How do your service level agreements compare with those of your competition? You don’t always know, so you need to think strategically about how you can leverage your SLAs to win new business. As the MSP space continues to become more competitive, it is important to leverage every single aspect of your business to continue to grow. The SLA is one of the single most important pieces of sales collateral that you have.
Frame the Conversation
A lot of MSPs get caught up in playing the price game. Sales calls focus on price in part because that’s often what the prospect wants to talk about. So why do they want to talk about price? Because they don’t know all that much about IT. They might know what their present IT provider or in-house department does, but they don’t necessarily know what an IT department can do for their business.
Simply put, a conversation focused on price is a conversation of the ill-informed. The prospect wants to talk about price because they think all IT providers are more or less the same. If your stack looks a lot like what your competitors offer, then it’s easy to understand why the prospect thinks that way. Don’t expect a prospect to be well-informed. Informing them is your job.
The SLA as Differentiator
There will be overlap in terms of stack. Especially when targeting specific verticals. The best tech is the best tech, and quite frankly you shouldn’t expect to be the only company to figure that out. So what differentiates you? Process. And process is reflected in your SLA. What you promise to a prospect in terms of service is the most sure-fire way to differentiate yourself, and shift the conversation away from what you are going to cost them to what you are going to offer them.
The SLA Reflects your Processes
Any fool can promise perfect customer service. What you say doesn’t matter. What you show, that’s what matters. When you start talking about the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you offer as part of your service level agreement, show the client how you will deliver. Show them that your processes are documented. Show them results you’ve achieved for other clients.
The Role of Documentation
Best-in-class MSPs know that talk is cheap, so they will literally show prospects the process documentation that they use. That way, you’re not just saying “we promise to solve this problem in x minutes”, you’re saying “this is how we’ll solve this problem in x minutes. And here’s some more documentation that shows that, on average, we’ve actually done it eight minutes faster over the past six months.”
Weaponize your SLAs
If you promise superior performance metrics as part of your service level agreements, and then back that up with documentation on your processes and your track record, then you’re going to have an advantage over all but the toughest competitors. And best of all, you won’t be talking about lowering your prices anymore.
IT Glue™ is a documentation platform for MSPs, designed to eliminate waste, improve productivity and help you hit your SLAs better. Document your sales processes and customer personas in IT Glue, and integrate it with your PSA to enhance your marketing and sales functions.