Today’s managed service providers (MSPs) are faced with the challenge of adding value to their services and growing revenue while maintaining the customer relationship. The solution lies in developing a strategic sales, marketing, and revenue plan that allows providers to shelter and cultivate their base, attract new customers, and gain market share through experimentation, metrics analysis, and the use of existing assets.
With companies like Target, Delta, and Yahoo suffering from security breaches and other reputation-killing setbacks, it’s crucial for MSPs to build reliable and dependable services that avoid the same fate. MSPs can’t prevent every outage or loss, but they must work hard to minimize the potential impact such events can have on the bottom line.
With that in mind, it’s important for MSPs to develop a successful sales, marketing, and revenue-enhancing strategy. This includes collecting and analyzing service metrics on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis to identify trends and upcoming opportunities. It’s also crucial for MSPs to watch for seemingly isolated issues that recur time after time.
A strong strategy is also critical in less technical areas of the client/provider relationship. Maintaining multiple contacts within a customer account allows providers to retain customers and cultivate valued advocates. Bundling multiple offerings compels customers to remain within the fold while denying competitors an opportunity to gauge pricing for each component. Most importantly, simply lending an open ear to customers can help MSPs become a more proactive force in the customer/provider relationship.
When it comes to pricing, providers should take a measured approach. Instead of reacting to the latest price changes, providers can better serve customers by studying recent price trends and making an informed decision that benefits both the customer and the provider.
Focus on Sales
There’s plenty that MSPs can do to encourage more sales and grow revenue:
- Engage in cross-sell campaigns that highlight additional services to existing customers
- Promote quarterly campaigns driving a specific offering, with special incentives to sales teams
- Adopt the virtual CIO (vCIO) role to provide customers with hands-on advice and expertise
- Forgo complex deal status metrics and pipelines in favor of simplified metrics that highlight customer growth and potential engagements
- Forget about sheer numbers — a single expert can win sales simply by targeting the right sector
- Rally dedicated professional resources for IT instead of relying on amateurs to sell the service
What MSPs shouldn’t do is grow complacent in the face of ever-increasing competition. Providers should always be on alert for sales opportunities, as today’s feast could easily turn into tomorrow’s famine.
Focus on Marketing
Success is never easy, and there’s no simple way of achieving success on the sales and marketing front. However, complete inaction can have devastating consequences for an MSP. To achieve sales success, it’s important for providers to set the stage through careful marketing and effective branding. Expanding awareness of offerings should also be a priority.
The first 120 days of the customer experience are critical to cultivating a long-term customer/provider relationship. It’s crucial for providers to remain open and sensitive to customer concerns and stay engaged with customers throughout the initial vetting period.
Contact us and learn how eXemplify’s full suite of managed services can enhance your company’s bottom line.