Memo to IT Consulting Shops With 1 to 5 Employees
The greatest strength any one person can have is to understand their weaknesses. And if you’re a fledging VAR / IT Consultant that is looking to transition to an MSP, the reason you won’t be successful is that you can’t sell. Let’s have a grown-up discussion about the white elephant in the room. The reality is that you are an IT and tech person. You are really good at it and you’re Left Brained. I get it. None of us are great at everything. You gain your customers through referrals and the good work that you do. You bill here and there, but it’s a lumpy process and you’re always off to the next fire. You have no time to think about building your business.
It is the very reason that MSP Enablement Programs exist. It’s also the reason why companies like Quest/PacketTrap and N-Able and independent consultants like Gary Pica, Stuart Selbst and Robin Robbins have programs to help you through the process of selling managed services. They do great work and their programs are incredibly successful at helping VARs and IT Consultants evolve into an MSP. They provide tools to help you identify service offerings, help you price out the solutions, and even help you get to market. All of these programs work……unless you’re the guy doing the selling.
But back to the thesis of this post. You can’t sell. And guess what? Pica or Robbins or even PacketTrap’s MSP Acceleration Program isn’t going to get you there. It’s because, as the adage goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. It’s your DNA. You are great with servers and routers, but there is no way you’ll ever be comfortable selling. MSP Enablement Programs will help the sales group, and a company create the structure and tools to be successful, but you need to have the people in place first. The right people; and you are not the right person.
So here’s my advice: hire someone who can sell.
Before you invest in enablement programs (including our own), you need to hire a sales person. A hard knocks, cold calling, quota carrying person who can sell. That should be your first investment. Yes, you need remote management tools like N-Able or PacketTrap MSP and you also need a PSA solution like Autotask, ConnectWise or Tigerpaw, but you need a sales person first. They will make rain.
Steve Goodman is DVP and GM for Quest Software‘s Network Management Group, and he has deep knowledge of PacketTrap MSP. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsorship.