Have you been wondering why your ideal clients have not been instantly attracted to you? Have you been wondering why your ideal clients have not been able to determine how you are different from the other MSPs they have heard about? Have you been looking for improved ways to explain to potential clients how you can solve their problems and provide them with the resources they need to achieve their goals?
While running your own MSP can certainly be a rewarding journey, these are often some of the main concerns for MSPs who are looking to grow and thrive. The MSP business model is indeed a complex one that comes loaded with a variety of challenges. One of the common issues is having the ability to drive foreseeable growth for the business and build an operational capability that can manage that growth effectively.
MSPs that suffer from their growth being too slow, the majority of their efforts will likely go into last-chance inexpedient marketing and sales efforts. Recurring revenue is one of the many aspirations of managed service providers. Unfortunately, it continues to be an area of the business that many MSPs find challenging. Some MSPs cannot sell enough to new clients, fail to attract their ideal clients, or cannot command the right price.
Here is where we see most MSPs making mistakes when it comes to growth.
Mistake #1: Becoming a Tech Salesperson
Generally, customers do not care as much as MSPs do about specific features, such as cloud computing, anti-malware, backups, etc. Most customers are more concerned with the following:
How the technology will benefit their business
Enhancing user productivity
Keeping costs under control
When MSPs attempt to sell the idea of managed services to customers, there does not have to be a heavy focus on the ins and outs of the technology and services, more focus needs to be on the end result of the technology and services you are offering. Your conversation does not have to be focused on technology, instead, it can be a business conversation. You want the conversation to change the prospective client’s frame of mind with respect to technology and services, and their ends results.
Mistake #2: Failing to Focus on Sales
Many MSPs set a goal of increasing their monthly recurring revenue by a certain percentage, but few of the MSPs are able to make a sale to a new client with a significant monthly recurring revenue. While the majority of MSPs have a goal of achieving a specific monthly recurring revenue, only a few of the MSPs will actually achieve that goal. Why is that?
While most MSPs are invested in their sales approach and are sales-interested, the majority of MSPs are not sales-focused. As a sales-interested MSP, you want to grow your recurring revenue, and you are dedicated to doing so, but if you want to be a sales-focused MSP, you will need the following:
Resources that will allow you to get consistent results
Something greater than an MRR goal, such as knowledge of what it takes to obtain that goal
An accountability system in place to keep track of the goals
Mistake #3: Lack of Marketing Ammunition
Describing your services to prospective clients is not enough to make a name for yourself amongst your competitors. For example, if you offer backup and disaster recovery services, as most MSPs do, there may be some technical differences in what you are offering, but clients will not care about that. To clients, they will view this as something else to add to their invoice that they may never need.
However, it is up to you to make your backup and disaster recovery solution look better than anyone else’s. If you have helped a local business survive a disaster and were able to keep their business rolling, you should provide a platform for that business to talk about the experience. You should highlight that experience on your website, and promote it as often as you can.
When you take this route, you will turn a service that the prospective client did not seem interested in and giving it significant value. Not only will you shed light on a critical solution, but you will also have the opportunity to prove your worth. You do not have to stop at one service, you can use this same method for other solutions and services you offer.
Mistake #4: Providing Too Many Options
One of the mistakes many MSPs make as it relates to their growth is failing to standardize their service offerings to customers. You do not have to continuously increase your list of offerings. It is also not unreasonable to have tiered options when organizing your services, but you do not want to get carried away. If you allow too many customizations, you will see a slow-down in the execution process, and you will find it difficult to meet the personalized needs of your clients. You can stick to a few service tiers so your customers will understand what they are getting, what may work for them, and what may not.
Mistake #5: Trying To Push Growth Ahead Of Schedule
We all know that growth is going to take time. Do you want rapid growth that may be difficult to expand on or steady growth? If you only focus on increasing your client list, you may find yourself struggling to keep up with all the clients you have taken on. If you have too many clients and lack the capacity to handle everyone’s needs, your customers will not be happy with the service (or lack thereof) that you are providing.
As you make moves to grow your MSP, you need partners who are able to support your growth. You no longer have to waste efforts or financial resources like many MSPs have found themselves doing down the drain. As you attempt to find ways to transform your MSP, it is important that all of your marketing efforts speak the language that puts an end to client confusion, connects with your ideal clients, and grows your MSP.
Are you ready to develop a strategy that will provide you with what you need to grow? Contact us today for more information.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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