The Formula To Crush Your Sales Goals: Plan Backward, Manage Ahead

Has this ever been you?

“I’m going to hire an experienced salesperson who’s doing great in the industry. They’re going to make all the sales for my MSP business so I can take that off my plate. Because they’re experienced, I won’t have to teach them how to sell, set their goals, or give them a playbook (because I’m not sure I even know how to do any of that, anyway). I won’t even have to teach them what MSPs do. They’re just going to hit it out of the park.”

This still you?

Your new salesperson does not hit it out of the park, and after six to eight months of no real results, they leave (or you fire them). You start the hiring process again. Rinse and repeat.

How do you break that cycle? Your job as an MSP business owner is to create a strategy for how your sales team is going to win the sales that align with your business goals. That requires planning—reverse planning.

The problem is that most MSP owners have no clue how to do this or where to begin. Sitima Fowler and Ray Green, MSP sales experts, are here to unravel the secrets of reverse planning to steer your business toward intentional, sustainable growth.

Start With Your Business Goals

She Said: Your MSP business is not going to grow by default. You must be intentional about the outcome you want. Say your goal is to be a $10 million MSP in three years. What do you need to do to get there? If you need to start growing 20% year over year, what does your revenue need to be this year? What does your monthly MRR need to be to achieve that?

He Said: You can use historical data to help make your sales goals realistic and enforceable, but if you only use your past performance to set your future, you can easily fall into the trap of “We’ve always done it this way.” The outcome? The same results you always get. To grow, you need a dashboard with leading indicators that you can adjust to get the results you want.

Set Your Sales Goals

She Said: Once you’ve established that your salesperson is responsible for a certain amount of new MRR every month to hit your revenue goal, work backward to determine what behaviors and actions are required to make that happen. Let’s break it down. What’s the game plan for divvying up that MRR? What percentage do you expect from new clients versus existing clients? To reach that percentage, figure out your average deal size so you can determine how many new customers you must close each month.

He Said: Good point. Now, let’s talk hustle. How many first-time appointments (FTAs) are we looking at to seal the deal with the desired number of new customers? Let’s backtrack further. How many cold calls, networking events, LinkedIn messages, emails, and marketing outreaches do you need to land those FTAs? How many local events should supplement that outreach? It’s not just about reaching the goal but understanding the dance of percentages: new customers, appointments, calls, and events—reverse planning in action.

Manage Your Team

She Said: With a plan, your sales team knows what they must achieve every month. Plus, you have a repeatable and scalable process that drives results.

To keep your goals on track, watch three sets of numbers:

1. Business results (sales, profits, market share, wallet share)

2. Sales goals (proposals, discovery meetings, 
 technical assessments, qualified leads, etc.)

3. Sales activities (prospecting calls, follow-
 up touches, networking events, etc.)

He said: Absolutely. Manage and forecast the outcome on a weekly basis with a sales activity tracker or dashboard. Every MSP’s KPIs will be slightly different depending on how they generate demand and get leads. Some KPIs to measure include dials, FTAs, proposals generated, close rate on FTAs and proposals generated, and more. When you give your sales team actionable goals and a scorecard that shows if they are hitting their numbers, the desired output is almost naturally going to happen.

She said: That’s right. If the results are off, you can easily see what’s wrong and troubleshoot. Do you need to make more outbound calls? Send more emails? Up your marketing activity? Hire a sales development rep? Those are things you can control to change where your business is headed.

Have The Mindset To Hit Your Goals

He Said: The first step is to 100% believe you will reach your sales goals. You must have a mindset for success. Reverse engineer how you will get there. And have a process in place to successfully onboard and manage the new clients your salespeople bring in. Because if you plan and manage their sales activities, they will be successful.

She Said: Because here’s the truth: Success isn’t accidental. 

Sitima Fowler turned her small MSP from zero growth and profits to a multimillion-dollar MSP generating over a million in net profit. She then merged with a group of other MSPs to form Iconic IT, where she headed marketing and sales, growing to over $25 million before it was sold to Integris. Today, she teaches TMT members how to close big, profitable managed services agreements with ease. Ray Green has been an operator for investment groups, including CEO of a PE-backed company and other contract C-level roles. He was also managing director of small and midsize business at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Ray has helped some of the world’s most successful business coaches execute world-class sales and marketing strategies. He has also coached dozens of solopreneurs on productizing and packaging their services to win better clients at higher rates.



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