Top 3 challenges IT service providers face when selling to their customers

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It’s well-known that the sales field is a challenging one to thrive in, and this is especially true for those selling IT services or solutions. It makes sense, too, with the field being highly competitive, ever-evolving, and with highly-informed consumers making it tough for even the best-equipped, user-friendly IT service providers to make sales.

This has many IT service providers and salespeople scratching their heads, wondering if there is a magic key to unlocking an increase in sales. The short and unfortunate answer is that there isn’t. But, armed with the right knowledge, service providers can shift their sales tactics, and even their offerings, to overcome sales barriers and, ideally, make more sales.

As such, we have pulled together the top three challenges IT service providers face, along with suggestions to help them understand and overcome their unique challenges.

Varying needs

An obvious challenge in any sales scenario is catering to multiple clients’ varying needs. One digital package does not fit all, and many service models don’t accommodate clients with different requirements. As such, a business needs to be versatile, shifting, and tailoring its offerings to suit each customers’ unique needs.

Imagine: a small business wants to purchase a mobile device management (MDM) solution. They have a relatively small staff of 26 field agents they want to track and manage. They contact the first, second, and third service providers that appeared in their Google search, but find each of them sells solutions designed to manage teams of over 100 employees, and are priced as such. These providers won’t shift their offering to suit the customers’ needs, so the customer doesn’t purchase the solution, and instead, continuing their search for a better-suited provider.

While having target markets and customers in mind, like enterprise over small business, makes smart business sense, an IT service provider could overcome this challenge by shifting their offering to a base solution that the customer can add – or remove – the features they require. This enables service providers to capture sales from all markets, while also offering robust solutions to their desired customer base.

High client churn 

With the highly competitive nature of IT, the challenge to retain customers is a monumental one. Factors like pricing, support, and competition all play into this struggle. As such, IT service providers must be vigilant in constantly strengthening their offering and ensuring their existing customers are receiving the support they need.

Imagine: A customer has purchased a solution that enables them to turn any tablet into a mobile billboard using a ‘kiosk mode.’ They use the solution happily for a few months, before reading about another solution that offers a more versatile kiosk mode, where tablets can lockdown one or multiple apps, or to other point-of-sale functions. They check with their current provider to see whether this is a possibility. It’s not, and the salesperson doesn’t help indicate whether new features will be added. So the customer changes providers to the new, better-equipped provider.

While having a base function is fantastic, service providers need to ensure they’re following the evolution of their industry to stay abreast of the competition. If adding new features isn’t possible, studies have shown that customers will stay with a company that offers excellent customer service[1]. So focusing on making customers feel heard and supported should help to curb a high client churn.

Onboarding is time-consuming

Onboarding is one of the toughest stages of implementing a new IT service or solution, and it’s also where many customers form their first impression of a solution or service. It makes sense , too, with onboarding and training being both time-consuming and rife with frustration for customers as they familiarize themselves with a new solution.

As such, IT service providers should aim to simplify the onboarding process through hands-on customer service and training. Instead of simply selling a solution and letting the customer figure it out for themselves, service providers should – at the very least – offer to provide training to the managers who will be using the software. This should cut down on time and help curb any customer frustration as it arises.

Following these suggestions, IT service providers can better arm themselves against the many challenges of selling IT solutions and hopefully increase sales, increase customer satisfaction, and optimize their solution and offering.

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[1] https://www.helpscout.com/75-customer-service-facts-quotes-statistics/

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