Selling data backup and disaster recovery (BDR) requires a certain set of skills, but maybe managed services providers (MSPs) are looking a little too hard for the perfect sales people.

CCNS Consulting owner Karl Bickmore told MSPmentor in an interview that when it comes to carving out territories for his sales team, he takes a vertical industry approach.

"This won't scale when we have many sales people, but it is definitely serving us well now," he said.

He added: "It gives each of them accountability to their vertical and a direct path as to who to network with and what events to participate in."

"When I am looking for a sales person I don't look for technical abilities right off the bat," he said. "In fact that could be a real deterent if they just sell speeds and feeds."

In his opinion, a good salesperson has the following qualities:

  • They have to be inviting. People need to feel at ease when they meet with them.
  • They need to be a relationship seller not a transactional seller. Transaction guys will get a few sales, but will not last if they don't regularly stay in touch with their client and ensure their success.
  • They need to be trained and able to express the value-based sell that shows how much business continuity is important. If they can't help the prospect understand that value they won't be successful in getting clients to realize why they should get a higher end solution rather than some cheap or commoditized solution.

Bickmore looks for a sales person with basic sales skills. To test for this, he gives a potential candidate a Sales Skills Index test, an exam that evaluates the skills of a sales person.

"Then after that it is all about how inviting are they," he said. "The final hurdle that we have to take very seriously is whether they are a cultural match for our organization."

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