Prospective clients for IT services are almost always looking for an better alternative to their current IT support situation
How can we address these in marketing and sales?By messaging and positioning ourselves in ways that are relevant to the dissatisfaction the prospect is feeling with their current situation.
(e.g. stories of clients who received a call from our CEO or COO or IT Director within minutes, and said “WOW!” or laughed out loud and said “You guys are FAST!” or “THANK YOU for responding so QUICKLY!”
Car sales story
For years, this is what our Needs Analysis Meetings looked like, and I assume it’s what most new prospect meetings look like in our industry.Because I’ve been a business owner most of my life, business issues have always been a part of my conversations with prospects. But we always want to have conversations nobody else is having with our clients and prospects, so here is what our ideal Discovery Process looks like (next slide)
We typically begin by thanking them for inviting us, then inviting them to begin by telling us or asking us whatever they’d like to tell us or ask us.
Business Situation Questions (first needs analysis meeting)What’s going on in your business that’s driving / causing this change?How will it help your business?Tell us more about the IT situation.Timeframe for making a change. When do you want to do this?Ideally when would you like to address this?What are your business objectives for the next year?How do you see yourself achieving them?
IT Situation QuestionsIs your organization growing? ________If yes, what kind of growth do you project in the next 3-5 years and how do you see this affecting your I.T. situation? # of users from ____ to ____ in ______ Have technology failures ever caused you to miss a commitment to your clients? What is the number one technology related complaint of your staff? Have you experienced any problems with your network in the last 30-60 days? (Describe)
The Business Case QuestionsQuestion to understand the financial impact of the problem on the company’s business.ISSUE(s) How does this issue impact your ability to achieve your business objectives?Have you thought about what impact it will have if you don’t make the change / do this? Who else in your company is affected by this issue? Specifically how is this problem affecting your ability to operate effectively? How critical is the solution of this problem to the attainment of your company goals? How is the issue impacting your organization financially? What’s it costing you in:Hard dollars (revenue, expenses and capital investments)Productivity Your ability to compete effectively with your competitorsCustomer satisfactionOther
Along the way, to give the prospect a feel for what it’s like to work with us, we’ll to some test consultations and possible options we might recommend. We’ll share stories of similar business scenarios if possible, and offer ballpark pricing to gauge their reaction.THEN we do a site survey to gather the technical information we’ll need to prepare a proposal.
Many times things do not go according to process…But we always try to find a way to ask great questions and LISTEN
Ask the audienceOur experience – we rarely feel the need to ask. When we do, if we’ve built a strong foundation of trust, guess what?They just tell us.
Now that you’ve built a strong foundation of trust by asking great questions, you will reinforce that foundation (and separate yourself from the competition) by delivering a proposal that shows how well you listened to their needs and proposed a solution with their best interests at heart.
(I would get his book and go right to that section of the book for the details).
BEFORE NEXT SLIDE: Demonstrate latest version of Excel
Case Study stories to follow
Cloud services provider sales techniques
Chris Boyle & Bill McCharen, Presenters Cloud Services Provider Cloud Integrator Summit August 23rd – 24th San Diego, CA
Who we are How to respond to new inquires to set the stage from the beginning that you’re clearly different (and more competent) than most other IT firms How to conduct a detailed discovery and needs analysis to make sure your proposing the RIGHT solution for that customer Key questions to ask prospects to get them to reveal why they’ll buy and what their hot buttons are How to get a prospect to share their current IT costs with you Important points and information every great proposal should contain The best way to deliver your proposal to the client and explain it to them How to create an accurate Total Cost Of Ownership (TCO) comparison of on premise versus your cloud solution, and then present that to the customer Why customers will buy cloud solutions even if the price is the same (or slightly higher) than on premise solutions
Chris Boyle Bill McCharen CEO COO MyITpros MyITpros Austin, TX Austin, TXPersonal Personal• Owned a variety of small businesses • Graduate of University of Texas • Construction, real • 12 years IT experience estate, trucking, horticulture and IT • After joining MyITpros in 2000 • After joining MyITpros as Systems • Took over operations in 2002 Engineer in 2004 • Bought out founder over 5 years • IT Director in 2008 from 2004 to 2009 • Minor shareholder in 2009 • Became a principal shareholder in• HTG Peer Groups 2010 • Member since Q1 2009 • MyITpros sales leader • Facilitator since Q1 2011 • Future CEO of MyITpros• Married to Louise – 4 stunning grandkids • Married to Nicole – 2 beautiful children
• Founded January 20, 1993• 13 Employees• $1.87MM Total Revenue (rolling 12 mos. Through July 31, 2012)• Average annual growth last 5 years: 22%• On track to hit $2MM to 2.5MM in 2012 (20% to 50% growth over 2011)• Local leader in Managed IT Services with a particular emphasis and strength in Cloud Computing Services. As of July 30, 2012: • Managed Service Clients: 69 • Managed Servers: 300 • Managed Desktops/Laptops: 943• Revenue Breakdown 2012 YTD: • 54% Managed & Cloud Services • 22% Project & Break/Fix Services • 24% Product & Other
Initial Cloud offerings were Hosted Backup/BCDR and Hosted Exchange beginning in 2007 All MyITpros’ servers in the Cloud since 2009 Our first client on Hosted Server in 2010 Current Cloud Statistics ◦ Active: 13 Companies / 31 Servers / 198 Users ◦ Pending: 2 Companies / 2 Servers / 58 Users Monthly Managed Services Growth July 2011 to July 2012 Core Managed Services Growth: 95% Cloud Services Growth: 65% TOTAL Managed Services Growth: 87%
The most critical element of professional services marketing is the service itself. Existing clients know what it’s like to work with you. Prospective clients will be impressed when you address their hottest buttons and answer their burning questions EARLY, or even before the ask.
What are the TOP THREE IT SERVICES CUSTOMER HOT BUTTONS?1. Expected results2. Timely results3. Integrity/Trust How can we address these in marketing and sales?
At MyITpros we give prospects a taste of what it’slike to work with us by: Responding FAST when we receive a web inquiry Having 100% of incoming calls during business hours answered by a smart, friendly person who quickly gets them in touch with a principal in the firm who can answer their questions and get them the help they need Not selling. ◦ First and always: Answer every question authentically. ◦ Then: Ask good questions and LISTEN.
Client Testimony Business Situation Questions IT Situation Questions
Client Testimony Business Situation QuestionsBusiness Case IT Situation Questions Questions
Client TestimonyTest Consults Business SituationBallpark Prices Questions Site Survey Business Case IT Situation Questions Questions
Case Study: Aircraft Parts Distribution StartupSituation at First Call: 2/17/11: "Is hosted server right for us?” We want to focus on the business, not on IT. Used to use another MSP at that company, and felt like they were very costly. Starting with 3 to 5 people in the first 6 months, expanding to 10 in the first year
Case Study: Aircraft Parts Distribution StartupSituation Through Close & One Year Later: Proposed and closed Hosted Server and Cisco on premise VoIP Sales Cycle: Initial call 2/17/11 – Signed Agreements 3/3. Only one face to face meeting on 3/2/11 One year later, on 3/8/2012, Bill sent an email to all our Hosted Server clients about recent datacenter outages. This was the client’s response: ◦ Bill - Thanks for the note. Your service (server, phone, support) has been excellent the past year and we are glad we chose MyITpros as our hosted server provider and IT consultant. Hopefully the overhaul will make the service even better. No need to provide the credit on this downtime.
How do you get a prospect to share their current IT costs with you?
Executive Summary including Background Goals RecommendationsAnd here’s an easy way to help you write a great one
Consultative sellers are huge fans of the right questions, and TomSant (Persuasive Business Proposals) has seven that drive writing awinning proposal.1. What is the clients problem or need?2. What makes this problem worth solving? What makes this need worth addressing?3. What goals must be served by whatever action is taken?4. What goal has the highest priority?5. What product/applications/services can I offer that will solve the problem or meet the need?6. What results are likely to follow from each of my potential recommendations?7. Comparing these results to the customers desired outcomes or goals, which recommendation is best?
Cover Page A Typical Deployment Executive Summary Process What is Cloud Pricing Computing? Startup Costs What is MyITpros’ Cloud7? Reactive/Project Hours ◦ The Webtop (Outside of the Managed ◦ Applications Service Plan) What benefits will my Payment Terms company see by using Appendix A – the MyITpros Cloud7? The Benefits of MyITpros’ Who Uses the Cloud? Cloud7
Including realistic TCO Analysis is almost an afterthought, but a very important one. It helps the buyer rationalize and justify the decision they’ve already made.
Present the TCO Analysis and proposal Present both in person Alternative over the phone ◦ Send the proposal and TCO Analysis 30-60 minutes before the teleconference In reality, we send many Proposals via email
…even if the price is the same (or slightly higher) than on premise solutions
Don’t want servers on premise any more (or ever) Maintenance is cheaper (internal or outsourced) Flexibility * Speed * Agility Multiple Offices or Remote Workers Highly Mobile or Widely Dispersed Workforce Multiple Devices per User Device Disparity Between Users Scalability Up or Down: Rapid Growth / Downturns Focus on Core Business / Competitive Advantage Bad Experience with IT Support
Case Study: Venture Funded Manufacturing StartupSituation at First Meeting: Executive Leadership meeting at MyITpros office ◦ Five Senior Executives and one Manager ◦ Met at MyITpros because they didn’t have an office yet Everyone working from home for at least the first 6 months CEO did not want SBS Server at his house Start with 6 people, expand to 24 in the first year
Case Study: Venture Funded Manufacturing StartupSituation Through Close & Two Year s Later: Proposed and closed Hosted Server, MS and Hosted VoIPClient Hot Buttons: Don’t want servers on premise Flexibility * Speed * Agility Multiple Offices or Remote Workers Highly Mobile or Widely Dispersed Workforce Scalability Up or Down: Rapid Growth / Downturns Focus on Core Business / Competitive Advantage
Case Study: Automotive Body ShopSituation Before Cloud: Existing MS Client for 6 months 3 locations around Austin 2 discreet LOB applications with separate databases at each location Horrible infrastructure by previous ITSP Very old servers badly in need of refresh
Case Study: Automotive Body ShopSituation After Cloud: Proposed and closed Hosted ServerClient Hot Buttons: Multiple Offices or Remote Workers Focus on Core Business Maintenance is cheaper (internal or outsourced) Bad Experience with IT Support
Case Study: Fast Growing Exercise Equipment ManufacturerSituation February, 2012: Existing MS Client for 1 month 2 year old company at 40+ users and no server Initially wanted SBS Server with MS Exchange The day we were deploying the server, the client began asking for remote connectivity functionality MyITpros’ Project Manager halted the project Bill came in and demonstrated Cloud7
Case Study: Fast Growing Exercise Equipment ManufacturerSituation Today: Proposed and closed Cloud7 with Go Live Date of September 1Client Hot Buttons: Flexibility * Speed * Agility Multiple Offices or Remote Workers Highly Mobile or Widely Dispersed Workforce Multiple Devices per User Device Disparity Between Users Scalability Up or Down: Rapid Growth / Downturns Focus on Core Business / Competitive Advantage
1. Find ways to deliver the message: “This is what it is like to work with us.”2. Never stop working to improve your skill at Asking Great Questions and being a Great Listener3. Always propose the solution that’s in the best interests of your client – even when it means recommending another solution provider