You have decided to make the transition to managed services. Congratulations! You have made the first step in positioning your business at the forefront of the changing world of commercial integration.
Your new service-based business model will require a new sales strategy. You will be selling and collecting recurring revenue, decreasing lump sum payments, and working to convince clients that your services, not your competitors’, are the best for them.
But how? Before you begin selling managed services, rethink the “why.” Why should clients buy from your company and not others? What are the compelling and unique types of value you bring to the table?
Hint: It’s not the bells and whistles of your latest technology. If you fail to differentiate your company’s true value, you end up with the same commodities (SaaS and HaaS) that competitors offer. That’s a quick path to a price war.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO AS-A-SERVICE
Tips, advice, and long-term solutions on how to transition your business to an as-a-service model, and why it’s beneficial to do so.
Part 1: Why Change Your Business Model?
Part 2: How to Plan for the Big Transition
Part 3: Managing Cash Flow
Part 4: Adapting Your Sales Strategy
Part 5: Transitioning Your Existing Clients
Part 6: Business Process Automation
Part 7: How to Retain Clients
Check back for updates and new sections of the Ultimate Guide to As-a-Service to be released on CommercialIntegrator.com.
The reasons clients should want to buy from you will have everything to do with the value of your complete package—the bundle of systems and services you offer, and more importantly your unique experience, your industry and technology knowledge, and the value of your advice to clients. Your job is to convince them why you’re worth the investment.
After you’ve got a firm sense of what sets your company apart—your value—it becomes easier to fine tune your sales presentation for the new model.
Selling on hardware specifications is the way of the past. You need to focus on the total value of your systems, services, and knowledge and how it can solve problems in your client’s business. This is known as solution selling; it’s a highly consultative approach that works best for managed services sales.
The best sales professionals have always been good listeners. Selling managed services should be more of a conversation than a presentation. Ascertain your customer’s pains and challenges, and then present how your services are a solution to each problem.
You will also need to adjust your sales compensation plan. You’ll have to get creative to optimize commissions and cash flow, give salespeople more carrots than you might have previously (especially during the early stages of transition), and prevent your staff from resting on their laurels as recurring and residual revenue begins to flow in.
In Chapter Four of the Ultimate Guide to As-a-Service, you will learn how to adjust your sales strategy for the coming changes. Receive tips on how to motivate your sales team, talk to them about the new sales presentation, and develop a new commission plan for the future.