In 2012, according to the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report 2013, there was a 42 percent increase in targeted attacks on the internet, and 31 percent of those attacks were aimed at businesses with fewer than 250 employees. In short, security risks are continuing to grow at incredible rates, and the standard MSP customer is certainly not immune to the threat. For many small businesses, the initial cost and complexity of acquiring the necessary tools to provide security services can seem daunting. As such, selling security services can be a key part of the managed service provider’s portfolio. So, it’s important to take a look at some of the strategies and opportunities for MSPs to boost revenue and build lasting client relationships through security offerings.
Bundle Security Services with Hardware and Software Sales: A fast way for MSPs to see a return on investment in security software is to bundle security services with existing client offerings. For instance, bolt on the additional service of proactive patching with a software or OS upgrade to generate recurring revenue while giving the customer better protection and peace of mind.
Use Security as a Value-Added Service: Offering security services – web security, firewalls or device authentication, for example – can be a great way to get your foot in the door with potential customers. Industries with strict compliance standards, such as government, are a great place to start. Research potential needs and factor those into your offering. If you can gain additional expertise and take some of that burden off the customer you are only increasing your value. Exceptional Technology Solutions in Texas is a great example. Through their focus on law enforcement and municipalities with strict compliance requirements, they are able to realize immense gains from a limited marketing budget. You can read more about their success in their case study found here.
Scale Security Offerings with Customer Growth: Guiding existing customers through IT growing pains builds loyalty and only furthers their faith in managed services. As companies expand, the amount of data and devices they have to manage generally increases exponentially. This can cause them to become wearier of security threats as they may no longer have the resources to keep such a close eye on network devices and user activity. Having tiered security offerings can help customers get what they currently need (or can afford) and allows your revenue stream to grow with the customer. The clear distinction in services and price helps prevent over servicing and possible discrepancies down the road. Tiering offerings can also help sell other add ons such as backup and recovery services.
Leverage the Cloud to Address Client Data Protection Concerns: As surprising as it seems, many SMBs do not have a clear data recovery and backup strategy in place. According to a report by Symantec as reported by InformationWeek, one in two SMBs has no recovery plan in the event of a network outage, data loss, or other IT disaster. A comprehensive data policy that includes backup and recovery, preferably offsite backup, is appealing to any company that work’s with large amounts of sensitive data. Though the opportunity exists, not as many MSPs offer backup services, further increasing your value proposition and better positioning your company among competition. You can find out more about backup and recovery from Dell’s AppAssure site.
In the end, security services can be a powerful force in your quiver. They can increase revenue from existing customers and are a great way to get your foot in the door with prospects. IT pros generally aren’t full time salesmen, and usually don’t want to be. That said, security services can be an easy sell with a clear value proposition and increasing demand.