MSPs are looking at 2016 as their opportunity to really break out, and cloud backup is quickly becoming the must-have offering for MSPs who are expanding services with data protection solutions. In short, there is a huge opportunity to grow revenue and provide more value to end users--and a starting point to sell additional data protection services in the future, including disaster recovery and secure file sync and share.
But’s what’s the right approach to make 2016 a breakout year for managed backup and data protection services?
Here are five tips to help MSPs ring in the new year right by tapping into the rapidly growing market for cloud backup solutions.
1. Stop selling backup--sell peace of mind.
Listen to customers' problems before you pitch. They might not know exactly what they need, but when you know what keeps your customers up at night, you are better equipped to communicate and demonstrate your ability to resolve their unique challenges through cloud backup.
Focus on pains that really matter:
- Are your customers worried about the security of their data?
- Do they worry about having immediate access to their information after a business interruption?
Whatever the pain, there should be a way to market your ability to address it.
2. Differentiate from the competition.
Differentiation is the key to a successful cloud backup and disaster recovery offering. Cloud backup is a crowded marketplace, with many service providers trying to get prospects' business. As such, it’s important that you market and sell in a way that demonstrates you are addressing the customers’ needs--whether it be increased security, access to data, or something else, your business will have a better chance to succeed if customers can immediately associate your MSP business with a unique differentiator.
3. Sell to the markets you know.
When you specialize in a specific vertical market or geography area--and demonstrate a solid understanding of the rules, regulations and standards (such as security and privacy) that the customer must adhere to--you have an opportunity to position yourself as a trusted service provider and grow a vertically focused business. Nurture a trusted relationship with a consultative, educational selling style to better compete with larger cloud providers.
4. Upsell and cross-sell to existing customers to reduce churn.
Cloud backup is a sticky solution. Once a customer engages you to store critical data, the customer is less inclined to look for an alternative offering. Additionally, look for opportunities to upsell and cross-sell:
- Cloud backup can be a great way to start your cloud business, and then expand with more cloud offerings--such as disaster recovery and file sync and share solutions.
- Another option is to add managed services, such as consulting, implementation and maintenance.
- Bundle cloud data protection solutions with other solutions (for example, cloud data protection plus anti-virus software, spam filter and/or Windows Azure).
5. Rethink your offering strategy.
There are several ways an MSP can offer cloud backup: per gigabyte, per device, bundled or as a flat rate. Each has its advantages. Research what best fits your customers, or offer them different options.
- Per gigabyte pricing is easy to manage by adding margin on top of the service and offering a simple and clear pricing structure to the customer.
- Per device pricing lets you optimize your revenue by charging for every device, gigabyte and additional services.
Backing up your customers’ IT environment:
- PC/workstation backup for their employees
- Customers' servers you are hosting for them
- Customers’ servers in their data centers
- Customer application backup (add-on premium service)
- Granular Exchange and SQL recovery (add-on premium service)
- Disaster recovery failover (add-on premium service)
- Migration from any to any (P2V, V2V, V2P, P2P) (add-on service)
- Different business models, subscription with add-on as needed, add and remove to meet business needs, no MSRP
- Bundling is great for cross selling and gaining additional revenue.
- Flat rate pricing where customers pay a fixed fee for the whole service will seduce your customers to go for a much higher commitment than they attended.
Are you ready to get into the cloud backup business in 2016? Check out Acronis today and learn how we can help you with a best-in-class backup solution that will unleash new revenue opportunities for your MSPs and the peace of mind of data protection for end users.
John Zanni is Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Channel & Cloud Strategy, Acronis. John leads marketing and communications globally across segments and channels. He manages the Acronis brand and perception, corporate, product and field marketing, demand generation, as well as influencer and analyst and media relations. He is also responsible for the strategy and growth of Acronis’ channel and cloud business. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.