Advice for MSPs From Quoter’s Sales Manager Jan Karlo Manuel
Rejection is dreadful. And if you’ve tried to make a sale and failed, you know how it feels.
MSP sales are especially challenging. Competition is ramping up. The quote-to-cash process can be vulnerable to friction.
It helps, says Quoter’s Sales Manager Jan Karlo Manuel, to remember that when it comes to sales, “timing matters.”
Timing factors into how quickly you can deliver a quote. Timing also has everything to do with adopting a proactive revenue mindset.
“I approach every sale with more curiosity than I do a mentality of, ‘I’m going to close this deal,'” says Jan.
Getting curious about a prospect’s goals lets you focus on solutions, not sales outcomes. At the end of the day, if the timing is right for the prospect, the win is yours. And if the timing isn’t right, then no problem.
“There’s also the numbers perspective,” Jan says. “It’s like this: I’m going to talk to as many people in my ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) as possible and find those who will buy. Those who are going to buy now are going to buy now, and those who are going to buy later, I’ll call them later.”
Rejection? Not so dreadful after all.
Jan’s advice is hard-won. Here’s a guy who was on track to become a physiotherapist. That’s what he went to college for before dropping out to pursue supplement sales full-time. Twelve years later, with many “trials by fire,” in everything from cold calls to door-to-door, he’s the Sales Manager at Quoter, leading a team of 6 full-cycle account executives. Outside of Quoter, he and his wife own a gym in White Rock, where “she’s mostly running everything,” he says.
With sales in his bloodstream, Jan always looks for new ways to improve.
“I’m the guy in the background handling the books or sweeping the floors. Since I manage our books, I know how expensive it is to run a brick-and-mortar business.”
Here’s more on what the new sales process looks like at Quoter.
How Quoter’s Sales Process Works
Until recently, Quoter’s sales team was divided into two camps: Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and Account Executives (AEs).
The SDRs were responsible for prospecting and qualifying leads and booking demos for AEs. Once a prospect was in the pipeline, an AE would nurture the lead and work to close the sale.
With this new model, the prospect is guided through the entire sales cycle by a single representative: the full-cycle account executive.
“The benefit of this new model to our prospects is that we’re going to provide greater continuity and be even more available to both our inbound and outbound leads.”
Having one executive with the prospect from start to finish means more time and space for fostering relationships.
“Sales is largely about relationship building, especially for our ICP.”
With the switch to the full-cycle sales model, half of Jan’s team has had to ramp up their skills to meet the demands of account executive responsibilities. And they’re game.
“Our team’s main strengths are adaptability and work ethic,” Jan says.
“Things are always changing in the MSP vertical, so we stay agile. Everybody’s opinion matters. The feedback loop is closed. I need to know what’s working and what my team thinks could improve. There’s a constant flow of communication.”
Want to improve your MSP sales cycle? Jan’s got advice for that.
Jan’s Advice for Boosting Revenue for MSPs
Prioritize Sales & Marketing
“It’s very easy to start with what you’re good at, which for MSPs is usually the technical side of things,” Jan says. “That’s important, but figuring out who will buy your services shouldn’t be left to do after you’ve started to incur expenses.”
For new businesses, Jan recommends preparing a marketing and sales strategy before investing in staff, leasing, or infrastructure so that by the time you open your doors, “you have a couple of quotes out there because you’ve already talked to people.”
For existing businesses, it’s not too late to “reach out to your network and meet with people who could become prospects.”
Know your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
It’s tempting to try to sell to everyone, for everyone. But Jan reminds us that the more specific you can be on whom you are selling to, the easier it will be to focus on finding those people and developing meaningful connections that could translate to higher sales.
“Start by developing a deep understanding of what you’re selling and who it’s for, and then seek out those people who need it,” Jan says. “It’s not about talking to everybody and anybody.”
Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is shaped by your definition of who a valuable customer is to your business and what their behavior, attitude, and demographic look like.
Laser-Focus Your Resources
With an ICP clearly defined, you can direct your sales focus to finding, connecting, and adapting with your prospects.
“Find the people who want what you are selling,” says Jan. “Find as many of them and as fast as possible.”
Plan your sales & marketing budget around the channels that attract your ICP. This could be a mix of touch points: events, forums, social media, cold calling, or self-serve digital experiences, for example.
Sales Are About Solutions
If you’re struggling to succeed in sales, take a step back and consider your perspective on what you consider a win.
“You might think that sales are about convincing somebody to do something they don’t initially want to do,” Jan says. “But one of the earliest lessons I learned in sales is that you can’t sell the unsellable. I’m trying to sell to people who want to buy. I don’t want to sell to people who don’t want to buy.”
By laser-focusing your resources on your ICP, you’ll have more success finding people who identify with your offerings and are interested in finding a solution. Whether or not you win the contract largely comes down to timing.
“Although there are many things that are outside our control, there’s still much I can contribute to in the chaos of the decision-making process for my prospect,” Jan says. “There’s satisfaction in helping them overcome their own objections and prioritize their to-do list to be able to decide to buy Quoter now.”
Prepare For Wins
Quoting can be a tool for winning sales, not an obstacle.
Quoter is “a very focused solution,” Jan says, “that helps people build quotes for all kinds of scenarios quickly and easily.”
With Quoter in your quote-to-cash process, you’re prepared to take your ICP through your sales cycle faster, which means ramping up opportunities for quoting and winning deals.
Prepare for more wins with Quoter. Book a demo with Jan’s team to get started.
Scott & Jan at the Robin Robins Technology Marketing Toolkit Conference in Nashville, TN.
More about Jan, Sales Manager at Quoter
Currently watching: The Mandalorian
“The Mandalorian is single-handedly reviving the Star Wars IP. I didn’t like the recent movies. The sequel trilogy was not good. But The Mandalorian is very good, and they’re winning back my fandom.”
Editor’s note: Hot take? Comment on this post on LinkedIn and let us know where you stand regarding recent Star Wars IP
Currently drinking: homebrewed coffee
“Usually, I’m making a coffee in the French press or a moka pot, that old Italian way of making espresso.
I’m a coffee guy. I try to keep it to two a day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Sometimes on long days, especially when we used to have a JJ Bean downstairs in our office, which recently exploded, I would pay for coffee downstairs because JJ Bean has the best coffee in Vancouver.”
Editor’s note: Yes, you heard that right: The JJ Bean on the ground floor of Quoter’s office building experienced an electrical explosion and fire after hours. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.
Currently making time for unplugged hangs with his wife
“Especially since we also own a business together, we have to find that time, whether it’s going to the gym at lunch or on the weekend, we completely drop our phones, or we go for trips on long weekends, or I take vacation time – but that’s what we have to do. We prioritize quality time together, not just working together.”
Editor’s note: Quoter makes it easy to save time so you can get back to what matters most. Book a demo with Jan’s team and see how to build lightning-fast quotes with Quoter.
Read more from this series
- Quoter’s Partner Success Specialist Shares Her Tips For Fast & Easy Onboarding
- How Quoter’s Senior Product Manager Decides What Features To Build Next
- How To Bring Humanness Back Into Your Quote-To-Cash Cycle, With Tips From Quoter Account Executive Foster Fong
- Co-founder story (coming soon)
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