December 2013 - Mosaic NetworX

Giving Away the Playbook on IT Lead Generation

If you work with or own an IT service provider, you no doubt face the never-ending challenge of finding new customers in an effort to build your business.  Since so many technology companies and service providers were founded by technical professionals, selling IT services without an actual sales department often seems impossible. Companies that exist to help other companies solve their technology challenges (as opposed to those inventing or manufacturing technology) often find themselves stuck in the mud when it comes to booking new business. After all, solving technical problems is very different from finding a potential customer and convincing them to buy. It is admittedly awkward to have a conversation that potentially ends with, “So, are you going to buy from me?”

Be honest when selling

Selling is about genuine relationships, not deception.
Image courtesy of Stochastic Geometry.

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“Hello, Operator?” – Internet, Fax and VOIP Choices in the Enterprise

It wasn’t long ago that having phone and fax service for a business was a pretty easy process. You simply called the local phone company and paid an exorbitant fee for them to come “install” the lines you needed. After dishing out a few hundred dollars for that, your company was able to pay a few cents a minute for long distance phone calls outside of the area code. If you were really fortunate, the phone company gave you free local calls as part of the package.

My, how times have changed! In the last half decade, cell phones have made the notion of paying for long distance seem antiquated, and installation and activation charges are commonly waived as competition for business has increased.  No longer can one local provider corner the market on business telephony; the internet and innovation have created an environment where the same phone service available to a Fortune 500 company in mid-town Manhattan is available to a three person CPA firm in Dimebox, Texas.

Ethernet connectivity.

Data connectivity can be complicated.
Image courtesy of Cable.co

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Why Us, and Why Now? IT Solution Sales Don’t Have to Be Difficult

If you’ve spent any time at all researching how to sell IT services, you have encountered the following strategy:

“Demonstrate value…convince the prospect why to choose you…convince the prospect that now is the right time to buy.”

It’s in books and blog posts and taught in sales seminars every day.  And it’s all wrong.

Selling IT solutions that fit the customer’s needs is never about your timeline and your needs, but rather about what the customer needs. As hard as it is for commissioned salespeople to realize, this includes the customer’s timeline as well. Sometimes the customer just purchased new hardware. Sometimes they have in-house resources to manage hardware and applications. Sometimes another vendor can offer an idea or roadmap to success that is outside of your capabilities. Sometimes your offering simply isn’t the best choice and it isn’t the right time, anyway. IT solution sales is about much more than getting in front of a prospect and convincing them of how your offering can improve their business. And that’s how it should be.

Get out of the office to sell!

Sales seminars don’t always point you in the right direction.
Image courtesy of the Sales Whisperer

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Shut Down Your Server Room: Cloud and Colocation Services for the Modern Enterprise

As with many technological innovations in their early stages, it seems that discussions about “moving to the cloud” have been happening in the enterprise for years without a real tipping point being reached. A Gartner survey in 2012 showed that 85% of all companies planned to have at least “some” applications or data in the cloud by the end of the year. 2013 showed that fewer than half actually implemented such solutions. From exchange servers to data backups to complex applications, the number of companies utilizing cloud services for the majority of their server needs has not yet approached anything resembling mass adoption.

Cloud services

Enterprises are still slow to move to the Cloud.
Image courtesy of Atom Rain

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Business Break-Ups – Part Two: How to “Fire” Problem Customers

Yesterday we discussed ways to identify customers that are a poor fit for your organization.   It is important to remember that not all clients are a great fit for your business, and identifying them as soon as possible is in your best interest.

Having problem customers can be toxic to your organization.   As in life, sometimes relationships don’t work out, and it is best to part ways.   But rather then being acrimonious or petty, you should seek to make the best of a bad situation.  Here are five tips for how to move on from customers that don’t fit in to your long-term plans.

Business relationships are a two way street

Service providers can fire clients too. Image courtesy of GigaOm.

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