In our earlier blog entry, we wrote about the five mistakes reps make when selling managed services.

One of the most costly mistakes is failing to connect your managed service offering to a business problem. Many reps are afraid to call on people outside of their typical comfort zone (i.e. mid level IT). Here are some best practices and two sample call scripts to help solve this problem.

Target Right Person: Reps must know what specific business problems are solved by the managed service solution. Does it help a company cut costs, improve customer service, reduce risk, or provide a capability that does not exist today? How is this solution relevant to decision stakeholders such as Finance, Operations, and IT? Who's the most likely person to drive this type of managed services purchasing decision?

Establish Credibility: This requires a relevant sales message that allows your target customer to quickly answer the question, "now I know why this person is calling me."

Qualify: If this can't be done prior to calling a senior decision maker, you need to ask a few key questions to ensure your solution is a match for the target person's problem. Examples would include “As I mentioned, our solution helps companies reduce costs of X by upwards of 30%. What is this costing you today? What would compel you to look at a better solution?"

Sell The Meeting: You must convince your targets that a meeting will be a good user of their time. Example – “Based upon our conversations, I recommend we get together for a 45 minute follow-up meeting. At this meeting, we can help get more clarity on your specific situation and determine if we might have a good solution for you.”

Ping Your Targets: Some reps prefer to send an email prior to calling on a business executive. Here are some best practices:

  • The subject line must jump out at the prospect and have a compelling What's In It For Me message
  • You need to build trust and credibility by the end of the second paragraph. If you don't, the prospect will stop reading.
  • Establish previous success by relating a success story or how you solved a similar problem for another organization.
  • Don't start selling in your email. Instead, let your prospects know you are interested in understanding their needs.
  • Be sure to include a call to action. For example, "I will be calling you on . . ."

Dialing for Success: When placing the call, follow these basic steps.

  • State who you are, where you are calling from and why you are calling…then, get permission to proceed.
  • Describe what you do and why it's relevant to the stakeholder your calling.

Ask for feedback: "Was I correct in assuming these are issues for you?" If they answer yes, ask for an appointment. If no, find out what their top issues are and who in their organization might be interested. Probe for further information such as "what is this costing you today?" and "what would compel you to look at a better solution?"

Most importantly: Sell the value of a face to face meeting and close for it.

Finally, Follow the Scripts: We've included a sample email and phone script in the MSPmentor Resource Center (Registration Required). You can modify each script for your particular offering. Also, keep an eye out for the announcement of an upcoming Webcast, presented in association with MSPmentor, where we will cover this topic in greater detail.

Guest blogger duo Al Rosenbaum is the executive VP of Sales for LogicBay and Mike Stankus is the CEO and professional sales coach with STM360.