Over the years, I’ve worked with a lot of MSPs to help them with their marketing efforts, and I can safely say that over all this time, I’ve never heard anyone complaining a

June 3, 2011

3 Min Read
Building Sales Collateral that Builds Business: 4 Requirements

By Nimsoft Guest Blog 2

Marketing and strategy

Over the years, I’ve worked with a lot of MSPs to help them with their marketing efforts, and I can safely say that over all this time, I’ve never heard anyone complaining about excess marketing staff or budget. In fact, more often than not, it’s folks with management or sales titles that I work with, individuals who are taking time away from their “day jobs” to pitch in and support the business’ marketing objectives.

That’s why it’s no surprise that many MSPs put off or give minimal attention to activities like collateral development. However, I suggest you make it a focus, and here’s why: In a great percentage of cases, before new prospects are going to engage with your sales team, they’ll want to get some basic information about the services you offer and the qualifications of your team. Whether they download it from a Web site, receive it via email, or pick it up at an event, this initial document will play a critical role in whether prospects opt to follow up—or look elsewhere.

Getting Started

Particularly in early-stage MSPs, there’s a real opportunity to be gained by developing or enhancing the collateral that sells their managed services. With that in mind, here are four guidelines that may help you take advantage of this opportunity, as quickly and effectively as possible:

  1. Keep it short. Ideally, for a high-level, introductory sales brochure, I’d suggest a target length of two pages (when printed, one page that’s two sided). For some companies, a four-page document may be preferable, but before going any longer than that, I’d suggest paring the content down, or perhaps breaking it into multiple documents if needed.

  2. Make content easy to scan. Dense blocks of type that offer little white space make a sales brochure feel like a text book, and inhibit readership. When readers go through a document they’ll typically start at the top left, and quickly scan the document, working their way to the bottom right. Try to develop compelling headlines, graphics, and bulleted lists that will draw readers in to read more.

  3. Leverage graphics that support the story. Include sample screen shots of dashboards that reveal your monitoring sophistication. Add a picture of the plasma screens in your network operations center to underscore how robust your environment is. Feature a photo of your building to help build on your story of credibility and longevity.

  4. Prioritize the call to action. Be sure to make it as easy as possible for readers to follow up. If your goal is to generate calls, be sure the phone number is easy to find and make the call to action clear. More generally, be sure to include all relevant contact details so readers can use their preferred channel for following up.

The above content is a brief subset of some more extensive guidance we’ve developed and packaged in a new white paper. What are some of the key steps you should take, before you get to work on your collateral piece? What are the two primary objectives your collateral should accomplish? Download Marketing 101 for MSPs: Collateral, and get complete details. In addition, this paper is a companion piece to an earlier white paper we’ve developed that is focused on MSP websites. To get further information on that topic, be sure to download Marketing 101 for MSPs: Websites.

Ken Vanderweel is marketing director, service providers, Nimsoft. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsorship. Read all of Nimsoft’s guest blogs here.

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