‘Always be closing’ – that’s the ABC of sales according to our elite sales hit squad, so we asked them for their top 3 sales tips for partners heading into the slow down in the year-end period.
Davina Dickens, Account Executive, MailGuard:
- Start early
We all know that sales cycles can be long, especially when it comes to cybersecurity, so now is the perfect time to keep your eye on the latest cybersecurity and business trends, that will help to develop more strategic discussions in the new year. Our team are always happy to help out with examples of zero-day threat updates so you can start the conversation with clients who are tricky to pin down throughout the year.
- Always be closing
Even though we’re coming into the year-end slow down, and people are busy tying off lose ends and getting ready for a well-earned break, if you’ve already had some discussions with clients during the year, or if they’ve had some scares with their data, now may be exactly the right time to try and ‘close the sale.’ Unlike during the year when everybody’s frantic with day-to-day business, this time of year may be an ideal time for more strategic discussions as businesses re-assess their position for the beginning of the new calendar year.
They’ll have time on their hands, they should have budget because we’re only half way through the financial year, and hopefully if they’ve had a bumper first half or strong holiday sales period, they might be more receptive to an extra investment to protect their risk position, and we all know that’s money very well spent.
- Communicate with MailGuard about your needs. What has worked and what hasn’t?
Just as for our clients businesses, over the break is an ideal time for you to discuss your strategy with MailGuard, and to see what we might be able to do to aide your efforts. Are relationship with partners is a two-way engagement – we can help your business grow and support you in your efforts to win and close deals.
Sean Pary, Account Executive, MailGuard:
- Give and receive
At this time of year, it’s vital to think about what you can ‘give’ and what you might ‘receive’ in return. Clients are always asking for something, whether that’s information, a lower price, product demonstrations or referrals. Make sure that when you’re giving something to your clients, that you take that opportunity to ask for something in return.
While it’s better to give than receive, in sales giving and receiving are equally important. When a client asks for information, don’t leave it at that, take the opportunity to ask for their criteria. What are the key challenges that your business is looking to address? No doubt they’ll be looking to stop zero-day email threats, have they also considered email continuity or archiving? Ask, if I can demonstrate that we can meet your needs, can we agree to running a ‘free trial’ so you can see the difference for yourself?
- Sell on value, not price
It’s natural for clients to start a sales conversation talking about price but remind them of the value. When asking about the difference between motorcycle helmets, I once had a salesman ask if I had a $5 head or a $200 head. Your client’s data is much the same. What price do they put on their data security?
Turn the conversation away from price and back towards value. MailGuard is a premium service, and the proof is in its performance.
Help clients to see the value, and the sale is yours.
- Focus on the close
Once you’ve done the hard work, ask for the sale (or at least the trial), you’ve earned the right. Don’t introduce more distractions in your nervousness about the customer’s next steps. You might miss a buying signal, or introduce something new that the client hadn’t considered. Resist the temptation to over sell, and simply focus on the close. You’ve answered their questions, and satisfied their needs, so ask for the sale, and have a Happy new year!
Inderjot Walia, Account Executive, MailGuard:
- Take time to prepare, plan and close
Use this down time to review any outstanding leads you may have been working throughout year. When you’ve done the leg work, and established the perceived value in the solution, then you can pull together any remaining deliverables, be they paperwork, case studies or other information that may have been stubborn objections or road blocks standing in the way of a sale. Now is the time to hand them over and ask for a convenient time in the break to close the deal.
Or, with a more big picture view, use the time to assess your business readiness to proactively market to your installed base to generate new leads throughout the new year. Think about the solutions and bundles you’re selling, and how to cross promote. Take time to review your own database and to prepare and plan for email and digital marketing in the new year. Then reach out to us. MailGuard has plenty of campaign material to help with your go-to-market ambitions.
- Over deliver
Often the simplest thing to do as a salesperson is to over deliver on the small things, that will go towards making a great first impression with clients, fostering trust and relationships that will ultimately underpin your business now and into the future.
At this time of year, more than any other, put the extra effort in to get quotes back sooner than expected, or to source additional case studies and other supporting information to help move closer to the sale. Or with a more open calendar, go and see your client in person, rather than just calling or sending an email. Take the time while it’s there to build relationships that will stand your business in good stead throughout the new year.
- Be nice, and make sure there’s value in a deal for everyone
There is competition for every deal, and everyone is looking for a better bargain, and extra value. Some of the best advice I have received in my career is to treat everyone with respect, and to make sure that there is value for everyone in every deal.
And be nice. Being respectful will in turn mean that others will reciprocate. The same is true even when referring to competitors. If you’re bidding against someone else, it’s important to acknowledge the strengths of the other solutions, but also to point out how your solution is superior and to trust the customer to make the right decision. Putting down the competition can backfire, making the customer defensive about the other options they’re considering. Acknowledge that there is merit in each, but build trust, establish the relationship and sell the value of a solution that stops threats faster than any other, with awesome 24/7 support to back it up. You can’t wrong.
Happy holidays from the team at MailGuard. Thanks for your support throughout this year, and we look forward to supporting your business success for a very merry & happy new year in 2019.
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