Sales results are a long standing issue that occurs between sales teams and MSP’s. The purpose of this article is to shed some light on why many MSP’s dislike sales.

In a phrase, I believe that there is a love hate relationship that exists.

Specifically, when an MSP or VAR has a sales team that is producing profitable transactions, the MSP literally loves the sales force. There are probably many reasons for this.

First, the technical skills of a VAR or MSP are always at their highest. In order for a person to be very good technically they have grown up and flourished in a world where there are absolutes.

Simply put, to a technology driven mind, 2+2 should always be 4.

But, to a sales driven mind 2+2 will frequently not produce the outcome of 4. Consequently what sales people do is sometimes confusing and frustrating to the technical mind of the MSP or VAR.

Let’s try to bridge that gap through the balance of this article.

First, understand that there are several different styles of selling.

A sales person, who sells in a consultative fashion more often than not, will be very successful in our technology world. However, should that sales professional sell in a stimulus response/demand fulfillment mode they will be successful as long as the customers keep calling in or visiting your website.

In order for sales person’s activities to be clearly understood by a MSP, the MSP must stop believing that the sales person is operating in a mode guaranteed to produce results.

The key to avoiding this conflict and this frustration is for you to have a sales process in place which is easily inspected.

A word of caution, when you ask many sales people to account for the quality and quantity of activity, you will find some sales people (the hard to manage ones) pushing back and stating that they don’t work well in an environment where they are accountable. This misconception is, in my opinion, one of the biggest sticking points and creates the love/hate relationship.

You see, the sales person’s employer knows that they’re spending money (even if you pay on a commission only basis) but they can’t tell what they’re getting for their money.

The unwritten and unspoken component of this kind of compensation speaks to the fact that the employer must trust the employee/sales professional is doing what they are supposed to do.

This trust is frequently misplaced or at least confused with good management. If you want to eliminate the conflict between you and sales people you must build a sales process which holds the team accountable.

This process will speak to the accountability to the number of first meetings completed by the sales professional. This metric of first meetings is the vital metric to be measured and managed in order for you to achieve your goals.

You should collect a weekly plan and review form from your sales team. If you’ve attended one of my presentations at the ASCII forums, the goal setting and review form is part of the sales manager tool kit which I distributed.

If you weren’t able to attend and would like my sales manager’s tool kit, feel free to contact me at [email protected] and I will send it to you asap.

Lastly, make sure that you get a forecast from the team that complies with the rules established in my Initial Plan document which is also in your tool kit. If you implement these simple steps, you will find that you are perhaps for the first time in total control of your organizations sales efforts.

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