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.

The Best SaaS Sales Training & Coaching for SDR’s & AE’s

saas sales training

1. SaaS Sales Training: Before you Start

How do you grow SaaS sales? How do you grow sales in your software or technology business?

Sadly most companies are doing the same generic marketing and getting the same generic results.

Growing monthly and annual recurring revenues isn’t easy for any organisation.

Behind every overnight success there is nearly always years of hardwork and maybe even some failures from which they learn and move forward.

B2B SaaS sales training can differ depending on the stage of the startup. The strategy and skills required in stage 1 Product/market fit, will vary from stage 3 Scaling.

Many companies make the mistake of jumping to stage 3 immediately and this can kill their growth. If you try and ramp up sales before you have a firm grip on the systems and processes that drive profitability, every customer you add will drive you further away from your profits.

the best saas sales training ever

Related content on SaaS sales:


Before starting any SaaS or software sales training here are a few boxes we suggest you tick so that you get the most from your investment in sales training. Sales Training can differ hugely depending on the stage of the startup.

The strategy and skills required in stage 1 Product/market fit will vary from stage 3 Scaling. Many companies make the mistake of jumping to stage 3 immediately and this can kill their growth.

Stage 1 – Ensure you have a proven product/market fit.

Many start-ups rush to employ salespeople and try to scale up before they have proven their product/markit fit.

Product/market fit is simply the process have taking your value proposition and proving you can sell it to someone. As you would expec,t one sale doesn’t mean you have a viable business model,but it’s a starting point.

Many B2B start ups aren’t sure how to prove their product market fit so here are some questions you should ask your team:

1a. Do we have repeat business? Although they have value one off sales don’t actually prove much becasue they won’t help you grow recurring revenues. Locking clients into an annual contract of 12 monthly payments doesn’t equal 12 sets of repeat business.

It’s not until the annual contract renews that you can get a feel for how valuable they see your product.

1b. Are your customers in the same verticals? It’s usually a good sign if you are having repeat success within the same vertical.

That’s not to say that selling across different industries is a bad thing far from it, but in the early days it’s easier when you can be hyperfocussed and branch out as part of your growth strategy.

1c. Is you product solving the same problem? Again it’s not a bad thing if your product solves multiple problems, it’s just in the early stages this can lead to generic marketing and confused sales messaging.

1d. Are you receiving a regular flow of referrals? Most people will happily recommend a product or service if they feel it will of benefit. Whilst a lack of referrals may simply be because you haven’t asked – in this case what is your Net Promoter Score? Improving both of these before you start to scale your business will only make selling easier.

Product/market fit is a journey, not one single event and takes time, customer feedback and usually many iterations from the initial concept. Each iteration should be defined, measured and tested by the user base before being accepted.

1e. Lastly, you should never under estimated the feedback loop from your early adopters. This isn’t just about changing your MVP, it’s about listening and understanding the problems from the prospects perspective.

Seemingly small changes in the sales messaging and sales process based on feedback can have a huge impact in the results you will achieve.

The same feedback loop is invaluable for tech based businesses as they can use this to develop the product roadmap post MVP.

saas sales training
Saas Sales Training

Stage 2 – Systemise Sales

Once Product/market fit is achieved the next stage for Startups is to systemise sales. This can vary greatly, however, the general rules of thumb are, higher prices will mean more man hours are required to sell, and the larger the target customer the less automated the sales process.

Lower priced solutions targeting SME’s is more likely to be a marketing led sale and higher priced solutions to Enterprise organisations are predominantly sales led.

Systemising your B2B sales includes six main areas as follows:

  • creating a measurable and repeatable sales process
  • using automation technology where appropriate
  • segmenting markets and accounts
  • turning proven sales plays into repeatable sales process
  • Volume on-boarding process for new hires
  • gathering relevant KPI’s and metrics – closing ratios, pipeline coverage, average deal size, cost of customer acquisition, customer lifetime value and Sales Rep scorecards

Without these metrics you should not move to the next stage. The metrics should form a solid business case to investors and if they don’t you simply need to make some changes before moving forward.

Having one loss making sales rep and then adding 10 more as you scale, all the time hoping you will turn the corner of profitability isn’t recommended. Sales performance is therefore an important part of stage 2, both in terms of how you will measure it and how you will manage it.

SaaS Sales Training

Stage 3 – Scaling Sales

The last and final stage is scaling sales. In many cases start-ups rush to this stage due to pressure from investors or they are running out of cash. The reality is that the more time and effort you put into stages 1 and 2, makes stage 3 so much easier.

When you are ready we recommend you read “How to Build a SaaS Sales Funnel”.

Stage 3 creates huge changes in the business as you move from a small, mostly development based team, to hiring multiple sales, marketing, operations and HR staff.

Costs are huge however it shouldn’t be a concern because you have a proven product/market fit (stage 1) and the right systems & processes in place that are following proven KPI’s (stage 2).

Another challenge here is the mindset of the leadership team. In most cases they have gone for years focussing on saving money, and now they need to start spending money on more sales and marketing hires.

Often this rapid growth can decrease profitability even further as new customers are onboarded.

Moving from a mindset of survival to one of growth shouldn’t be underestimated.

2. Going Outbound

Starting any Outbound sales campaign is a dangerous thing, because when Outbound is done badly it leaves a scorched earth behind.

A scorched earth approach will not only limit future growth, it will dramatically increase the churn in your sales team.

Salespeople like winning and when they aren’t winning and earning commission they will quickly look elsewhere.

This will add cost to your recruitment, management and training budgets, in addition to the missed market opportunities.

Going Outbound is difficult and most businesses make the mistake of simply sending a generic email (including a first name and the company name is no longer classed as personalising) and following up with a nuisance cold call.

This approach will get you some sales, but you will be leaving thousands on the table. The best outbound strategies are one to few, not one to many and they are highly coordinated campaigns that deliver higher opportunity creation rates.

This involves sales and marketing working together to come up with the right target audience, the right sales messaging, the right initial approach and the right sales plays. All of which needs to be supported by content, collateral and campaign material.

There are two primary drivers for B2B success as follows that you should be aware of:

1. The initial approach from the sales development reps need to provide a “gift”. No one likes receiving cold calls and most sales people don’t like making them. What gift can you provide that delivers value to the user that will encourage the salespeople to pick up the phone?

What is of high value to the user, but low value/cost for you to deliver?

2. The faster the user receives value from the product/service, then the more likely they are to use the service, stay engaged and complete the on boarding process.

Instant gratification motivates users so use this to your advantage. Invest heavily in your on boarding and customer success programmes, because this will reduce your churn down the line.

Executive Sales Coaching Services
SaaS Sales Performance

3. Understanding Sales Training: The Basics

To train your B2B sales team to be the best that they can and bring in the most sales that they can, you have to use the science of learning. Just like students in a classroom, your sales team is going to study and work hard to try to bring about the best results.

For any student, whether they’re in a traditional classroom or not, there is a general 70:20:10 rule of learning. This is a widely-adopted rule that applies to nearly all scenarios of teaching and learning.

To train your sales team to their maximum level of efficiency, follow this:

70% on-the-job training

20% coaching based on performance

10% in-classroom learning

Work Based Learning
Sales Training Process

If you follow this basic guideline, you’ll see that your sales team will respond better to training and be able to do more with what they’ve learned from their time in training.

Another rule that you should pay attention to in regards to training your team is the idea of repetition. You can’t expect that every member of your team remember every rule, procedure, and policy that you’ve told them for the rest of their lives.

In fact, most people can only retain about 20% of what they’ve learned over a month. To reduce the amount of information forgotten (and ensure that your team is up to speed), you have to train everyone on your team continually.

In terms of sales training content, whilst every business is different we would advise you include topics like how to engage buyers, selling skills, building a sales pipeline, consultative selling skills, reducing sales cycles and account growth.

This means that you need to train even the most senior employees of your team continuously.


Whether you’re training a new group of salespeople, or repeating an old lesson to a group of executives, you should keep a classroom-like state in mind. All of your sales representatives are students when they’re in training. Therefore, you have to act like a teacher to perform effective sales coaching.

Think about some of the best strategies that teachers in traditional classrooms use. For example: “See. Do. Teach.” This is a phrase that’s widely adopted by teachers who are looking to make effective students.

What this means is that if you want your salespeople to be as effective as possible, you have to show them what to do, ask them to do it, and then require that they teach someone else how to do it. Not only is this repetitive. It also requires your team to show their skills in three different ways.

After a student (or salesperson) achieves this line of practice, they are said to have mastered the material. However, we all know that one listen-in and two practice calls aren’t enough to make effective salespeople.


When you’re teaching a new or old group of salespeople, you should see the act more as a way of coaching them, rather than training them. We’re sure you know, your role as a coach for the sales team is to give individuals feedback based on what they do.

Rather than dictating how they should conduct sales calls, you should give the salesperson feedback based on what they could improve on. Don’t forget to highlight things they’ve done correctly as this will enforce them to do those things correctly again.

As you’re acting as a coach, it’s also essential to focus on one performance indicator at a time. Think about the one quality that you think would send this salesperson above and beyond as they’re conducting sales calls and conferences.

Don’t overwhelm your sales team by picking too many areas of focus at once. Let them ease their way into making sales by fixing one attribute at a time. You’ll also find that coaching and teaching them this way is more manageable as their focus remains on one thing rather than several things.


Often the most neglected but important role in sales is that of sales managers and sales leaders. These are the people who set the bar for sales performance and what is acceptable or not. In many cases sales managers were either the top sales rep or simply a manager with little or no sales experience.

Whether you buy in experienced sales managers or develop your own sales leaders this investment in talent will repay itself many times over.


It’s worthwhile noting that Sales Coaching and Sales Management are very different skills but both play an important part in building and increasing sales performance. Where possible you should separate the roles as a coach cannot make a coachee do anything where as Sales Managers can.


Your SaaS team will inevitably need resources to help them make sales. These resources will range from research tools, to prospecting tools, through to klozing tools like online presentation and digital sign off tools.

Other than mentioning Microsoft which everybody has anyway, we deliberately don’t provide a list of resources in order that this blog can remain vendor neutral, however, we’re more than happy to talk through the resources that we have found to work best.


When you’re training salespeople most companies default to the traditional model whereby they hire a trainer for a day or two days in house training. This may work for some but from experience we have found that at least one member of your sales team will leave. It then becomes financially impossible to have a trainer return to train the one new hire.

We recommend documenting all the training in an electronic B2B Sales Playbook which is living, working document that can be updated and refined as your sales team matures.

Our Playbooks provide a single point of reference and storage for everything a sales person would need in order to be successful selling tech based solutions.

The Playbooks are built in Microsoft OneNote and work across both Windows and Mac devices.

Using OneNote for Sales Management - Coaching Notes
Using OneNote for Sales Management - Coaching Notes


Don’t assume that your sales force can be taught in just a week or even a couple of weeks. The coaching process should be viewed as a multi-year process that is made to bring salespeople from amateurs to coaches themselves. 

As you’re conducting your sales coaching program, you should never assume that someone doesn’t need training. No matter how much previous training and experience they have, you should be prepared to put them through a sales program. Even with these ‘experts,’ you should work to build their strengths.

While your sales representatives are succeeding and learning more about their role in the sales process, you should note how they could fill higher positions in the future. For example, you may have a sales representative who is showing great promise for a leadership role. Take note of this and encourage the representative to work towards a higher position like this.

Working towards long-term success means that you should consistently be working to better your sales representatives so that they can bring more business to your company.


Traditional tech based sales training focuses on what we call the tactical part of sales training. Whilst this is hugely important, there is an inevitable ceiling that is created once you have optimised this part of you sales.

Klozers will work with your leadership team and ensure we deliver a holistic solution that maximises the market opportunity.

the best saas sales training ever

If you’re looking for a program to complement your on-the-job SaaS sales training, look no further than our online sales coaching. Our sales experts will coach your sales team to be the best they can be by highlighting strengths and building upon any perceived weak points.

We know that you’re looking for a strong sales force. The only way to get this is to invest in quality tech focused sales coaching like ours.

Klozers provides training for SaaS companies via our offices in United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany, Australia and the USA.


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