Transitioning from the break-fix business model to managed services might feel like an entirely different ball game. That’s because it likely is. But now that you have the right MSP mindset in place, it’s time to address the sales and marketing components. For managed service providers (MSPs), having a sales and marketing strategy isn’t optional. It’s critical. Both your sales and marketing help build brand awareness, facilitate long-term customer relationships, and drive growth in your business. Let’s take a deeper look.
Your sales and marketing strategies depend largely on understanding what differentiates you from other MSPs. In some cases, this might surround what verticals you focus on or a specific area that you excel the most in. On the other hand though, differentiation might often feel like a real struggle to achieve. If you have the time and resources, it’s best to work on developing a skill set, tool, or approach that is genuinely different from your competitors and will provide value to your clients.
Even if you aren’t differentiated, always present yourself as being unique and avoid falling into the trap of differentiating based on only price. Your sales and marketing tactics help with this.
Building a successful sales team
You’re going to need a designated sales team. We get it, most IT folks aren’t jumping up and down at the thought of sales or marketing for that matter, and that’s fine, as long as you have someone in place who is. Start by hiring your first salesperson, and go from there.
Whether you’re hiring internally or bringing in new talent, there needs to be a widespread understanding that selling services as opposed to a product, requires a different approach. There’s a good chance you’ll lose some business during this transition – not everyone is a fan of change, but hang tight because your designated sales team will make up for it.
Prioritizing your customers’ needs
When your sales team starts hitting the phone with prospects or current customers, their conversations should be framed around how the prospect or customer can benefit and find value in your services. This seems pretty straight forward, right? But no, discussing all of your fancy features is far from the point. They need to be able to explain how specific features will solve specific pain points. It’s not just about what you offer, it’s about how what you offer provides value for the client.
Getting started with marketing
Between getting a solid website up and running, ensuring you’re populating your social media apps on a regular basis, crafting email newsletters, and offering customer testimonials, you need a good strategy. While I can’t possibly run through all the important pieces your marketing strategy should include, here are a few key tactics to consider.
Customer testimonials are an awesome way of building trust with current and future clients. When you’ve got specific customers that you know are a huge fan of what you’ve done for their business, these won’t be hard to get either. Start by reaching out to a few key customers that perhaps have a unique story to tell based on your services. This will help not only throughout the transition process but as you continue to bring in new clients.
Email is still alive and well in the marketing game. For capacity sake, and to ensure you’re not bombarding individuals with emails, start with considering offering an e-newsletter. This could be bi-weekly or monthly and allows you to keep your partners and prospects up to date with what’s going on. Whether it includes special deals, dates of important webinars, your latest content from your blog, features releases, or anything else for that matter, it keeps your audience informed.
Yes, MSPs should have a social media strategy. The key here is to figure out what social platform works for your business. As an MSP, Instagram probably isn’t going to be the spot where you rein in all those prospects. It could be however, an excellent way for you to showcase company culture and bring in future employees. In our experience, LinkedIn and a Facebook business page are excellent starting points for creating and maintaining an interactive space with your audience, and Twitter is a perfect spot for keeping things current when it comes to updates and responding to customer inquiries.
The transition from the break-fix business model to MSP isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take time, dedication, and strategy. While sales and marketing may not be your forte, don’t let their importance hit the backburner. Next week, we will tackle the transformation in your pricing and operations.
Interested in learning more about how IT Glue can help facilitate success as you transition into your MSP business? Sign up for a demo or get in touch with your Account Manager below.
IT Glue is an award-winning documentation platform that allows for efficient storage and retrieval of all the documentation you need to help your MSP run better. By integrating PSA and RMM data, we can help increase your efficiency, and reduce onboarding times by even more. By eliminating wasted time from your business, IT Glue gives you more time to focus on what matters – growing your business.