While attending the Ingram Cloud Summit earlier this year, I was surprised to hear one of the keynote speakers say that if you’re a break-fix VAR and you want to sell managed services you’re going to have to fire most of your salespeople. Since it was the first time I had heard such a bold claim, I didn’t give it much thought. However, at the recent Channel Transitions Conference put on by Business Solutions magazine, a panel discussion led by several MSPs confirmed several specific traits MSPs are finding to be necessary requirements to selling managed services.
Bruce Nelson, president of Vertical Solutions, says selling managed service requires salespeople who are highly organized and work well in a team environment. He’s had success hiring salespeople with military backgrounds and admits that none of the original salespeople who were with him when he started his break-fix business in 2007 are still with him today.
Todd Schorle, president of TS Tech, uses a personality assessment test called the DISC to identify the right salespeople for selling managed services. While successful traditional sales reps tended to rank high in the “D” (dominant) and “I” (influential) categories, Schorle finds candidates with high “S” (steadiness) and “C” (compliance) have the most success selling managed services. In fact, he’s so convinced these personality traits are necessary that even if the person doesn’t have much experience in IT, he’ll invest in training that person if they have the right personality mapping.
For more information on identifying and training salespeople to sell managed services, be sure to check out As-a-Service Won’t Work With The Wrong People by Bernadette Wilson as well as Jason Bystrak’s recent guest blog, titled: Transition to the Cloud Part 3 — Marketing and Sales Training Plans.