It is one of the most common frustrations we hear from IT solution sales professionals. “We need more leads” or “we need more qualified leads.”We get it, the marketplace is becoming more and more competitive and finding leads is an unanimous priority. This reality only makes it more critical that you use every possible tactic and strategy to convert the leads you do have and maximize the lifetime value (LTV) of every single customer relationship.
I put together a list of just four simple and effective ways value-added resellers (VARs), managed service providers (MSP), or any other IT channel sales professionals can make the most out of their existing leads and customer relationships.
1.Invest In Relational Equity
This is a new term that I recently learned. Perhaps it’s a new trend, but it’s essentially a new twist on relationship building. Using a banking analogy almost anyone can relate to, relational equity is where you deposit, relationally, into your prospect.
This may seem like sales 101, but taking the time to get your prospect to trust you enough to buy from you is no easy feat. And in today’s world, everyone is skeptical. Never skimp on investing the time and energy into building trust.
When you invest or spend the time to deposit relational equity into your prospect, you are more likely to get a yes when you ask for the sale, because you are building what would be called “relational funds” in that prospects “account”.
What ways can you invest?
- Stop being a commodity seller, or an order taker.
- Be an educator. Share knowledgable content that will help educate them of their decision.
- Have the prospect's best interest at heart. People know when you are being genuine. Be a listener. Understand their circumstances, not just the details you need in order to produce a quote.
Everyone is out to take your dollar these days, be your prospects breathe of fresh air, by being on their side. Everyone wants to do business with someone they trust and like.
2. Don’t Focus Only On What The Prospect Will Buy
What your prospect will buy is only part of the sale. Go beyond the technology solution details and ask questions about their business and financial needs as well as pain points. Understand how prospects have paid for solutions in the past, and why. Are there unknowns about the future that create concerns? What gives them hesitation about making a new acquisition?
Having this type of dialogue helps you gain trust and credibility. It contributes to building the relational equity mentioned in item one above. It is also a tactic that differentiates you, because most competitors do not take the time to discuss and understand this scope and level of detail with customers.
3. Try Leading With A Monthly Payment Option
Quite simply, the AE's who convert the most leads and close the most sales make a monthly payment part of their solution recommendation. And monthly payment options can often solve and bring value to the additional business and financial details you uncovered using tactic two above.
If you are resistant to using a monthly payment option as a sales tool, you need to read this article from the Monitor by Rick Bueti, who is a senior technology sales professional that consults to help businesses make the best financial decision on technology acquisitions.
Are you still hesitant because you are not the financial expert? Don't worry, you never have to be. TAMCO partners have a dedicated support contact to collaborate, join customer calls, and be your financial engineer.
4. Sell More Multi-Year Maintenance
It’s good for you. And it’s good for the customer. The challenge is when you present this only as a cash purchase, customers typically will not pay for three, four, or more years of support upfront. Tactic three and monthly payment options now become even more relevant. Customers commit to multiyear support on only about 12% of cash sales, but will do so on over 60% of monthly payment sales. You are almost 6x more likely to sell multiyear maintenance if you make a monthly payment part of your solution recommendation!
Getting more leads does not mean that you will make more sales. Make the most of the leads you do have by adjusting your sales tactics to include these four methods. Remember, if you do what you have always done, you will continue to get what you have always received.
If you are ready to receive more and see bigger gains, you must adapt, and you must change your ways.