Posted at Oct 31, 2019 6:53:00 AM by THAT Agency | Share
Managed service providers can make a lot of easy mistakes when it comes to how to sell MSP services. MSP lead generation is often over-complicated. The key to prospective customers is that the complex is made accessible and transparent. They don't always want someone to come in and be in charge; they want someone to help them be in charge. That means nurturing trust and usefulness.
Commit to Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing focuses on developing content to attract visitors. No one would need to know the first thing about how to sell MSP services if customers simply presented themselves looking for managed and hybrid IT. Yet MSP lead generation is dependent on visitors looking for much more precise answers.
They could need a sales solution, they could be learning how their operations management leaves security holes, they could be migrating from legacy systems. Perhaps they've had lost devices or a phishing scare that make them worried about their data security. Maybe they need more information about business continuity. The list is endless, and each of these issues is much more precise than the broader category of managed services.
Many of these issues reveal a larger need for managed services, but they all start as a much more precise search from an executive or manager trying to understand a specific IT concept better. If your content makes them more informed and confident, and you collect some information from them via conversion forms, you're able to shift into email marketing and retargeting ads that become much more effective.
The better the content and the more of it, the higher it will climb in search rankings, and the more it will be shared online. It's extremely cost efficient and extraordinarily effective.
Define in Detail
One of the biggest pitfalls in MSP lead generation is a failure to define enough of the details under different plans. If an organization is looking at two MSPs that are fairly comparable, they'll always choose the one they feel is more well-defined and transparent.
They need to know what will be managed and how often. This creates a baseline for everyone to have the same expectations. Even if there's an adjustment they'd like to be made in infrastructure management or network security, asking for a simple change or customization in the plan is relatively easy. If you can't provide that, maybe there's somewhere else that it can be made up. Having a solid list of details about what's included allows you to sit down and hammer out minor changes.
If you're focusing on the small details of a plan, the potential customer is already envisioning how they'd use your managed services. By discussing them, you're working together to make that picture more and more real.
Let's say on the other hand you lack those details to start with, or present them in a non-specific or confusing fashion. The discussion over details is now one of making sense of a plan in the first place. You can't envision what you can't make sense of. Potential customers will approach this kind of interaction from a standpoint of opposition, rather than collaboration.
Similarly, it's important for visitors to be able to find your pricing easily. They should know this early on. How to sell MSP services is considered by some as a shell game. They hide the prices and keep stringing a potential customer along. Yet if that customer is likely to consider a price point too high early on, they'll consider it too high later as well. All you'll have done is waste time on a lead that's unlikely to close.
Hiding price point until they've tested someone's patience is still a useful tactic to salespeople who walk out of a home with either a sale or no sale. Yet you're not selling vacuum cleaners. You're selling a core component of an organization's daily operations. The sale isn't made or failed that day. It has to be nurtured over time. That takes developing trust, and that means having access to the price out front. You don't need to lead with it, but you do need to make it easily accessible. The key rests in building value, not in hiding it.
An owner or executive doesn't need to sit at the table and hammer out the details themselves, but making themselves accessible to a prospective customer's owner or executive can go a long way. If they're able to be present during a negotiation, that can make a prospect feel extremely valued. They'll also recognize that you're paying close attention to them, and not just handing off a rote plan without care.
Share Your History
An organization will want to know you've had success with others. This involves sharing past successes, mentioning achievements and awards, and having testimonials and referrals available. Managed services is a big commitment for an organization to enter into. You'll shape their security and compliance. You'll shape their daily operations. You'll shape to some extent their attitude as a business. You'll impact nearly every employee of that organization every day.
A prospective customer needs to trust you and know that you've come through for other organizations in this way. That shows them that they can feel confident you'll do the same for them. Discuss what you've been able to provide others, and your successes. While respecting the privacy of other organizations, mention a problem or two that you encountered and were able to solve through creativity or extra dedication.
Make Communication Simple
Make your staff available, within reason. When you negotiate the managed services agreement, that staff should have access to all the relevant data collected by your marketing team or marketing agency. They should hit the ground running with a knowledge of what the customer wants. If they have to re-ask all the basic questions that the customer's already answered, this suggests a lack of communication within your own organization. If your teams can't communicate with each other, how can the customer possibly think you'd communicate effectively with them?
Similarly, keep all forms simple. From the very first conversion form they fill out to the contract itself, be straightforward. Businesses are placing their fate in your hands. They want you to be trustworthy and transparent. If they feel you're asking for too much needless information, or that you're obscuring a contract detail, this will give them cold feet.
Trust and transparency matter. The more accessible you are to a prospective customer, the more they'll feel comfortable hiring your services. That's as valuable to them as even the most important technical details.