As a Kronos Workforce Ready partner, you receive a lot of added value that other software vendors simply don’t provide to their reseller channels: Ongoing training, one point of contact, and sales and marketing support – just to name a few! One perk of our partnership that always gets partners excited is our Sales Enablement Program. A program where partners receive a steady stream of free Kronos leads to help them boost revenue and continually grow their business.

Every year, the program boasts high-performing partners who stand out with exceptional win rates, but one partner consistently shines above the rest. Closing more deals at a quicker rate than any other participant, One Source Payroll, a full suite partner based in the Dallas, Texas metro area, leads by example for other partners looking to step up their sales game.

One Source Payroll’s owner and lead sales rep Shelly Mueller was kind enough to share her best practice strategies for winning more business - a recipe that calls for just the right amount of follow-up without the need to be overly aggressive. The first tip she stressed is the need for timely follow-up when a lead is received. After she receives a lead, Shelly makes sure to reference all the notes before she sends out an introduction email thanking them and asking for a good time to connect.

Shelly commented, “If I don’t get a quick response from my email, I’ll pick up the phone and call them. I usually get their voicemail and let them know I’m available to talk right away.” For Shelly, it’s important to let the lead decide on the time that’s most convenient for them, especially since she knows they’ve already talked to someone from Kronos beforehand.

A second trick Shelly mentioned is to be well organized even before initial contact. “When I receive a lead, I like to input their information into Salesforce right away. It allows me to keep track of the people that need to be contacted, ones that have been contacted, and ones that I’ve scheduled demos with,” she said. By doing this, Shelly can deliver automated follow-up emails to her leads, revisit colder opportunities, and continue nurturing her existing relationships, helping her manage her time. In addition, she sends prospects a ready-made full suite brochure (regardless of module interest) and utilizes a simple quote template she can update and quickly email out.

A third tip: Leverage the Kronos name! Shelly commented, “The Kronos name is very well known in the industry. The people we talk to don’t care that we’re a small company because we’re a Kronos Certified Partner. We promote that Kronos provides the R&D, system updates, and product support. And we offer first-tier personal support and a dedicated rep to service their needs.”

Partner One Source Payroll gives advice on how to be successful as a service provider.

Another tool that’s been valuable for Shelly and her team is the Kronos demo track. “Once we get our leads to the demo phase, they’re basically sold on the product. It shows well and highlights all the areas the prospect wants to see,” she said. And one thing Shelly and her team don’t do is send pre-recorded videos to prospects. Shelly commented, “Part of our business model is to have a personal relationship with our clients and answer the questions they have. It’s my job to demo the product for them.”

And there’s always the question of what to do with those smaller opportunities that sometimes just don’t seem worth it? Shelly explained her and her team don’t turn down smaller-end deals and have a strategy for making it profitable without much pushback from the prospect.

“We have a minimum fee pricing structure that we’re always upfront about in initial conversations. For example, if the company has 20 employees, I’ll tell them they can add up to 20 employees to the system for a certain flat rate and after that, it’s so much per additional employee,” she said. Another word of advice: Don’t quote the prospect before talking with them. Shelly added if the contact doesn’t have the time to speak with her, then she’s unable to assess their needs and provide them with an accurate cost.

As far as determining minimum fees, Shelly said that you should set minimum pricing that you’re comfortable with. With this model, she has around 90 timekeeping-only clients. Shelly added, “We’re still able to receive revenue from these customers without needing to provide the same level of support as our payroll clients.” Shelly’s outlook is that even if the client is small, they still have the potential to refer over a larger client, which she mentioned happens frequently.

Although timekeeping-only clients are appreciated, Shelly and her team do their fair share to upsell opportunities as well. She mentioned regardless of interest, she always does some probing by asking prospects what they’re currently using for payroll, timekeeping, and HR and letting them know the full suite option is available. For those non-full suite customers, following up post-implementation is a good way to get a pulse on the client and an opportunity to upsell additional modules at that time. And another effective trick Shelly uses for her timekeeping-only clients is to leave the payroll module open post-implementation. This allows them to poke around for themselves and create more interest.

With Shelly’s previous experience as an ADP sales rep and owning her own payroll service bureau for the past 14 years, like all partners, she’s learned from trial and error. “I think with experience comes credibility when selling,” Shelly said. It doesn’t always take complicated or expensive ways to optimize your sales cycle. If there's one thing to learn from Shelly, it's to stay competitive and grow your revenue by being receptive to new business processes. And you never know, you might be pleasantly surprised!

Published: Thursday, December 13, 2018