Your MSP company deals with human clients. Humans think a certain way. Have you ever heard of archetypes? A square is an archetype of a cube. A circle is an archetype of a sphere. This is an over-simplification to give the reader a mental image.
The point is, your brand story has an archetypical quality which is similar. It’s a “2-D” outline of the user’s “3-D” experience with your MSP. Accordingly, you want to use strategies which recognize this fundamental aspect of human thinking.
A small archetypical logo can act as a placeholder in the mind like a zip file from yesteryear. Proper content design can expand it whenever the image of your brand’s logo is encountered.
Best Practices in Brand Story Design
A brand story can be an archetype built around the core demographic of your MSP. A brand story can also revolve around your brand’s journey from startup to corporation. It can do both at once, or either individually. Think of it like stanzas rhyming in a poem and following the same rhyme structure, but concerning different data. With that in mind, consider these brand story provisos:
- Brand Stories Should Reflect Client Experience – Your MSP company should either have brand stories which help customers know what to expect or which reflect what you hope to provide them. A very advisable tactic is to tell the story of a brand that overcomes difficulty, gives back to the community, and betters clients.
- Corporate Values Must Be Represented – Use brand design as a means of reflecting the corporate values core to your MSP. You can “show”, rather than “tell”, through a story; that’s kind of the point. Your brand story can help prospects see the kind of things you value as a business.
- Compound Effectiveness Through Archetypical Design – Working with SEO groups facilitating ROI-rich solutions for MSPs can help you determine exactly what elements of archetypical design are most appropriate for your MSP. Logos, slogans, brand stories, and branded content production are all part of the process.
Maximizing Brand Impact
Your MSP company can compound brand effectiveness through archetypical design, clearly represent corporate values, and reflect client experience while intriguing them through effective design of a brand story. If you haven’t put much thought into this, you might want to.
Obviously, what the clients of your MSP company need and what they want aren’t going to be the same. Your clients are naturally going to want much more than you can provide for them. What they need will differ from that. They’ll want everything for nothing, but they’ll need bandwidth X at monthly subscription Y, in conjunction with monitoring and support of one kind or another.
It’s important to identify where there are wants that can be achieved in the near future and where there are unreasonable expectations deriving from misinformation. You need to quantify what baseline needs of your primary clientele are and what their most profitable thresholds will be. Following are a few ways to do this:
Clearly Define and Continuously Research Target Markets
An MSP company needs to know who it’s talking to and where that audience lies. Additionally, you should know when that audience shifts or expands owing to a change in provided services. When you know who you’re talking to, you’ll know what they are likely to want, what they actually need, and how you can split the difference.
Employ SEO, Keywords, and Other Prescient Tactics
Search engine optimization (SEO) can give you statistics which demonstrate the content drawing in the most clientele. You can allude to both wants and needs and see where your audience congregates, adjusting these outreach tactics as it makes sense to.
Communicate Unique Value Propositions Transitioning with New Data
Your MSP has unique qualities positioning it ahead of certain peers or competitors. Use those qualities to facilitate a unique proposition in content. As new data becomes available, incorporate it. Some needs you may not be able to meet yet but will be able to in the future.
Meeting and Exceeding Expectations
When an MSP company quantifies needs against wants, serving needs to fulfillment, and attaining wanted services when feasible, you’ll likely retain clientele and initiate increased conversion both directly, as well as through referral. When your clients are satisfied, they’ll want to tell their peers about what you do.
Managed services marketing will have varying success with varying outreach campaigns. You’ll need to have marketing solutions which spread information geared at drawing in potential clients. Value-rich content which leverages unique value propositions against valid data pertaining to the market can be effective at increasing conversion margins. But it’s not enough.
You want every tool at your disposal, and one of the most effective is word-of-mouth marketing. Basically, clients who like what you do tell colleagues, prompting them to seek you out and convert. Approximately 92 out of 100 people will trust friends who refer your business. Still, outside a few fringe scenarios, most clients aren’t automatically going to recommend you. Following are tips to help encourage them this direction:
Deliver Notable Experiences for Customers
Managed services marketing must incorporate customer experience, often abbreviated CX. If you were into making mathematical formulas, you may be able to find a numerical relationship between positive CX and referral likelihood.
Don’t irritate existing clients but do keep an eye on them to help them whenever they need you. Make the right suggestions. Check in regularly. If they make mistakes, you take the blame. Deliver astonishing CX and you’ll see clients recommend you naturally.
Design Incentivized Referral Programs
Incentivized referral is sensible. Tesla uses this sort of referral paradigm to great success. Give clients discounts if they bring new converts— even have promotional incentive programs strategically in the year.
Monitor Content and Co-Opt Ambassadors to Your Brand
Ensure the content you produce is monitored and updated to optimal effectiveness. Find those who really love what you do and give them incentives to act as ambassadors for your brand.
Think of tech geeks who love Apple or Microsoft. Some people are downright passionate about their favorite brand. Find them and co-opt them into marketing campaigns.
Managed services marketing often expands referral through co-opting brand ambassadors, optimizing content, using referral programs, and providing genuinely positive customer experiences.
Your managed services marketing strategy must first and foremost resonate with target markets. To do that, you’re going to want to give everyone who interfaces with your outreach materials the best customer experience (CX) possible.
Accordingly, you need to know what present experiences are like, how to measure them, and how to produce better experiences through utilization of the data deriving from those measurements. Key performance indicators (KPIs) must be identified and put to work optimizing the effectiveness of your managed services marketing.
How to Properly Balance KPIs Through CX
You should examine three primary KPIs to help determine where CX needs work:
- Net Customer Value Growth (NCVG)
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Existing Customer Referral
NCVG basically refers to how many clients your marketing campaign gains you, against how many clients you use in a given marketing period. Gains should outpace losses in an ideal scenario. The time-frame will often differ per MSP, but generally, you’re going to experience longer sales cycle periods than other businesses. Working with SEO groups that make MSPs their core clientele can be key in helping you get an idea where an appropriately balanced NCVG ratio might be.
Such SEO groups can also help you with NPS. Basically, this is how many people would recommend your MSP’s services to their friends or colleagues based on the level of effectiveness you’ve brought to the table. How effective you are will depend on how they perceive you, so you’ll want to keep this in mind. Sometimes, perceptions aren’t accurate. To get NPS then, you should send out surveys and subtract the detractors. You should see an increasing trend over time.
Lastly, the level of referrals existing clients give to your business is a good indicator of CX. When the customer referral KPI goes up, it means you’re doing something right. When it sags, something needs to be fixed.
Developing Better Outreach Through Proper Metrics
A managed services marketing strategy which incorporates KPIs pertaining to CX can more efficiently optimize outreach. NCVG, NPS, and existing client referral are excellent KPIs worth considering as you go about expanding CX.
Managed services marketing won’t be as effective as it could be if it only focuses on lead acquisition and conversion. Once leads are converted, additional marketing throughout their relationship with your MSP is integral.
Over time, your MSP will grow, offering new products and services. Likewise, as your clientele transition forward, they likely experience some level of growth which naturally recommends increased technology acquisition for varying reasons.
You need to have automated outreach, as well as personalized marketing solutions aimed at clientele strategically throughout their life cycle with your business. It’s a different marketing angle, but when you get it right, you bring legitimate value to the table, fostering loyalty. A properly-balanced life cycle marketing campaign facilitates a positive upward spiral for all involved. Additionally, it lowers costs and increases revenue.
Increased Revenue and Lowered Costs
Managed services marketing which manages clientele over the long-term and continues marketing toward them will increase their average value to your company. The more effectively you do this, the further out you can project total client value over the course of their journey with your business.
A client spending $2k a month on varying tech services is spending $24k a year. In ten years, that’s $240k. But if you can sell increased services, you may double what they’re paying you on a monthly basis even as value is provided. This means the cost of marketing is outweighed by expanded ROI, meaning it represents a lower percentage of total costs spent reaching and converting clientele.
If the first year, this hypothetical client spends $2k a month, and balanced up-sell expands that average $500 a year, in ten years you’ll more than double the lifetime value of said client.
Efficiency and Profit
Managed services marketing needs to balance internal selling after client conversion. Doing so properly increases revenue and decreases costs. Working with MSP-centered SEO groups can help you get the balance right. Consider existing marketing, and if you don’t already strive to market clientele after conversion, it’s integral you start.
An MSP company needs to have outreach tactics built around clientele. You don’t want to overwhelm, but at the same time, you don’t want to look down on selling technique. Selling isn’t a bad thing. The word “sales” isn’t a dirty word.
Customer-centered marketing professionals incorporate upselling and cross-selling; they just won’t do so in an over-the-top manner which oppresses clients or leads.
An MSP company should differentiate cross-selling from upselling. Cross-selling would be like this: if you were a fast food restaurant selling a burger, and you asked if the buyer wanted fries, you’ve cross-sold an item to them. Basically, cross-selling involves related services or products which better the choice a client has made.
If you’re going to do this in a customer-focused way, you’ll want to only suggest items that will actually provide legitimate value to clients. Some businesses can’t afford what you are offering, so you’ve got to be willing to back down if they decline. However, if you’ve researched your clients well, you can determine what will actually provide them value and truly help them.
Upselling is often thought to be obtrusive. Say you’re at a restaurant, and someone comes in and orders a medium-sized entree. Upselling would be convincing them to go with the “large”. In tech, you may want to upsell clients when you know that which they’re planning to purchase won’t serve their needs.
For example, they may be purchasing less cloud space than they’ll need by year’s end or perhaps the tech they’re buying isn’t requisite to the tasks they’ll be using it for. Again, leverage your upsell with true value.
Serving the Client
An MSP company may actually be underserving clients by refraining from cross-selling or upselling. This is especially true when clients are purchasing products or services in ways that don’t reflect their needs. Know your clients and target prospects to understand their true needs, and serve them.
An MSP company can’t rest on local demand. Towns and cities grow, unless the bottom drops out from the local economy. In that scenario, your MSP will have to move, too. Otherwise, even if you’re the only tech solution on the block, another will develop eventually.
If you haven’t made client experience core to what you do, you’re going to lose market share. Conversely, being the “new guy” on the block who provides better service can position you better than big-ticket competitors. Following are a few tips to help you deliver better client experiences:
Learn from Peers and Competitors; Innovate from There, Don’t Copy
Your MSP company is operating in an environment with competitors and peers; learn from them. What works, what doesn’t, and which of these tactics will effectively serve your operation? Once you answer these questions, begin to innovate going forward. Learn from competitors, and do what they do better than them.
Focus on Problem Resolution Rather than “Wowing” Clientele
Astonishing clients certainly has its place, but it’s a lot better to serve their needs directly than to bend over backwards trying to impress them. You know what’s really impressive? Reliable technology service which operates as advertised.
When clients come to you with problems, solve them immediately. When prospects have questions, give them clear, accurate answers that help them build a picture of what value you bring.
Regularly Communicate with Clients: Listen Carefully
Talk to existing and prospective clients. Ask what they like and dislike about what you provide. Prepare questions that will elicit response, and ensure you listen carefully to those responses. Apply things you learn that are appropriate to your model going forward.
Top-Tier Customer Experience
Your MSP company must communicate and listen to clients, focus on problem resolution over impressing clients and innovate from lessons competitors teach, either directly or incidentally. Properly applied tactics like these will improve client experience.
IT lead generation is fundamental to your MSP. If you’re not continuously generating actionable leads, you’re going to undermine profitability. Certainly, not all leads are created equal; you want them to be scored according to their likelihood of conversion and their profitability to your company.
As you do this, you can optimize content outreach to more effectively impact target clientele. Still, you’ve got to get them coming in regularly first. The following three tips can help with that:
Ensuring CTAs are Properly Placed and Saturated
IT lead generation depends heavily on CTAs (calls to action). Basically, you want to put these in strategic places throughout content, landing pages, and primary websites. Don’t choke out useful content through an over-infusion of CTAs. However, simultaneously, don’t neglect them. Links to sign-on pages or contact information can help increase their effectiveness.
Testing Functionality and Client Perception
Whatever methods of lead generation you design must be tested. You need to see what the client sees and whether that seems desirable or not. You might incentivize existing clients or provide some sort of discount when you’re at a convention or other public tech-related event where prospects are in abundance.
Find ways of testing your lead generation protocols internally and externally. Perhaps use SEO groups providing MSP solutions to help you see what works and what doesn’t after you’ve gone through everything a few times.
Producing Relevant, Value-Rich Content
Generation of leads will be supported heavily through creation and distribution of effective, value-rich, relevant and evergreen content. Tell the truth, give useful pointers, solve problems for clients, and don’t sugar-coat anything. Be a reliable, trustworthy resource for your prospects, and you’ll increase conversion of top-tier leads over time.
Facilitating Lead Generation
Value-rich and relevant content should be tested to determine client perception as well as best practices. Additionally, distribute effective, balanced CTAs. Such action effectively facilitates the kind of IT lead generation MSPs need.
IT lead generation is absolutely fundamental to profitability over time. However, you shouldn’t aim the full force of marketing guns at leads just because you have them; not all leads are created equal.
Some will convert immediately, some never can because the lead captured doesn’t have direct buying power. If you waste a good pitch on them, it could sap your energy for a pitch more appropriately aimed at more relevant leads. Following are three tips to help you more effectively score leads:
- Know Target Demographics
IT lead generation will produce results across the demographic spectrum. Ideally, you want to focus on those which match your target demographics. Categorize leads conforming to their demographic alignment, and you’ll waste less time pursuing leads which won’t be converted.
- Get As Much Information About Prospects As Possible
Once you’ve categorized prospects based on demographic alignment, now you want to learn as much about those at the top of your list as you possibly can. Ask them, research them online, look around your market to see where these prospects have been previously, and even call up competitors or peers who have worked with them in the past. Go with what works.
- Behavior of Buyers, Their Interest, and Decay Over Time
As you research prospects, you’ll come to know how they behave, in what they’re interested, and your likelihood of converting them. Lead decay is when qualified leads don’t get back to you, or otherwise lose interest. There’s a shelf-life to leads; you want to get to them at the right time. Knowing interests and behavior helps you get ahead of lead decay.
Converting Well-Qualified Leads
In your IT lead generation, you must carefully consider buyer behavior, interests, and demographic alignment. This provides information to properly grade leads. Always seek new information and leverage that information into varying outreach strategies before lead decay sets in. Such tactics increase conversions.
There is a time for your MSP business to provide information as a direct means of converting clients, and a time simply to give them information knowing a sale won’t result.
Becoming a resource does much to establish your operation as an authority, and in the future, this will lead to sales with most whom you’ve provided consultation services to.
A good pitch has simplicity, clarity, passion, and practice helping you define these qualities. The same is true in consultation. Where the difference comes is in a concerted pitch, which will likely feature these additional qualities:
- Engaging hooks
- Exposition of problems and their fixes
- Facilitation of confident, unique solutions
Your MSP business needs to hook prospects like you hook a fish. Consultation can be that hook–being a resource can draw them to you. But there’s more than just information to consider as a “hooking” mechanism. Additionally, you might lead with savings, or demonstrating potentiality through products and services.
Exposition of Problems and Their Fixes
You must clearly communicate what issues are and how to fix them. Many prospects have no idea there are issues, much less how to fix them. Be sure to use colloquial language which isn’t tech speak. Most clients won’t understand shop talk pertaining to IT, so find ways of communicating clearly. This is where the aforementioned practice comes in.
Facilitation of Confident, Unique Solutions
You’ve got to have solutions which prospects can get their minds around. It’s no good to say total redundancy can be localized on-site with a well-maintained RAID option. But if you tell them information across multiple hard drives makes fixing a broken one easy as plugging the new unit in, they can grasp what you’re saying. Be confident, and offer unique solutions in ways clients understand.
Leveraging Pitching and Consultation
Your MSP business must act in a consultative capacity, and it must pitch well. Aligning these things can increase conversion. Be confident, offer unique solutions, demonstrate problems and fixes, and be balanced–such actions are apt to initiate increased conversion.