February 18, 2021
Sponsored by Kaseya
Managed services providers (MSPs) must be good at a wide variety of things, but marketing often isn’t one of them.
With so many applications, endpoints, security threats and compliance standards to worry about, it’s a never-ending race for MSPs to keep up with what’s new while still maintaining current systems. With that said, high-performing MSPs know that growing their business is about more than just supporting a new cloud computing platform or mastering another cyber defense protocol. Steady growth also requires storytelling and connecting with potential and current customers about what you have to offer, what separates you from the pack, and the return on investment they’ll see as a result of outsourcing various aspects of their IT management.
This part of the business isn’t about technical chops or uptime rates, it’s about marketing. And marketing is often not a core competency for MSPs since it’s so far removed from the day-to-day activities for which clients engage them.
An added wrinkle is that marketing in this industry must not only establish a brand and build awareness for the MSP, but it also must educate prospects on why they even need to engage with an MSP to begin with. Many businesses don’t realize the scope and scale of their own IT operations, the opportunities for improvement, the best practices they should be employing, and the undefended entry points bad actors can pounce on.
Connecting with Your Audience
Sales and marketing efforts are as much about style as they are substance. Customers and prospects care deeply about getting accurate and useful information from their business partners and vendors, but how those messages are delivered and their overall context is critical to them actually being looked at and digested.
MSPs often face an uphill battle in this regard because many of their customers and potential clients don’t know all that much about the nuances of IT. They recognize its importance and complexity, but they’re not that invested in becoming experts themselves because they need to worry about running their own business and what’s happening in their particular industry.
Therefore, what makes MSPs so attractive to SMBs that can benefit from outsourcing IT services is also the challenge: More often than not, organizations don’t even know what they don’t know. This puts the onus on the MSP to educate them about the benefits of outsourced IT and the perils of going it alone and potentially not addressing the full gamut of IT issues that make their business vulnerable to performance issues and cybercrime.
Acting as a trusted advisor and not just a vendor is part of what makes the relationship between MSPs and their clientele so special, but it’s also a heavy lift to be continually educating and updating non-technical counterparts on a host of complex issues. This means meeting these companies where they are in terms of their technical expertise and experiences, as well as using language and ramifications they can relate to and understand.
Making It Easier for MSPs
For several years, Kaseya has been assisting MSPs clear this hurdle with its free MSP Sales and Marketing Jumpstart offering. This program encompasses sales strategies, on-demand training and tools, and strategic playbooks.
Powered Services also gives MSPs access to a library of resources to accelerate their sales and marketing activities, including product briefs, sales scripts, and email templates plus content marketing assets ranging from blog posts to videos to infographics.
After MSPs experienced tremendous success professionalizing and standardizing their go-to-market activities with Powered Services, one consistent piece of feedback we received was that MSPs loved the materials but wanted them to reflect their brand and have their own stamp on things. This inspired the next generation of Powered Services–Powered Services Pro.
Now MSPs can completely customize, edit and brand a broad array of collateral and other materials. Those with in-house design skills or larger marketing budgets can use the source files as a starting point to create a totally unique set of materials, while others can now choose from a selection of different colors to match their existing branding.
Powered Services Pro members also have access to a deeper set of exclusive materials they can use to deliver fresh messaging to prospects and fill their sales pipeline. This library will continue to grow, including the addition of industry-specific content to provide a more targeted and specific value proposition for different vertical markets.
Materials will also be packaged up into turn-key monthly marketing campaign kits. This is a one-stop solution for helping MSPs generate leads and drive interest in their offerings with timely and relevant content and messaging.
Also, in the spirit of ongoing learning, Pro members have access to coaching, training, and help preparing for big presentations and meetings. Pro members can even bring subject matter experts into their virtual sales calls to explain things further and answer customer questions.
Messages That Resonate
Regardless of whether MSPs leverage the free MSP Sales and Marketing Jumpstart or premium Powered Services Pro resources from Kaseya, the most important takeaway is that growing your MSP business is about more than offering stellar service. What businesses need more than ever is up-to-date information, best practices with solid value propositions, and instructive, strategic approaches to the modern-day IT landscape.
Providing prospects and customers with “news they can use” information, carefully customized recommendations, and introspective self-evaluations of what they’ll need to succeed may feel like you’re going over and above. But that’s really what most companies are looking for as they try to make sense of all things IT.
When you can demonstrate your value as an industry expert by delivering a steady diet of useful insights and constructive recommendations, businesses are more likely to turn to you as they realize their IT needs are beyond their capabilities or internal bandwidth.
MSPs must embrace this role as part of their overall relationship management strategy and welcome the opportunity to educate and inform even when a deal isn’t on the table. Planting those seeds with goodwill and staying on their radar with a steady stream of useful information is the key to long-term growth and deeper, more profitable engagements.
Learn more about Powered Services.
Matt Solomon is Vice President, Business Development.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.
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