How to Build an MSP Sales Force from Scratch

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One of the common mistakes that I’ve observed in the MSP community is the mistake of hiring salespeople based on their alleged experience.

I use the word alleged deliberately due to the fact that many salespeople in the MSP world are very good at getting hired but not quite as good at doing the job that an MSP has hired them to do… selling new contracts. That is due to the fact that many MSPs look for people with technical skills rather than sales skills.

It is paramount to hire someone who has proven consultative, C-level selling skills.

For the past 38 years, I have worked with thousands of salespeople, and this experience has led me to the conclusion that it is far easier to teach someone new technologies, policies and procedures than it is to teach someone how to sell.

That is due, to a large extent, to the fact that one’s sales ability is a function of DNA and God-given attributes rather than something that you can pour into an employee.

In short, if the DNA isn’t correct, there is no amount of sales training, motivation and/or flogging that will get an inappropriately aligned salesperson to sell predictably and profitably.

So, rather than look for a salesperson with a large number of technology certifications, look for someone who has consistently sold concepts to business owners and executives at the C level. Then, and this is the secret sauce, charge them with selling network assessments before you ask them to sell any technology-driven concept.

Properly positioned, an assessment is really a service that will drive your organization to new levels of monthly recurring revenue. You see, the businessmen and women in your community don’t know what they don’t know, as it pertains to their network.

In other words, they don’t know whether their network is operating effectively or not. They don’t know what risk they are running, based on their current security settings. They don’t know what it costs them to have downtime and/or network outages.

In spite of this, the “civilians” that we sell to will perceive that their network is working if all of the computers are operating. Civilians (men and women who are not technically savvy but do make business decisions) confuse the low or slow operating conditions with the status quo.

In other words, they’ve come to accept that the network is what it is, and they don’t know how much better their life, their business, their productivity and profitability will be when their network is operating at optimum levels of efficiency.

Your new conceptual/consultative salesperson can sell assessments for your company proficiently and predictably if, and only if, that’s the only thing you want them to sell.

If you charge $1,000 per assessment, your new salesperson will pay for him or herself within 60 days or less. As they become proficient at selling assessments, then open their education to other products.

But, the assessment is the best way to go if you want to get MSP clients (and who doesn’t???) and if you want to hire people who will pay for themselves, virtually instantaneously.

Yes, it does take six months to a year to become a totally proficient, full-line, MSP sales professional – starting from scratch – but less than a month to become proficient at selling assessments.

I hope this idea serves you well. As always, I wish you… Good Luck and Good Selling!!!

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