4 MSP Growth Tips for Today’s IT Leaders
Successful managed service providers “work smart,” as the expression goes, by being selective—with the clients you take on, the vendors you partner with, your public presentation and the services you choose to deliver. As the managed service market continues to grow, the coming years present MSPs with a massive opportunity to optimize growth and increase profits.
For MSPs to accomplish this, there are a number of best practices they can follow. To help get you started, we have compiled some tips and tricks from our partner base and industry research. Here are a few:
- Be the “Go To” Guy: For managed service providers, it is important to define exactly what your business does, the services in which you specialize and your edge over competitors in your space. The ability to communicate your business value to potential customers is essential. One effective way to differentiate yourself from other IT providers is to develop a high level of expertise in a specific area or areas–for example, an MSP that focuses on servicing SMBs in Healthcare and Finance, or an MSP that specializes in a specific service or technology (i.e., backup and disaster recovery).
- Be Choosy About Clients: Many new IT service providers take whatever work they can get. This makes sense when you are just starting out, but as your business grows, it is important to be more selective about your customers. The first step: Identify your ideal client. The biggest criteria for this should be your specific areas of expertise, but there are additional factors to consider. For example, if a client is simply looking for the cheapest solution and doesn’t care about the technology, you may be better off walking away to find a client that sees the value in your services, rather than wasting resources on a client who does not.
- Develop a Sales and Marketing Process: Many IT service providers struggle with sales and marketing. Often the reason for this is because they come from a technical background, rather than a business one. Others, particularly small shops, may simply not have the time (or may think they don’t have the time) to devote to sales and marketing. However, if you are looking to grow your business, developing a repeatable sales process is essential. A typical sales process may involve marketing and prospecting, initial contact and a technical presentation, all before closing the deal.
- Go to School: It goes without saying, but you cannot stay ahead of your competition by resting on your laurels. This means understanding your business and the constantly changing market applicable to your customers, which makes ongoing education essential. Peer groups, such as HTG, are a popular option for IT service providers looking to further their education. These groups meet locally or online and allow members to learn from each other. Peer group sessions are led by industry veterans on topics such as management, sales and marketing, employee relations, vendor engagement and new technologies. Members are also encouraged to network and bounce ideas off each other.
Successful MSPs play to their strengths and build on them, but they aren’t afraid to evolve and adapt. They also refuse to sell themselves short. If you are delivering superior service, your clients will pay a premium price. For more information, check out our recent eBook: 7 More Best Practices of Successful MSPs.
Rob Rae is Vice President of Business Development, Datto, Inc.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.