Project Description

Xcellerate’s Sales Xcellerator Program:

The Back Story

Jeannine Edwards. CXO, Xcellerate

By Jeannine Edwards

Customer Experience Officer, Xcellerate.

I’ve spent most of my career working with Solution Providers – VARs when VARs were cool, and then MSPs when MSPs were cooler, and now TSPs – Technology Solution Providers – or, as some might say, “Next Gen” MSPs.

I can look back and clearly identify resonating pain points – from keeping track of T&M business efficiently, to moving to a proactive recurring business model, and then onto optimizing operational efficiency and driving profitability.

And the loud and clear challenge for the community today, right nowSALES.

  • “I don’t have enough new business.”
  • “I don’t have enough leads to even get new business.”
  • “I can’t get a sales person to stick.”
  • “Revenue is flat year over year.”
  • “It’s taking more dials than ever before to land an appointment.”

So, what’s the answer?

There are various initiatives we all seem to be taking today – appointment setting and cold calling with generic or scripted messages, outsourcing our telemarketing, spamming prospects with non-customized emails from marketing automation companies, focusing too much of our pipeline energy on generic and impersonal lead generation. I don’t believe the answer is hidden there.

And then I realized: “Hey Jeannine, you were a pretty successful sales person in your day. What did you bring to the table?  What was different about the way you sold?” I realized my success in sales was based on my ability to build relationships. Key to building those relationships was my determination to add real value to my customers’ business, rather than just meet sales targets on a spreadsheet.

I asked myself, what were the key attributes and behaviors I had or learned which helped me develop prospects and turn those prospects into happy, long-term customers.

Listening.

Truly listening is an art form.  I had a colleague who used to say, “Interested is interesting.”  This mantra has created the foundation for successfully driving sales initiatives in every position I’ve held in my career.  Try a take on the 80/20 rule – listen 80% and talk 20%.

Absorbing.

Take the time to pick up what they’re dropping.  Meaning, do you fully comprehend the situation, problem, pain point, history, future plans, etc. they’re taking the time to share with you.  If you don’t, ask questions, get clarity.  You can’t solve their problem if you don’t know what that problem is.

Connecting the dots.

If you’ve done the work so far, you now have a true understanding of what’s keeping them up at night or, if you’ve played your cards right, you have some real insights on the business, what’s going on with their people, what they have budgets for, etc.  So, now how do you take this invaluable information and propose the investment, deployment and support of technology to solve challenges or move their business forward?

Speaking their language.

The vernacular your customers use reflects their journey within their business. Using their language in conversations, presentations and proposals, demonstrates that you’ve heard, absorbed, understood and care about what they care about.

Providing value with every touch point and/or conversation.

Running the sale over the goal line can be the toughest part.  We’ve proposed the solution, we’re receiving a good vibe, but they’ve gone dark, or just aren’t putting pen to paper.  Don’t become that pesky sales person just chasing down the contract – position value:  “We want to ensure you have a smooth onboarding process, so I’d like to get you introduced to our Client Services Manager.”  Or: “Here’s an interesting blog I found on the state of security in small business, thought you’d like to give it a read.  We’ve packaged up some fantastic technology in your agreement to combat these pervasive kinds of threats.”

What all of these things come down to, in simple terms, is pure relationship building.  And I still really believe in the oldest sales adage in the book – people buy from who they like.  And who they like has a lot to do with who they think cares about them.  The other part of the equation is their confidence that you not only care but can help them cure their pain points and unlock growth and profit – in other words, create real value.

In working closely with one of our Xcellerate members, Austin-based Higher State, I got to know them and their sales approach.  And it was very much aligned with the above thinking.  I asked the team how they got SO good at sales. How they’d grown a $.4.5 million-dollar business in just four years.

Turns out, they apply a methodology – the ZFactor – designed to build a value creator culture throughout an organization. This unique thinking framework is a revenue generation strategy for creating a predictable pipeline and increasing top-line revenue. The more I got under the hood of the ZFactor the more I liked it. It was a natural, logical and frankly exciting progression for Xcellerate to partner with Higher State to bring the ZFactor into the Xcellerate community through the Sales Xcellerator workshop series.

Here’s the bottom line folks: revenue generation can no longer be anchored in a canned sales speech that you spew out to a prospect – even if, or when, you manage to get one on the phone.  Nor is it anchored in spamming your prospects and customers with what you THINK are relevant emails.   The way forward is in understanding and adopting a blueprint – a ‘thinking framework’ to change the way you think about (and approach) building relationships to drive revenue long term. The Sales Xcellerator Program provides that blueprint.

The Sales Xcellerator Program: A Truly Differentiated Sales Methodology

2018 will continue to be tough in the world of sales and marketing for MSPs. The perception of commoditization, stale “me too” value propositions, and a more saturated local market will make revenue generation harder than ever.  Cold calling and virtual campaigns, while definitely an important piece of the puzzle, are no longer going to be enough to break the seal and make a difference.

We now have to focus on consistently creating VALUE, becoming strategically relevant, and hard to replace. And we do that by creating and cultivating relationships.  We’re going to show you how to develop relationships that generate revenue.

The ZFactor is a proven sales methodology that has positively impacted hundreds of organizations.  And the Xcellerate team has worked with Austin-based Higher State Technology to customize and package this game-changing sales approach for the MSP community. The ZFactor methodology is a game-changing revenue generation strategy for creating a predictable pipeline and increasing top-line revenue.

Join us for this 4-part series where we’ll share this truly unique sales methodology.

Want to know more?

Find out more information about the Sales Xcellerator Program below, including session descriptions.

FIND OUT ABOUT THE PROGRAM

FREE Webinar

Join us for a complimentary overview webinar on February 14, 2018 @ 2:00pm EST in which we’ll preview the Sales Xcellerator Program.

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