In 1985, when Jack Daly was 26 years old, his big, hairy, audacious goal was to build the biggest mortgage company in Orange County within five years. Jack had just moved across the country from the cold Northeast to California with his wife and kids. The company consisted of Jack and the three guys he convinced to come along. His competitors included companies such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Countrywide Mortgage.
Eighteen months after he arrived, through organic growth only with no acquisitions, his company had 22 locations across the United States and employed 750 people. He made $42 million in profits in the first three years.
Six times, between the age of 26 and 46 years old, Jack grew his companies to national size. He’s also repeatedly helped others grow their companies at a frenetic pace. With a remarkable 30-plus year track record in sales, he’s been called the best professional sales trainer in America. A world-renowned speaker and bestselling author, today he is making a difference in the lives of those in sales and sales management.
During a recent Technology Marketing Toolkit Producers Club peer group meeting, Daly spoke about how to create hyper sales growth in your MSP. “Every company starts small,” he said. “All six of my companies started with one guy, me. A small company, but they grew at an incredible pace.”
The following strategies from Jack are designed to send your MSP into hyper sales growth.
#1 Know What Your Vision Is
When doing one-on-one CEO coaching, the first questions Daly asks are, “What’s your vision?” and “What’s your company going to look like when it’s done?” Daly says, “Steven Covey said it better than me: ‘Begin with the end in mind.’ I can’t get you there unless you know what there is. What is your company going to look like five years from now? Ten years from now? What’s your revenue and MRR going to look like? How many salespeople are you going to have? How many locations are you going to operate in? How many states are you going to be doing business in, and what’s the timeline for getting there? What are the obstacles?
“How are you going to wrestle those down? How are you going to fund it? All those types of things you need to be wrestling down now, not later, and not figuring it out as you go along.”
#2 Put Key People In Key Spots
There are only so many hours in a day and only so many calls a single person can make. Daly says if he were to come into your company to grow it, one of the first things he’d do is recruit and hire salespeople, teach them the sales systems and processes that work, and put someone in place to grow the team. “If you want to grow your sales, grow your sales force in quantity and quality,” Daly said. “The key is to have somebody who grows that sales force, and for a fast-growing company, the most important position in the company is whoever is growing that sales force.”
#3 Build Your Culture
As Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Daly recommends you reserve a percentage of your time creating an “environment where people enjoy coming to work rather than have to go to work.” He says, “I hear business owners talking about how ‘our people are our most important asset,’ blah, blah, blah. But how much of your time is spent on the culture side? Create a magnet force where people absolutely want to go to work there.”
#4 Create A Sales Playbook
It’s critical to have a sales playbook. Figure out the best way to sell what you offer, build the systems and processes around that best way, then have your salespeople practice those systems and processes. Do that and you’ll kick your competition to the curb. “There’s no mystery as to what the right processes are to be successful as a salesperson,” Daly said. “But 98 out of every 100 MSPs cannot produce a sales playbook. If you don’t have a sales playbook, what that means is that each salesperson you have will be doing it their own way.”
#5 Focus On High Payoff Activities (HPAs)
Focusing on HPAs will help you generate more business with less work. “The overwhelming majority of owners, CEOs, and business leaders are not in the right column,” Daly said. “You’re spending too much of your time on things that are not going to give you the greatest return on investment. Be very protective. Your time is money.” Not only should you identify your HPAs, but you should also identify what your salespeople’s HPAs are. “Identify what the high payoff activities are for a salesperson,” Daly said. “Anything a salesperson is doing that is not an HPA, get rid of it. If you could do this and move this person to spend 100% of their time [on their HPAs], you have the opportunity to double your sales without adding another human being to your organization.” Three ways to get rid of the non-HPAs are to get somebody else inside the company to do it, hire someone outside the company to do it, or just stop doing it.
#6 Differentiate Your Company From Everyone Else
In Daly’s sales training, he frequently hears sales representatives say the reason people should do business with their company is that they are experienced, knowledgeable, and competitive and deliver good customer service. These are poor reasons because, as he points out, your competitor will say the same thing. Therefore, it’s crucial to figure out how you are uniquely better and different from everyone else, then make sure your salespeople know this, too. “You don’t think [your competitors] are going to come in and say, ‘We don’t have any experience. Nobody knows anything here. Our service sucks. We’re the highest price,’” he said. “If you don’t know how to differentiate your company to make it easy for me to choose you, then how are your salespeople supposed to do that?”
The above tips have contributed to small organizations growing into some of the most successful, largest, and wealthiest. But for them to work for your organization, you’ve got to do them. Remember that every organization starts with just one person. To build a world-class MSP business, get the right people in place and build a sales team. If you made a mistake with whom you’ve hired, the first thing to do is clean house of the people who don’t belong there. Hire slow and fire fast. And because the best salespeople are happy where they are, always keep a list of good salespeople and actively be recruiting by courting them. Create attractive bonuses for employees who refer a good salesperson and develop exciting sales contests, weekly, monthly, and quarterly, to incentivize them to sell more. “These things will really move the needle,” Daly says. “But for this to work, you’ve got to take action.”