The 20’s Tim Conkle: Three Requirements for Running a Successful MSP
VISION ’19 — Tim Conkle, CEO of The 20, had three key things he wanted MSPs to take away from the 2019 VISION Conference held in Dallas last week. Three things you have to do in order to run a successful MSP.
1. Lead generation
You cannot grow without it, says Conkle. He was quick to specify that lead gen, for the sake of this example, curves away from marketing because it encompasses more than “what people think marketing does.”
Diving into the example further, Conkle asked the crowd to answer one simple question: “What is the purpose of marketing?” Shouts of “to generate leads,” or “getting the phone to ring” rang out.
Conceding that these, too, were great answers, Conkle insisted that marketing is in place to do one thing: to open the door.
If you build it, they will come.
“People assume marketing is going to bring in money, but that’s not its function,” said Conkle. “Marketing was never set up to create or guarantee revenue. It is designed to open the door, and no more. If you set up the proper criteria for marketing and they then are able to open those doors for you, they are knocking it out of the park.”
Generating leads is a process that requires consistent interactions, activities, behaviors and effort, says Conkle. “We have to change our perception about what marketing is. You (MSPs) will have to figure out how to incorporate marketing moving forward. Set expectations.”
Once you figure out marketing and are generating all sorts of leads, you must have a sales process. A solid sales model will convert leads into happy customers.
Most people sell the same way. Most people waste precious hours talking about how great they are. Everybody does this, and everyone has the same pitch. “We’re responsive,” or “we’re proactive,” or “we’re 24/7.”
Do not fall into this trap. You must learn how to make a sale, how to position yourself and how to package things.
“If you look at our industry, it is by and large terrible at packaging product. That’s where having a sales process comes in,” says Conkle. “People are not so much interested in what you can do from an IT perspective. What they are really interested in is the business side of things. What makes you truly different.”
In other words, have a sales model that simplifies your IT services like your life depends on it.
Biggest thing here, according to Conkle, is that you actually have to deliver what you sell. (Forehead smack). Take a step back and look at things, and come up with an idea of how you’re going to deliver your service. If you don’t, it won’t matter how great your marketing or sales is.
But take heart, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
“This is the great thing about scale,” says Conkle. “Scaling together is always better than scaling individually. Not having everything day-one is actually advantageous. As you grow over time, it becomes even more advantageous. The 20, for example, scales together. We have perfected a replicable platform and system to deliver services, so our member MSPs are free to grow without limit.”
Other topics discussed at the conference were:
- Navigating the evolving cybersecurity landscape
- Proven growth and profitability strategies
- Cloud-powered products and services
- MSP market trends and analysis