There are four types of prospects you are going to encounter when pitching managed IT services.

1. The company that is still working with “my brothers friend who understands computers and does our website, too”.
2. The company that has recently reached a critical mass and is making the decision to hire or outsource for the first time.
3. The company that has an in-house team in place.
4. The company that already outsources to one of your competitors.

I am assuming that number one got on your list by mistake. Why are you calling those little companies? 5 workstations, 50 workstations — it’s the same sell, so why not aim where you can make some real money?

Number two.

This is going to be the fastest close ever, or the worst experience of your life. Be prepared to hand-hold your prospect through this decision, and be prepared for it to take six months longer than you want it to. Why?

  • A company that is just doing this now is likely a small business, owned by someone who is looking at you as a brand new cost center.
  • More often than not, because of your timing with this one, you’re planting the seed of outsourcing while they’re reviewing resumes and interviewing.
  • This company likely doesn’t have the experience they need to make the right hire, and they don’t understand their IT infrastructure.
  • You’ll do a lot of work to try to win this business, then they’ll look at your numbers and decide hiring in-house is going to be cheaper.  Explaining why it won’t be will be a waste of your time.

Number three.

Tricky. You’re going to have to pitch the President on firing someone. There are other ways to approach this, but none that are really going to focus on managed services – you’re going to have to do project work to win this business. Do you want to do project work? No! We’re looking for MRR here – stay true to your business plan.

Number four.

The best opportunity to pursue. They already understand the value of your offering. No education is required on the concept of managed services. The only thing you have to sell them on is you. Why you’re better, why you’re different, why what you’re offering is going to help them do what they do more efficiently, more profitably, and with fewer interruptions.

I’m not saying you’re never going to win business from the other three types of companies.  I’m saying that cold calling is appropriate to classify these four types of companies so you can figure out how to sell to them.  Web research isn’t going to tell you that information.   You could spend an hour researching what you think SHOULD be a good lead – by company size, vertical, revenue, or any available classifier.  Or you can spend ten minutes on the phone.  Take a thousand contacts.  Sort them into these four piles with a ten minute phone call and then you can target your sales pitch and your marketing towards their requirements.

Use cold calling to eliminate (one) educate (two and three) or ask for an opportunity to earn the right to sell something (four).  Four is the sweet spot.

We can do all of this for you, and as we go we will log the information right in to your ConnectWise, AutoTask, TigerPaw, or Salesforce.com database.

Happy Selling!