Are you making the most of your sales opportunities? Regardless of your business' size, there's always room for growth, especially in the managed services market.

Several industry experts have predicted the managed services market will grow over the next few years, which could lead some managed service providers (MSPs) to take drastic measures to stay ahead of their rivals.

George A. Merusi III, a sales executive for data backup and disaster recovery (BDR) software company Datto, recently suggested MSPs can help their IT technicians become salespeople to gain a competitive advantage.

IT techs are "trusted advisors that have incredible knowledge about their products and services," Merusi said, and MSPs that offer these employees the right tips, tools and training can help them succeed in sales roles.

So what does it takes for IT techs to become successful salespeople? Merusi provided the following tips:

  1. Instill confidence – Who doesn't enjoy a pep talk? Sales conversations might be daunting for IT techs at first, but these techs already know the ins and outs of the solution they're selling. Reminding techs that they are having a conversation with a prospect about a solution they know well, Merusi said, can help them become more confident.
  2. Master the introduction – You only get one chance to make a first impression, and Merusi noted that opening up the lines of communication is key when you introduce yourself. Start with a firm handshake and exchange business cards during your introduction. Merusi also recommended searching for clues in an office (or wherever your meeting is held) that you can use to help you identify the type of person you're meeting with so you can tailor the conversation to your prospect.
  3. Follow up with your prospects – "Make sure to connect with [prospects] aside from asking for the sale [by] sharing market insight or solution updates in between 'sales calls,'" Merusi said. By doing so, you can lay the foundation for a long-lasting partnership.
  4. Discuss value – Why should a prospect consider your solution over others that are on the market? Value is important for customers everywhere, and a great salesperson is always prepared for questions about a solution's value when he or she interacts with a customer, Merusi said.

"A technician who can sell can act upon a client's trust," Merusi added. "With trust established, it's much easier to influence and advise, and sell."

Transforming your IT techs into salespeople is a win-win for both your business and its salesforce, and Merusi noted that "with a little extra time and effort, you can turn existing staff resources into an effective salesforce – and have the people who know your products and services best – selling them to your clients and prospects."

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