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Project management is your secret sales differentiator

Project management is your secret sales differentiator

If your MSP is mastering the art of project management, you know how much data, organization, and skill goes into delivering excellent projects on time and on budget. If you are using Perfect Project to manage projects, you have the data at your fingertips to accurately predict a start date and how long a project will take, and foresee who will work on it. You can get this data in seconds. When you have reached this level of project management maturity, you can look a client in the eye and tell them, with confidence, when your team will be ready to start.  

Without the right, up-to-the-second data at your fingertips and the tools to calculate complex projects that are specific to your firm, it simply isn’t possible to say to a client, “We are ready to start next week!” Many sales teams say it, though. And that sets the wrong expectation with the client, may negatively impact the new relationship, and certainly can wreak havoc on other customers active projects not to mention your engineers. You know those promises are wishes not plans. But does the client? 

Your project maturity is a sales differentiator. And you can use the project management tools that helped you accomplish it to demonstrate it to potential clients.

Here’s how to use your Perfect Project dashboards and data as a sales differentiator. 

Give realistic start dates 

There is one question every client asks: “When can you start?”  

Even though this question is a given, most sales teams do not have the tools to answer it accurately with short notice. With Perfect Project in your pocket, though, you do. 

You can take this question seriously and answer it honestly. 

If say, the client is looking for help moving on-premises data to the cloud, you could open a “cloud migration” template (or ask a project manager to do it for you) that knows all the steps that go into this type of project and which resources have the skills and time to do the work.  

Perfect Project will show you when an appropriate team is available based on real data like each person’s capacity and calendar. The start date offered might, realistically, be weeks or months away. But when you tell the client that date, you are demonstrating that you know your capacity and that you aren’t making false promises.  

This accurate look at your processes also puts a bit of time pressure on the client. They can see that, if someone else books your team, the start date will get further away.  

Tap into your data 

You can use Perfect Project’s data analytics to showcase compelling key performance indicators (KPIs) in a sales meeting. Pull up your average time to complete projects, the typical duration for the type of project you are selling, how often you deliver projects on their due date, and more. 

This shows the client that you know your projects and team well enough to know when you can realistically start but you also know how long each project takes. This is how you deliver projects on the date you promised. You could also point out that you track this data to continuously improve. 

This can be a terrific eye opener for clients who may have been in meetings where spreadsheets, boilerplate Power Point presentations, and mocked-up Gantt charts are the only proof they are shown to support predictions about delivery dates and completion times. 

Use live explainers 

Many sales presentations use slide shows and static charts to explain what goes into a project and how the customer can expect it to unfold. With Perfect Project, can use live charts based on actual work and the team that did that work. 

Show a Gantt chart of the type of project you are trying to sell to the client. Then switch to a calendar view with a tap of the mouse to demonstrate how the project unfolds in time. To illustrate the level of control you have over projects, show them a critical path view of the same project.  

This way you are demonstrating that your team are not only experts at the technical side of the work but that you also understand effective, modern project management practices. 

Invite the client into the project 

When you manage projects in Perfect Project, you can invite customers into the project. They can see how the project is progressing at any time by glancing at their dashboard. If they have questions, they can see who is online and available to chat. Or, if it is after hours, leave a note on the task in question.

You can do this in a sales demonstration, too. Show the client how the client’s responsibilities are handled, as the project unfolds. Let them see how easy it is to discover tasks they need to do, what has and hasn’t been accomplished, and to assign work to someone in their organization.

While you are here, you can also share data around client effort. You might say, for example, that this type of project typically takes five hours of a client’s time. You know this with a high degree of accuracy because you can easily track and analyze project performance within Perfect Project. 

Knowing they have this sort of insight into the work can be a big incentive for clients to sign with you. They won’t have to wait for a status call to ask questions. They won’t be left in the dark about progress. And they will know the people they are working with. 

Eliminate status meetings 

Once you have demonstrated how connected your customers are to projects, make it clear that this insight can eliminate many unnecessary and unproductive status meetings.  

Ask the client how much time they spend in meetings with vendors. Many people in upper-level management spend 50% of their time in meetings. And most meetings – as much as 71 percent – are unproductive.  

Then ask your client to imagine what it would be like to know the status of every aspect of a project without having to wait for – or attend – a status meeting.  

You can promise that you will not be adding needlessly to your client’s meeting load because you are using tools that bring clarity, productivity, and easy communication to the work process. 

You won’t miss a beat 

Because you use a tool that uses AI and automation to keep an eye on project progress, neither your team nor your projects fall apart when disaster, weather, illness, or other SNAFUs happen. Change is the one constant in all projects. You have planned for it.

If one of your resources has an emergency today, for example, that could affect this client’s project three months from now, you will know about that future delay today.  

The automated monitoring and recalculating that goes on 24/7 in Perfect Project alerts your team immediately when any change affects any part of any plan. And that gives you plenty of time to come up with a backup plan so that your client won’t feel the impact of changes – small or large.  

Show them how a small problem today can turn into a big one down the road and that your project plans have intelligent monitoring and mitigation plans in place to prevent this.  

The MSP and IT Services landscape is competitive. If you know your project management skills make your team more effective and your project plans more accurate, your sales team can use that knowledge – and the tools you use to get there – to prove to clients that your project management maturity makes you better than your competition. 

Check out our resources for more advice on project management for MSPs.  




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