MSPs like other business owners must close a certain amount of sales in order to stay in business. When you close a sale, you probably celebrate first and then ask what you did right much later. But when you lose a sale, do you ask what you did wrong? Are you sure you have the right answers?
It can be difficult, but it’s always best to ask your lost prospect why they didn’t accept your offer. But be prepared, you might not get the truth. According to proprietary research data, prospects tell salespeople the truth about this less than half the time. Why?
- They want to avoid potential confrontation, or more sales pressure.
- They don’t want to hurt your feelings.
- They have a problem with your MSP business, or your sales process.
But ask yourself—Shouldn’t you take half the blame for these vague or untruthful responses? You may simply be inhibiting truthful feedback by asking the wrong questions, or taking the wrong approach. Try adopting the following tactics to obtain the truth:
- Use a Prepared Debrief Questionnaire
Use this whether you’ve won or lost a deal. You’ll get the feedback you need to make changes, improve your outcomes, and keep the clients you’ve gained. MSPs who use debrief questionnaires have a 15% higher sales rate than those who don’t.
- Present Your Debrief Request Early in The Sales Process
During the sales process, tell your prospect that win or lose, you’ll be asking them to fill out a questionnaire to help you improve your sales approach and/or MSP services. This will give them a warning ahead of time so they can be thinking about the feedback they’ll provide. It will also increase their level of comfort, knowing that you value their honesty.
- Give Yourself Some Distance
It’s never a good idea to debrief a prospect on the day of a lost sale. You’ll feel uncomfortable, and so will they. Give yourself and your lost prospect a little space, and schedule a debrief call after emotions have settled.
- Have Someone Else Conduct Your Debriefs
Consider asking someone else within your company to conduct the debriefing, or hire a third-party to do this. It will make the process easier and less emotional for both you and the prospect.
When calling to debrief, your call shouldn’t last more than 15 minutes. Take copious notes and let them know you’re doing so. This usually compels them to talk more thoroughly and honestly.
Don’t be hesitant to ask for advice. For example, “How can I improve on this?” or “Can I get your advice on this?” are great, thought-provoking questions to obtain helpful feedback.
While this point may seem obvious, many MSPs get defensive, or even angry when they hear constructive criticism. Take responsibility and learn from the feedback you get, and above all don’t try to resell the prospect at this time.
By following these steps you’ll gain some valuable insight that you can use to improve your MSP sales process, and possibly your services as well.