A perennial hot topic at managed services conferences is always building and maintaining strong sales teams and overall managed services operations teams. With that in mind, CompTIA has put together a new education resource, designed to help managed services members meet the task.

The industry organization's new Quick Start Guide to Managing a Managed Services Organization shares sales best practices gathered from some of the most successful managed service providers (MSPs). It's designed for channel businesses that may just be getting started with services selling.

For example, CompTIA noted that there is a gradual shift away from product-based reselling, and instead, many channel organizations are moving toward a business model predicated on recurring revenue and services.

"Channel firms will tell you that not only is the recurring services model a smart move for them, but [it] also meets customer demands," Kelly Ricker, CompTIA's senior vice president of events and education, told MSPmentor. "Many end users find the services model for IT attractive because it allows for more predictable pricing, much like other utilities, and moves technology purchases from a capital expenditure to an operational expense."

CompTIA also identified seven areas that MSPs must address to build and maintain a successful sales team:

  1. Targeting the right market – The key to understanding your unique value proposition is understanding your current position within your current market.
  2. Creating a sales process that differentiates your business – The best managed services sales teams have a defined sales process.
  3. Choosing the right sales team – There are three roles you will need to develop a managed services sales team that conveys a strong professional image: consultative sales executives, inside sales team members and an account manager.
  4. Grounding the sales team in a strong managed services knowledgebase – Knowledge is the foundation of a successful salesperson, and what salespeople know – and don't know – impacts the bottom line.
  5. Motivating the sales team with the right compensation system – Successful managed IT firms develop a compensation program that ensures that the business' best interests are aligned with the salesperson's.
  6. Employing technology to makes sales and service delivery more efficient – Professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools can help MSPs promote sales.
  7. Enabling sales through professional, aligned sales collateral and robust marketing – High-quality marketing and sales collateral are key to a salesperson's (and his or her organization's) success.

"Success in any business is never guaranteed. However, building a high-achieving sales managed sales organization is attainable," CompTIA wrote in its guide.

CompTIA's new guide is available here.

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