MSPs: Do Your Employees Know What Business You’re In?
When you think of what it is your company does, who do you think could explain it well? Here’s a newsflash: Probably not your employees. Here’s why.
I’ve been saying this for years — and sometimes sound like a broken record — but our challenges with marketing and selling our value in the IT channel really start with being able to explain a simple value proposition to our customers. I’m not the only person concerned about this.
Do this simple experiment. Setup a video camera on a tripod in a conference room at your office. Without warning, invite each of your employees into the room, one at a time, and ask them to give you the 15 second elevator pitch about what it is your company does. Once you have captured each employee’s pitch, compare them. What you will find will trouble you.
Now, it’s not that your employees are intentionally misrepresenting your company nor are they poor elevator pitchmen. It is simply the wide variation of responses you receive that will define the problem your customers are having, or your prospects will have, when trying to understand what you do for them. If your employees, who work inside your company every day, have such a disparate view of your company, what are they telling your customers? Imagine the disparate messages your customers are receiving?
It falls to management to define your company’s value proposition and ensure each of your employees is able to understand and communicate it properly. The simple exercise of defining your value proposition and solidifying the standard company elevator pitch will help both your customers, as well as your employees, understand what value you bring to them. Ultimately, it may help you win new customers and shorten your sales cycles.
Nevertheless, you don’t have to tackle this alone. Ingram Micro has helped hundreds of solution providers tackle this very issue – with outstanding success.
Justin Crotty is Vice President Services North America at Ingram Micro, Inc. He oversees Ingram Micro Seismic. Monthly guest blog entries such as this one are part of MSPmentor.net’s 2009 Platinum sponsorship. Find all of Crotty’s blog entries here.