October 15, 2019
Solution Sales: It’s a Piece of Cake
Many managed service providers (MSPs) have a technical background rather than one in business or sales. You may be one of them. And that makes sense since your focus is finding the right technology for your customers. However, tech chops alone don’t guarantee business growth. To expand your managed services practice, you need a defined sales strategy.
One strategy popular among MSPs is known as “solution selling.” Solution selling is a sales strategy that seeks to identify customer pain points and recommend a product or set of products that addresses them. For MSPs, though, products are just one part of the solution. A large part of the value you provide is your expertise and service. Steven Saslow of ITG Cloud, a Connecticut-based MSP, shared a great analogy for solution selling in a recent presentation for new Datto employees.
“If you want a cake, you can go to a bakery and buy one for $30. Or, you can go to the store, buy the ingredients, and bake it yourself,” he said. “That might cost $10, but it’s also time- consuming. Plus, the cake from the bakery is better than the one you made. In other words, you aren’t just paying for the ingredients. You are paying for the baker’s time and expertise, as well.”
Saslow said that he first heard this analogy from Gary Pica of TruMethods, an MSP peer group. “When he said that, it just clicked. When you buy a cake, it’s not like there’s separate line items for flour, sugar, and eggs,” he said. “That’s how we sell managed services.”
ITG Cloud takes solution selling a step further with hardware as a service (HaaS). According to Saslow, HaaS eases management because products are standardized across customers. This allows ITG Cloud to serve more and larger customers while keeping headcount low.
With HaaS, the hardware costs are built into the monthly fee for services and agreements include an option for replacing hardware after a designated period of time. This appeals to many customers, simply because it’s easy. Plus, it saves you the effort and hassle of going through another sales process with your client. As you are well aware, when you invite a new negotiation, you invite your competition to the table. With HaaS, the automatic hardware refresh option takes that off the table. That’s good for business.
To learn more about solution selling and HaaS, check out our new eBook, Selling Networking as a Managed Service.