For an MSP to survive and thrive, it’s common knowledge that it takes strong sales, even stronger connections and the right mix of technology. What our world-class partners will tell you is that MSP growth and profitability is also the direct result of creating order out of the chaos that your business faces every day.
From emails, to phone calls, client visits and more, MSPs are inundated with interruptions and distractions. Those who have learned to stay focused and on top of their most critical activities are the ones who rise above the rest. Through better organization, they earn higher customer retention rates, close more deals and identify a greater number of new opportunities.
The fact is, details matter; if you can’t track your services, support and success properly, you will struggle to deliver the experience your customers want and reap the revenues and profits your company could command.
So what’s the fix? There’s no silver bullet, but there are certainly best practices and tools that MSPs are deploying to achieve greater profits and deliver the best business outcome to their customers. Here are a few from our MSP Elite that are worth considering:
Beyond staying on top of the details, creating a business based on consistency is critical. This is accomplished through ongoing documentation of best practices, as well as standard operating procedures--spanning routine helpdesk matters, new customer onboarding, sales meetings and pitches, and more. The result is that your team will be able to spend less time focused on tedious administrative tasks and more time focused on serving your customers and prospects.
Beyond the tools and best practices, it may sound a little out there to some, but there is also real value in the use of psychology in business, especially when it comes to sales. I’m not talking about trying to “psyche out” your customers and prospects, but about understanding your sales team, including what motivates them and how to elicit the behavior that will create a winning program. Understanding the reason for the sale is the easy part of our jobs--that’s all about metrics. But what's challenging is the mental and analytical part of our work, from developing insight into the psychological profiles of each member of the sales team, to making sure that anything you do for them, or with them, drives the behavior that you’re striving to attain.
Use Purpose-Built Tools
Although PSA software is marketed to channel partners, the technology tends to be too complex and too expensive long-term for what MSPs and service providers need. Take an assessment of your pain points and determine where you want better visibility. For example: Ticketing, time tracking, knowledge management and billing are the essentials for MSPs. Don’t pay for features and “benefits” you won’t use. Instead, find a cloud-based service management tool that costs less and will help you get the job done faster and better. Shameless plug: We just launched MSP Manager, a cloud-based service management tool that does 100 percent of what the majority of MSPs want, for a whole lot less.
Automation Is Essential
No matter what size an MSP is, automation is a vehicle for effectively streamlining as many business processes as possible. This will fuel an even greater level of consistency and standardization across your organization. Your RMM platform and service management tool should offer plenty of options for automation, spanning all aspects of your business. If it doesn’t, we can help you find one that does.
The takeaway: Combine a little psychology with a commitment to diligently managing your activities and driving consistency in your business--through powerful and compatible service management and RMM automation tools--and you’ll find that there’s no end to what your team can achieve.
Frank Colletti is vice president of sales for SolarWinds N-able, a global leader in remote monitoring and management (RMM) and service automation software. In this role, he is responsible for building the sales infrastructure and culture that supports the company’s managed service provider (MSP) partners worldwide, including new customer acquisition and vertical market efforts. With more than 16 years of experience in sales leadership, Colletti brings an in-depth understanding of sales and MSP expertise to SolarWinds N-able. Since joining the company in 2003, he has made significant contributions to the success and year-over-year growth of SolarWinds N-able and its MSP partner community. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.