Selling Information Technology Services | Everything you need to Know

Selling Information Technology Services

Top question from Google - How to sell IT Services

How to sell IT services?

Selling it support services is very similar to selling other intangible services.

  1. Build your brand and make it as attractive as possible
  2. Develop a detailed ideal client profile and create a niche for yourself
  3. Link your intangible services to tangible deliverables that are important to your customer
  4. Lear as much about your products and services as possible and how they impact your customers
  5. Develop your relationship building skills and your emotional intelligence

As a business owner selling technology, managed services or custom development client satisfaction plays a key role in your long term success. Clients expect Rolls Royce service at competitive prices as competition in the technology industry is fierce.

1. Building your brand

As you would expect building a Brand in a competitive market like IT is not an overnight job.  There are however, many companies who have successfully entered the market and gained rapid market share by being more agile than existing brands. 

For example, the introduction of Microsoft Office 365 allowed new players to enter the Microsoft Channel while the existing partners continued to focus on Small Business Server sales. 

New companies specialising in Cloud services and SaaS have disrupted the market by starting off with very niche services and expanding out as they grew.

In our experience the best way to build a brand is to first focus on your Inbound Sales Channel which inevitably will raise your awareness in the market and start to generate inbound sales leads.

For more information on developing your Inbound Sales Channel or any of our other consulting services please get in touch with one of our coaches via the contact us page.

2. Ideal Client Profile – who are you selling to?

Success in selling technology will require in depth research and creating your ideal client profile. This is something that most companies either forget or fail to see the importance of.  The result is – if you’re trying to sell to everybody, you will end up selling to nobody”. 

Taking time to thoroughly research your target market and identify the business pains they have that you intent to help them solve is one of the most important parts when selling information technology services.

At Klozers we use both an Ideal Client Profile which is focussed on the types of companies we sell to and a Perfect Prospect Profile which is targeted at the individuals within the ideal client profile that we sell to.

You can access the template below and many more via the SaaS Sales Playbook contained within our Resources section.

Ideal Client Profile Template
Selling Information Technology Services

3. Your Value Proposition – what makes you different?

The reality is that many IT service companies appear the same – one Microsoft Partner can look the same as many others.  Yes, it’s possible to differentiate with the area within the Microsoft stack that you focus on, such as SharePoint or Teams, however, what makes you different to all the other Partners focussing on those same technologies.

How you differentiate your value proposition is key because, unless you get this right, you will be seen as a “me too” player which means that you will end up competing on price.  The best way to discover how you differentiate your business is to research both your target audience and your competition and find the gaps. 

Initially these gaps may seem too small to build an empire, however, they are there as starting points as your brand will evolve over the years.

In addition to your differentiation you should also ensure that you have a strategy to make your entire team Subject Matter Experts. 

Your company and your people should be seen as Thought Leaders and be the first to market talking about new products, services and trends.  You don’t even have to deliver these new services, just talking about them puts your personal and company brand out there.

4. The Complex Sale

It’s important when selling technology services to remember, in nearly every case there will be multiple people in your customers decision making unit. 

Studies show that most technology sales fall into the category of the Complex Sale meaning they will have anything between 14 and 23 potential people involved with 80% of them having senior roles.

The addition of extra decision makers elongate the sales cycle and further complicates the sales process.  Many of the decision makers will be in different departments and often have competing priorities. 

For example, when looking for Marketing Automation software the marketing department will typically want what they perceive to be the best marketing solution. 

The decision makers from sales may want an automation platform that integrates with their existing CRM system.

How to Master the Complex Sale
Selling Information Technology Services

5. Stages of the Sales Process

As with any complex sale it’s important to have a strong sales process that both your team can follow and works for your customers. 

Nearly every organisation has their own unique sales process, however, it’s worth noting, any process is only as good as those implementing it and detail and consistency are king. 

If you are selling to large enterprise organisations it’s important to understand these companies will not change their buying process to match your sales process.  The vendor needs to first understand what the Enterprise Buying process is and then align their internal process with this.   

Whilst having a sales process is important, what’s equally important in our experience is understanding:

  1. What “qualifies” a prospect to move from one stage to the next?
  2. What soft skills do I need to move a prospect from one stage to the next?

My first experience of this was with the 10 stage Microsoft Solution Selling Process (MSSP).  This was not necessarily a bad sales process but little thought had been given at the time as to how you could move prospects through the process. 

Microsoft have since invested heavily in their whole sales process and sales enablement and have some of the best training and support available.

6. Selling a product vs selling a service

Before the advent of the cloud and SaaS solutions, IT was predominantly a product sale.  “Shifting boxes” and “selling tin” were common phrases among IT Sales Professionals.  Selling servers and IT hardware were predominantly products, and the solutions were mostly the mixing and configuration of the different types of hardware with some custom development software thrown in for good measure.

SaaS has changed this forever as fewer and fewer companies have on premise hardware or software.  With everything now hosted in the cloud, many companies now only have Laptops, a printer and a modem on premise.

This move from what was largely a transactional and tangible sale of a product, to a more solution orientated, intangible sale, has proven difficult for many sales professionals as one is

Most people find selling a product much easier than selling a service because your prospects get to see, touch and experience a product.  Human beings communicate through our five senses and these are extremely important in selling.  Next time you’re walking past a coffee shop or your local bakers I’m sure the aromas will be trying to entice you in the door.

Car salespeople love getting potential buyers to sit inside a new car as the small of the new car, the feeling of the leather seats and comfort of sitting down creates a desirable experience for most of us.

Compare these scenarios with Insurance or Pensions or cloud based technology solutions where the five senses are rarely engaged by the “product”.

7. Technology Sales Models

When it comes to Technology Sales Models there are many different models to choose from:

SPIN Selling developed by Neil Rackham in the late 80’s focussed on S – situation, P – problem, I – implication and N – need or payoff.  This is still hugely popular, however, some people believe this SPIN is much better suited to simple transactional sales with few buyers, rather than the complex technology sales of todays market.

Solution Selling as the name says focusses on selling a solution rather than a product and is widely used among technology sales professionals. Solution Selling involves much more time in the early stages of the sales uncovering the prospects needs and pain points and uncovering the underlying problems that are causing the pain.  Furthermore, solution selling is better suited to selling technology services as it also helps uncover different decision makers and stakeholders within the business. 

Consultative Sales Methodology is very similar to Solution Selling, however, where Solution Selling is based around selling a technology Consultative Selling is more focussed on the pre-sales consulting stage and building relationships through empathy.

Whilst choosing the right sales methodology is important these are all things that can be learned.  What’s more important, are the values and work ethics of your team. 

How to Master the Complex Sale
Selling Information Technology Services

8. Selling Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS Sales Campaign in a BoxTraditionally software was sold as an on premise solution and was often customised to the individual company’s requirements.  The advent of SaaS has changed this dramatically and reduced the amount of custom software development undertaken in house.

The Custom Development of software was expensive, time consuming and in some cases took so long that the original requirement had either changed or was no longer required by the time the software had been built and deployed.

SaaS software is essentially a switch on and switch off service allowing greater flexibility with the added benefit of lower entry costs as the software or platform is being resold multiple times.  No more high up from capital costs with SaaS providing the perfect Op Ex solution.

Selling SaaS solutions are different to selling technology services.  Whereby most SaaS sales are focussed on the software, features and benefits and demos these things are sometimes never touched on when selling managed services.

SaaS companies also have a slightly different methodology with most using MEDDIC or even CHAMP.

MEDDIC is probably the best known SaaS sales process with M standing for Metrics, E standing for the economic buyer, D stands for Decision making criteria as in why choose you. The next D stand for Decision making process, I stands for Identification of the pains and lastly C stands for Champion, who will help you sell internally.

CHAMP – is a simpler version with CH representing Challenges, A standing for Authority, M standing for Money and P standing for Priority. 

9. Selling IT Managed Services

Managed Services or Managed IT Services are what we would describe as the Business as Usual IT services that a business needs to keep the doors open.

As a services business very large part of your market will be SME’s and you will be dealing with the Business Owner who may have little or no knowledge around technology.

As always when selling technology risk avoidance for these clients is key as they will need reassurance certain disaster scenarios are covered.

Whereas historically these would have included a lot of hardware sales the modern Managed Services contracts predominantly involve delivering services such as licensing, patch updates, remote monitoring, technical support and advice, deployment and possibly configuration of SaaS software. 

The outsourced managed services model is particularly popular with Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs) organisations who typically are not large enough to have their own in house IT Department and therefore outsource the IT function in their business via a Managed Services contract.

The alternative to outsourced managed services is sometimes referred to as a break-fix contract where the customer is simply charged on a form of pay as you go. 

Break-fix contracts now seem to be very rare as most services businesses prefer to sell the security of a Managed Services contract whereby the clients know the costs every month and can plan around this.

Many larger organisations will also outsource part of their IT function but often retain some specialist IT staff to manage the contracts and deal with specialist IT projects unique to their organisation.

Consultative Sales Process
Selling Information Technology Services

10. IT Professional Services

Selling information technology services may involve what’s called IT Professional Services.  These are typically intangible services based around:

  1. Fault Diagnosis and Problem Solving. Let’s pretend that you’re organisations IT system develops a fault and no one internally is capable of identifying the root cause of the problem an fixing it.  You may choose to approach an external contractor who provide IT Professional Services and they will supply a specialist to find and fix the problem. 
  2. Consulting.  With technology moving so rapidly it’s almost impossible to keep up with everything.  Your organisation may choose to hire an IT Professional Services firm to benchmark where you currently are from an IT perspective and then make recommendations based on your current and future requirements. Examples of this could be moving from On Premise to the Cloud or some form of Business Process Automation.
  3. Bespoke Solutions. Some organisations require completely bespoke solutions designed and built for them.  This may require business analysts, project managers in addition to the technologists in order to achieve the outcomes the client desires.

Both Professional Services and Managed Service contracts are classed as Business to Business (B2B) Sales.  Largely speaking, Professional Services sales tend to be to larger enterprise organisations, with Managed Services contracts more suited to SME and Mid Market companies who have a limited IT Department.

11. Turning your IT Product Knowledge into powerful sales questions

Product knowledge when selling technology services as you can imagine is hugely important, however, it’s not for the reasons you may be thinking. 

Everyone has heard the saying “when you’re telling you’re not selling”.  Modern selling regardless of which sales methodology you are using is based around intelligent questioning.  The value of any sales professional is not in the information they give, but in the information the gather. 

Technology sales people have previously earned a reputation of talking “bits and bytes” which left the non-technical buyers even more confused. 

The most successful Technology Services reps now focus on selling business solutions that solve business problems.  The technology in many cases is completely irrelevant to the user, its what the technology enables them to do that is important.  Those are the reasons people will buy.

Product knowledge in any sale has only two benefits as follows:

  1. The product knowledge should be turned into powerful sales questions that make the prospect stop and think: “wow what a great question”, “wow, why didn’t I think of that”, “wow this sales rep has done this before”, “wow this sales rep really is a subject matter expert”, “wow I wished my sales reps were as good as this one”.
  2. The product knowledge should provide the self confidence the sales rep needs to go into any board room and not be intimidated or fearful.  The product knowledge should allow the sales rep to say to themselves “this company may be great at abc but they need me because I am an expert in xyz.  Without confidence in the boardroom sales people will be outmanoeuvred by both their competitors and savvy buyers.
Selling Information Technology Services

12. CIO’s and other Buyers you need to target.

In many cases the CIO or Head of IT is at the very least involved in the decision making process when selling technology services if not the final decision maker.  This has however, changed for line of business applications over the years, with the advent of SaaS or cloud-based software. 

In some cases where companies have developed very specific SaaS solutions that will only be used within the one department the “Line of Business Head” would fulfil the role of the CIO. 

For example, purchases of a SaaS solution such as Digital Signature software that will be used to allow the companys sales people to get contracts signed digitally would typically not involve the CIO.

It’s also worth noting that studies show 93% of B2B buyers will require a business case before they can make a decision. In general a Business Case usually means that something is going to require board approval which takes us back to the complex sale.

CIO’s are highly valuable buyers and they know this. With many being introverts they often keep a low profile on social media and are difficult to start relationships with.

With this in mind it’s important to be armed with research, data, insights and case studies to demonstrate the value.

As previously mentioned these clients expect and require in depth research before approaching them, a track record of successfully delivering services in their niche with a high level of client satisfaction.

Why Non “Salesy” Sales Training for Consultants Works

Sales Training for Consultants

In this article we will cover...

There’s a new way to deliver sales growth…

Don’t buy Sales Training until you’ve watched this video

1. Why Being Salesy Doesn’t Work for Consultants

Being Salesy is forcing your beliefs and opinions on why someone should buy a product or service from you. This rarely works because the approach is very off-putting for the person receiving on the receiving end and in most cases damages the Consultants personal brand in addition to the brand of the business.

Being Salesy clashes with our personal values which are the unwritten rules that guide the way we live and behave. When we are living and acting in congruence with our personal values people are the most productive and the most successful which is why being “salesy” doesn’t work for consultants or anyone else for that matter.

Consultants are not Sales People, they are experts in their chosen field and any sales training should be bespoke and reflect and leverage that expertise.

2. Selling Tips for Consultants Who are Introverts

Roughly one third of the population are introverts which means they are more likely to be uncomfortable around other people whether they are selling or not.

Introverts can make great salespeople as they are usually good listeners, good at building relationships and have high level of self awareness.

There are some practical steps that Consultants who believe themselves to be introverts can take to to help themselves enjoy the experience of selling more.

Sales Training for Consultants

People who are introverts have a “self-as-story”. This self story reinforces negative beliefs such as they are introverted, not good with people and cannot sell.

It’s important to develop a new and believable “self-as-story” with more positive beliefs such as “I am not an introvert I am an Ambivert”.

Ambiverts are the third of the population who sit in the middle between introverts and extroverts.  “I am good with people and I enjoying spending time helping others.”  

Most human beings are by nature kind and well-meaning so this is again a believable statement.  

“My job is not to sell but instead to be of service, help people and create the right conditions for someone to buy; if they want to.” 

3. Sales Training for Consultants

We often are asked to train what we call Non-Selling Professionals in new selling techniques and these are people in a business where the sales function is not their primary role, they could be Consultants, but equally, they could be Lawyers, Engineers, Analysts, Accountants, Developers & Architects etc.

In most cases when we first meet them they proclaim that they could never be a salesperson – the reality is that humility is one of the traits that means that they absolutely could be a great salesperson.

Unfortunately, what’s holding these people back is that the publics’ perception of a salesperson is largely negative and the type of adjectives the public use, when asked to describe a salesperson, are words like “liar”, “selfish”, “talks too much”, “money-grabber” and “annoying”.

The reality is that most salespeople are nothing like this, however, sometimes we pay the price for those that go before us and unfortunately there are, albeit a small number of salespeople, who are like that. If you think about it though, those traits are hardly a recipe for success.

4. How to get sales leads without picking up the phone

After spending years trying to train and coach consultants, engineers and technical people from every different industry, we came to the realisation that nothing we could ever do would motivate them to pick up the phone and make a cold call consistently.

If we showed them how to make a cold call that won them a $1 million dollar order they would still prefer to come in the next day and work at their desktops. These same people, however, would be more than happy to take inbound calls and talk to strangers who had called them.

The answer to the challenge was easy then – get their phones to ring and get their email to ping. If you talk to anyone in B2B marketing they will probably say quite rightly that generating a consistent flow of inbound leads is not easy.

We worked with our own team to develop a new strategy around this and worked to implement this strategy into our own business to prove it works and to gather some good data.

What is this strategy and can it work for me? In simple terms the strategy involves leveraging the knowledge and expertise of the consultants, and position them and their company as SME’ s (Subject Matter Experts). We then help them develop thought leadership content that buyers were interested in.

We then help them take that knowledge and place it on their website in a way that can be easily found and ranked on Page 1 of Google – just the same way you found this article. This then creates a steady stream of self qualified sales leads who have already bought into the expertise of your consultants and keen to engage further.

What’s more unlike pay per click ads these articles create a steady flow of new leads that fuel future growth at no cost. Once the content is published that’s it.

No cold calls, no outbound phone calls of any sort. In fact, in some cases our clients are now closing deals via email.

If this approach interests you and you would like to learn more please contact us for further details.

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5. Training Sessions for Sales Consultants

In most cases sales training for Consultants is delivered over 1 & 2-day courses. This can work however in our experience, Consultants can immediately feel defensive if they are told they need training as they are nearly always mature adults and often have had a negative experience from previous Sales Training programmes they have attended.

The best way around this is to choose sales training for Consultants that is specifically designed for Consultants and content that highlights the skills and experience of the Consultants. The trainer should have experience of training a wide variety of non-selling professionals and be able to address the specific learning styles and needs of this type of audience.

What can be equally productive is running workshops where the Consultants get to choose what they feel would benefit them most. This way they feel more empowered as they have chosen the content and by definition, the content should be more targeted and relevant.

The only drawback to this is that this requires an experienced facilitator/trainer who knows the answers to the Consultants Sales Challenges from memory and can articulate them without a PowerPoint. If the trainer has to stop the session to look up the answers in a textbook or slide deck they will lose all credibility.

These workshops should have defined outcomes with action plans to make sure they are more than just a talking shop and deliver real impact for the Consultants and the company.

Sales Training for Consultants

6. Sales Training Tips for Sales Consultants

Most people have a common misconception that selling is all about closing and forcing people to make decisions that they might not want to make. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth as the most successful salespeople simply don’t do this because they know it doesn’t work and in many cases destroys any trust or relationship that they have with the prospect.

In most cases, traditional Sales Training for Consultants won’t work because the techniques they use go against the Values & Beliefs of the Consultants. No matter how good the trainer is unless the content is based on actions that are congruent with the beliefs and values of the Consultant it will simply be a waste of everyone’s time and money.

What will work however is if the training is designed to position the Consultants as Trusted Advisors to their prospects and the sales activities are aligned with positioning them as Thought Leaders in their Industry.

The following sales tips help Consultants & Non-Selling Professionals understand that Professional Selling is more about building trust and relationships than it is about “Closing” prospects.

To sell more consultants should focus on building TRUST

T = Time
R = Reliability
U = Unselfishness
S = Soundness
T = Truthfulness


Set Goals and manage your own time – be effective, not busy. Be respectful of your clients’ time, turn up on time to meetings, prepare before meetings to get the most from them. Spend time with clients to help them. Focus your time on your best prospects.


Get a plan and stick to it, sales plans, communications plans and account plans. Many sales are lost when you are back in your own office. Respond to every email within 24 hours, manage expectations and take ownership of problems and follow up.


Listen, empathise and give, yes give, as in Emersons Law of Compensation. Stop trying to sell and start trying to help, have conversations, not sales pitches. Recognise when there is no fit and walk away – never force the sale. Pass on referrals and give recommendations.


Become an expert in your field. Be the “go-to” person in your industry that people refer others to. Create your own personal development plan and learn as much as you can about yourself, your customers and your customers’ customers. Mentor, coach and help others.


Be true to yourself. Have those difficult conversations with family, friends, colleagues and customers. Losing some sales, losing some battles will help you win the war. Nurture and grow your integrity, self-respect and self-belief. Be authentic and true to yourself.

These Sales Techniques are not glamorous, and they might not produce an overnight transformation however they do work. Together you will see these five areas form the basis of TRUST. Selling without trust may be possible, but it is extremely hard work and will, without doubt, limit your success. In business, the antithesis of trust is a risk, and every Buyer, every CEO, every organisation will pay more for a solution that is perceived to mitigate risk. Building and sustaining TRUST is the foundation of Mastery in sales, although many of our clients have asked us to help embed these “selling techniques” throughout their organisation, not just sales.

7. Sales Training for Professional Services

Selling Professional Services can be very different from selling as a Consultant because in many cases when you are selling Professional Services the salesperson is the product.

In B2B more so than B2C, buyers rarely purchase anything from a salesperson they don’t like or trust. There are exceptions to this when the Brand Power of the product or service is very strong, for example it doesn’t take the salesperson of the year to sell Microsoft Technical Services because the power of the Microsoft brand has pre-sold most people before they go into the sales meeting and the product is Microsoft, not the Consultant.

For Consultants who do not represent a big brand like Microsoft, Deloitte, or Bain & Co, in most cases they are the brand, they are the product, and they have to work even harder to win the sale.

In many cases what is more productive for Consultants is to stop trying to sell and focus all their energies on trying to help the prospect.

We recommend a Consultative Sales Approach which focuses the sales conversation around 5 critical questions.

  1. What are the symptoms of the business problem?

Prospects find it easier to identify symptoms however it’s the role of the expert to ask questions and dig deeper.

  1. What is the Root Cause of the Problem?

The Consultant should use Root Cause Analysis techniques to identify the underlying causes of the problems.

  1. How is this problem impacting the business?  

These questions should focus on what way the problem limits growth, profits or damage the brand in any way.

  1. Financial Impact

The consultant and the prospect need to do a basic cost-benefit analysis to ensure the client will see a return on any investment they make.  

  1. Personal Impact

Lastly, the Consultant needs to uncover any personal motives or drivers that are important to the client.

Often by simply asking these questions, the Consultant will get the opportunity to position themselves as the expert at the same time building rapport and trust with the prospect. 

consultative selling skills
Sales Training for Consultants

8. Sales Training Courses for Consultants

We have training and coaching courses available to help your consultants overcome their sales challenges.

We deliver our sales training and coaching via our Online Sales gym so we can provide support throughout and after the training period.

This helps you embed the new skills and sales behaviours in your organisation to maximise the impact of our training.

You can learn more about our Sales Training for Consultants via the following articles:

Consultative Sales process here

Consultative Selling Skills Course

Bespoke Sales Training

How to Sell Without Being Pushy
Sales Training for Consultants