When you think of automation, you think of processes where humans are no longer involved - such as the use of robots and AI. Business automation is developing rapidly, not only in the tech industry, but also in other sectors. But can sales be automated as well? In the B2B world of the MSP, sales is still very much a human-driven activity, where people buy from people. As a salesperson, you build relationships and it is those relationships that ensure your customers keep coming back for more.
So, how can you automate sales? Should you even automate it at all? And what exactly is automated sales?
First of all, MSPs need to automate across the board. The shortage of labour in the market, the changing customer demand, and the rise of new value added services, means that the MSP must increasingly automate. This applies to service processes, monitoring, service desk, and also sales.
Sales remains a profession
MSPs' marketing and sales have developed significantly, with technology no longer selling and owners being too busy to do sales. Customers now want to know the value they are getting, and sales teams need to advise them on automation solutions. MSP salespeople must have a good understanding of the services, manage the sales process, and focus on the customer, but time is a challenge for MSPs.
Time is what we lack
The challenges faced by MSPs in operations also apply to their sales teams, who need more time to become familiar with new and existing customers. Customer IT needs are constantly changing due to factors such as personnel changes, introduction of new applications, and data growth. Sales teams receive numerous operational questions from customers, such as those regarding new laptops or equipment. While this may seem simple, in reality, it requires a significant amount of time for sales. They need to provide advice on the equipment, inquire about prices and delivery times from suppliers, and then process that information into a quote. Additionally, if the customer places an order, sales is also responsible for managing the purchasing process.
Sales time is revenue time
You can compare a good salesperson with a waiter in a restaurant. A skilled waiter knows the best side dishes and the most profitable wine for the restaurant, and similarly, an MSP's salesperson can advise the customer on solutions that will benefit them while also creating additional revenue opportunities. However, this does require time from sales to initiate the conversation, develop solutions, and position new services.
The solution: Automate sales
The solution is to automate the sales process, especially for changes in prices and equipment models. By automating the time-consuming sales process, customers can enjoy fast service. Salesbuildr has built a portal that allows customers and their employees to choose their equipment and prices, which is linked to your PSA environment and distributors. This automated process can also be applied to new software licenses and managed services. Sales will have more time for customer conversations, and customers will appreciate the freedom of choice and cost insights. Additionally, sales can better organise up- and cross-selling, similar to the waiter in a restaurant.
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