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February 3, 2020
Sponsored by Kaseya
Selling complex solutions is hard. It’s even more difficult when your potential customers aren’t very familiar with the nuances and details of what you have to offer. It transforms a pitch about benefits and haggling over pricing into an impromptu educational session.
But MSPs consistently face this as they try to win new business from law firms and nonprofits and medical practices and other businesses that don’t live and breathe IT on a daily basis. When MSPs are talking about something relatively positive for the client, this can be an easier sale; outsourcing resource-intensive tasks to experts, improving functionality and saving money while you’re at it sounds great!
However, many of the services MSPs provide force organizations to contemplate things they’d rather not think about. Malware, data theft, phishing … these are not pleasant topics for businesses, which would rather focus on their core operations. Yet adequately defending IT systems from these malicious attacks is now par for the course.
Another scenario no one wants to spend much time on is business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR). This demands organizations grapple with the idea that their mission-critical systems could be completely wiped out, significantly disrupting their operations. We’re no longer talking preventative care. This is about how to stand up again after you’ve been knocked down.
We All Have Our Core Competencies
We’re generally best at the tasks we spend the most time on. Your customers practice law or medicine, or design buildings or install HVAC systems. They might also know how to fix a photocopier, stock the breakroom or design a business card, but these are seldom their strengths.
That’s why they look to an MSP to handle their IT needs. They know it’s not their core competency, and it’s worth it to pay someone else to manage those things. This frees the business up to focus on the things they do best.
For MSPs, sales and marketing are a necessary evil to land new customers, but they most likely are not the strongest part of their repertoire. However, to effectively market and sell complex services like BCDR, you must do much more than book a meeting or draft a contract. You must raise awareness, generate demand and convince potential customers that your solution is the right fit.
Ingredients of a Full Go-to-Market Program
Effectively taking your solutions to market requires an array of items that map to every stage of the customer journey:
What to say: Sales teams need a set of talking points, value propositions and rebuttals to common objections. These should be specific to each individual solution and can also be tailored to particular verticals that have their own unique set of requirements. Improving your business development skills by implementing marketing and prospecting tactics will help you stand out from competition and open opportunities to get in front of highly qualified leads.
Consistent messaging and branding: A professional sales approach requires clear, concise and coherent communication with prospects from the moment they enter the sales funnel until they finally sign on the dotted line. The language used in every touchpoint should be complementary, reinforcing the key points you are trying to get across to potential customers. Technical topics are tough enough for these folks to keep up with; mixed messages will only confuse them more.
Onboarding for success: Closing the deal is just the first step in building a solid relationship with new customers. To ensure that the initial stages of the engagement are executed with minimal drama and missteps, you need a thorough, repeatable process to bring these organizations into the fold and begin delivering value immediately. Rollouts should follow a standard timeline and be predictable. This sets proper expectations for customers and ensures that adequate resources are slotted for the work. A strong start builds confidence, which can lead to a deeper engagement and increasing recurring revenue that much sooner.
Ongoing relationship management: While a flawless start to the engagement is key, you can’t take customers for granted once things are up and running. There’s no better way to communicate the value you provide to customers–while also uncovering opportunities to provide additional services and extend the value of the relationship–than a quarterly business review. These sessions are scheduled at the perfect interval to present meaningful updates and metrics while gauging whether client needs have evolved.
Focus on What You Do Best
All of the previously listed components of a go-to-market program are becoming table stakes for modern MSPs looking for scalable, repeatable, and successful sales and marketing programs. But coming up with all of those things from scratch is no trivial task.
Most MSPs will “wing it” and do it in-house, likely falling short of the ideal, polished package to wow prospects, close deals and grow accounts. MSPs with deeper pockets can invest in more robust programs around sales and marketing. Or maybe they hire consultants or bring on full-time staff to professionalize this aspect of their operation.
But MSPs don’t have to go it alone. At Kaseya, we realized that MSPs could benefit from a fully baked, go-to-market solution covering the entire breadth of IT services they can offer prospects and clients. That’s why we created our Powered Services program.
With Powered Services, MSPs get access to a comprehensive toolkit with everything they’ll need to present their offerings, educate customers, and win new business, as well as staff training programs and templates for managing those relationships once the deal is done.
Because we recognize how important it is for MSPs to be professional and compelling in their customer and prospect interactions, Kaseya is empowering MSPs with access to Powered Services alongside its family of IT solutions. The solutions MSPs can offer to help organizations deal with critical-yet-confusing issues, such as BCDR, are too important to be tripped up with inefficient marketing programs, confusing messaging and inconsistent execution.
We know every MSP’s success helps grow the overall opportunity for outsourced IT services, which is why we’ve invested in developing this valuable resource to help MSPs convert prospects into clients and build lasting and profitable partnerships.
Dan Tomaszewski is VP of Channel Success, Powered Services.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.
Read more about:MSPs
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