental changes that come along with a one percent approach.  Atomic Habits encourages a concept called “Habit stacking” – adding in an activity before or after a current activity in order to make the change less disruptive –  and drives home the idea that outcomes are achieved not by doing the action, but by preparing to do the action – in the same way, every day.

  • Are you trying to get fit?  Atomic Habits!
  • Wish you were able to keep the house tidier?  Atomic Habits!
  • Trying to be a better parent?  Atomic Habits!
  • Learning how to improve your MSP sales process?  You guessed it.  Atomic Habits.

Buy the book, apply it to your MSP sales process, or any other area of your life that you’re trying to improve.

#75Hard

Recently, I discovered the #75Hard program.

One of my MSP Sales process consulting clients was using it to improve his physical health and mental “toughness”.  It’s the opposite of Atomic Habits  – get ready to  drink from the fire-hose of self-improvement.  Founded by Andy Frisella, 75Hard is a program focused on mental “toughness”.

#75Hard requires you to do two 45-minute workouts every day with one of those workouts being outside.  It allows you to pick the workouts so you’re not going to hurt yourself.  You aren’t going from a sedentary lifestyle to running marathons overnight.  You need to read 10 pages of something every day – no audiobooks, it clearly states you must read actual books.  You drink a gallon of water every day (this is the hardest part of the challenge for me), you follow a diet of your choosing and take a progress picture every day.

Repeat It Until You Get it Perfect

If you don’t complete all the tasks, you start back at day one the next day, and you keep going until you hit your 75 day streak without exceptions or cheating. Uncomplicated, but definitely as described:  the challenge is hard.  I have not yet reached day 75.  In fact, I had to start over again this week when I mindlessly grabbed a handful of trail mix that had chocolate in it – not on my diet.  Boom, just like that I’m back at day one.

I like this approach for a few reasons.  It doesn’t tolerate or accomodate excuses.  There are no grey areas.  You did it, or you didn’t do it. It doesn’t matter if you were busy, sad, or sick. There are concessions for starting where you are – your two workouts don’t need to put you in traction.  Your diet is what you say it is.  Your reading is chosen by you – the program is flexible, but the parameters are not.  It doesn’t focus on one habit – it focuses on the things that derail your habits.  Poor time management, exceptions, self-deception.  There’s an app, which I like, if only for the accountability factor.

I just started over again today (July 26, 2021) so if you’re thinking about taking a run at it, connect with me on Linkedin and let me know so we can be accountability buddies!

Great Story, But How Do I Improve My MSP Sales Process?

Improving your MSP sales process is like making any other change in your life.  You can set yourself – or a member of your team – up for failure from day one if you’re not considering how you’re going to achieve the results you want.  Are you looking for a fire-hose solution or are you making deliberate, careful changes to your sales process?

If you’re making no calls today, and you decide that tomorrow is the day you’re going to make 100 calls a day, every day, until you achieve a certain result, the odds on you being disciplined enough to go from zero calls to 100 calls are pretty low.

75 Hard or Atomic Habits?

What if, instead of trying to change your entire MSP sales process overnight, you applied a more thoughtful and methodical approach to sales improvement?  What if you tried to “Atomic Habits” your way to sales success instead of trying to “75Hard” your way to sales success?

Both approaches will work – but only if you do, which will be the defining factor in your success.  You can absolutely go all in on sales – but with other priorities, obligations and daily tasks, is it realistic to think you can do it all right now?  Better to choose something to focus on and improve every day.  Download our checklist for incremental MSP sales process improvement, and get started on MSP sales success!  This page was pulled from Carrie Simpson’s book, “The Sales Focused MSP”.

Do you have over 1MM in ARR?  It may be time for you to consider outsourcing your sales prospecting process to experts, allowing you to focus on other things that you may enjoy more.  Sales should never be ignored by business owners, but parts of the sales process – especially the repetitive and mundane parts – can be assigned to others once you have a profitable and growing business.  If you would like to discuss working with Managed Sales Pros to improve your MSP sales process, we encourage you to email us at hello@managedsalespros.com or check out your potential return on investment from cold calling using our online ROI calculator, and fill out the contact form attached!