Prospecting and nurturing leads can be tedious, but it is an essential step in building your managed service business. These are some key tips and reminders that will help you keep your sales pipeline thriving. Prospecting is a key stage in building your managed service business, but it can also be one of the most difficult. Prospecting and nurturing leads is essential to keep your sales pipeline full. Otherwise, sales won’t happen.
Prospecting and nurturing leads is not glamorous and many find it to the be the most challenging part of the sales process. It’s not as exciting to close a deal, and too often people spend too much time doing everything to get the lead to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
Create a Sales Funnel
It is important to set aside time to plan and execute all activities in order to build and manage a profitable, flowing sales pipeline. Don’t let anything get in the way of your success. Failure to achieve these initial goals will make it more difficult to succeed. Here are four tips to help you build a sales funnel.
Plan your upcoming week. This includes all sales activities such as cold-calling and networking. Don’t forget to include any meetings you have held with potential clients.
Schedule your sales cycle. Decide how often and when you will follow up/communicate to leads.
For all activities, color code your calendar. You can then quickly assess how much you are spending on each activity by looking at your Sunday night calendar. This will help you identify areas that could be improved.
Follow your plan and then start over. Pipelines are not static. They are constantly in need of updating and refreshing. Successful businesses know that their pipeline is never finished. There’s always more work to do and more activities to nurture. You can form the right habits by being consistent and repeating yourself.
Practice and persistence pay off
Have your scripts ready for any interaction, no matter whether it is cold-calling, networking or nurturing leads. Practice them loudly over and over. Don’t try to sell. Instead, look for problems and challenges to solve. The goal is to meet face-to-face and identify areas where your solution can be applied to solve a specific business problem.
Consider the value of the meeting, and ask yourself why someone would want to give you 30 seconds of their time.
Here are four examples to remind you why they should.
You are an expert in providing support for companies like theirs.
You can also share the technology used by your competitors.
You can create a plan that you feel confident and comfortable with.
You can ensure that their intellectual property remains secure and readily available.
Not only is calling a way to meet new people, but so is calling. Asking clients for referrals can be a great way to build a future pipeline. Did you know that 91% B2B buyers are influenced when they make a buying decision by word-of-mouth? My experience shows that the close ratio is much higher. Your technicians are often out in the field solving problems every single day. This is a great opportunity for you to ask for a referral. Just have the tech say casually, “Hey, if there’s anybody who could benefit from our service. Please let me know or give my name to them.” The rewards will almost always be greater than the risks.
It is a powerful way to generate leads by networking with companies in your target market. This helps to build relationships and, according to Tom Hopkins in “Sales prospecting for Dummies”, your closing ratio for unqualified leads is 10% vs. 60% for referred leads.
It doesn’t matter what activity it is, it is important that you remain persistent!
Alisa Kunz, senior director of sales enablement at TeamLogicIT, is a member the executive council for CompTIA’s Managed Services Community.
Join our Managed Services Community to get more tips for improving your MSP business.