Your MSP marketing needs to eliminate unnecessary practices and encourage those which bear fruit. Following are several tips that can help you find direction and avoid unfruitful efforts:
Figure Out Your Vertical
MSP marketing needs to proceed from a vertical that matches your operation or you’re going to be spinning your wheels in vain. You want to find a vertical market which has multiple prospects near you. Those prospects should have tech needs requisite to your profit requirements for sustainability. Such prospects need to have resources to pay you for what you provide, and they need to have points of operation causing them difficulty which would be mended by your MSP.
Make A List
When you’ve got a solid vertical lined out, then it’s time to make a list of potential clients local to the area. For example, if you provide services to school districts, you may look at the varying educational institutions where you are. List these prospects out and go about contacting them using varying outreach strategies. Additionally, design content which has them in mind.
Implement Properly-Aligned Marketing Strategies
Marketing strategies should include white papers and the addressing of issues which represent pain points across your target vertical. You want to have blogs on your primary site, and you additionally want to disseminate those blogs through guest sites that either involve your vertical or have some affiliation with the tech world you’re a part of. There are a number of different ways to maximize your outreach in this way, SEO (search engine optimization) is integral here; working with agencies who specifically cater to MSPs can save you a lot of time and aggravation here.
MSP marketing which implements strategies that facilitate properly-aligned marketing to a list of prospects in a well-researched vertical will likely increase your rates of conversion. This will take a little research and will benefit from the auspices of professional marketing agencies who specialize in providing solutions for technology companies such as MSPs.
Your MSP company needs to lead through example. If you can properly impact your employees, you’re apt to encourage their natural follow-through on the core needs of your business. Following are tips to help you hone leadership for greatest positive outcomes:
Recognize Employees Who Deserve It
Your MSP company will have tough times and it will have good times. Much of the good will come from employees who go the extra mile. When you’ve got team members that do something worthwhile, you’ve got to recognize that or risk fallout the other direction. Imagine working for years on the fringes of recognition, always giving it your all and never getting even a nod of thanks. That’s apt to initiate “sour grapes”, as the saying goes. You’re going to foster resentment if you don’t recognize good behavior, input, and work. Be sure you’ve got a system in place to help reward team members who deserve it.
Ensure You Always Ask for Input
When you ask for input, you involve employees in a way which expands their personal investment in your MSP, and additionally, obtain unique solutions. Where input is appropriate, obtain it. You don’t have to abide by such suggestions, but the possibility could act as a motivator to your team. Motivated, recognized team members will do better helping you achieve goals.
Regularly Maintain Your Team and Business
It’s integral to have up-to-date equipment, software, and facilities. You’ve always got to be giving your team the right tools, and those require upgrades at intervals in the industry. But it’s the same with personnel. Sometimes, you’ve got a toxic so-and-so in the group and they need to be shuffled or liquidated.
An MSP company maintaining team and business, asking for input, and recognizing those who deserve it will do much to enable operational success and goal realization going forward. Figure out how to fully harness your team and your MSP will soar to new heights.
Your MSP company needs to remember that conversion isn’t the be-all and end-all of customer interaction. You want to follow-up with customers after you’ve acquired them. Establishing a follow-up process is additionally important for getting prospects to become clients. You need to follow through in terms of contact at least five times before giving up on a given lead. Just be creative— use more than phone calls and emails to touch base with them. Following are several follow-up strategies you might want to consider going forward:
Performance Follow-Up Emails
Your MSP company needs to initiate follow-up emails regardless in terms of performance measuring. You want to ask those who you’ve dealt with personally, at conventions, and on a client basis whether you’ve done your job up to their specifications. This helps prospects keep you on their radar, it makes clients more satisfied with your service, and it helps you identify areas where improvement may be necessary.
The Survey Questionnaire
As with performance follow-ups, a good solid questionnaire can be ideal in helping you determine where you’re doing good, where you’re doing bad, and what you need to do in order that client expectations be met. This is a great follow-up solution and can be easily disseminated via email template. You can also use a template on performance follow-ups.
Sometimes there has been no conversion, sometimes there has been. Sometimes you just haven’t touched base with a client or lead in a while. The “just checking in” email can be ideal here, as it is non-threatening, unlikely to be repetitive, and may even remind leads who might have forgotten about you that they were interested in your services.
An MSP company is going to have many different clients at many stages of the conversion process. What you need to do is ensure you’re properly managing them, and that you’ve got some means of keeping all of them visible to marketing teams. Follow-through is important, so ensure you’re good at it.
Your MSP sales strategy needs to cut off all the fat. There are a lot of things which may be unnecessary, and there are likely actions you’ve neglected to take that you should. A good way to ensure you’re always at your best is to design outreach operations with built-in productivity strategies. Consider this threefold approach:
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You need to have more than simply static outreach in your managed services marketing. It’s integral that you additionally have plans in place which allow for proactive support in terms of customer service.
Marketing doesn’t stop when you convert a client; it continues through the way in which you serve that client going forward. Customer service is a big part of that, and several benefits of proactive customer service include:
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Your IT marketing must optimize. Technology is always in flux, new things are always available, and new ways of using new technology to meet new relevant demographics must be employed. Still, there are basic ways you can buff up your interface in terms of client conversion through a few simple tactics which hold firm even as new developments arise. Especially when you’re dealing with other businesses, you need techniques which transcend trend. Several include:
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MSP marketing is straightforward but abstract. Once you get your head around it, you see where it’s going, where it’s coming from, and why action A has outcome B. But that’s all abstract math to those who haven’t made understanding outbound marketing their core prerogative. There are things you can do internally to help get your head around this in today’s increasingly digital environment. Several strategies worth following through on include:
Determining Those Who Manage Your Marketing
MSP marketing doesn’t happen by itself. Are you working with internal personnel? Do you have a team dedicated to outreach, PR, content marketing, SEO, SMO, etc.? Or are you working with outsourced agencies operating at higher levels of professionalism and reduced cost? Unless you can afford an internal department, you’ll save with an external solution. Just remember the very act of outsourcing marketing saves money, and don’t go with the bottom-dollar marketers.
Ensure You’ve Got A Realistic Plan
You need to have a plan ironed out over the next two years. Have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, biannual, and annual goals. Don’t be over-zealous, but don’t be without zeal either. You’re looking for a realistic balance which weighs your opportunities and acts on them accordingly.
Figure Out Your Budget
How much can you afford to spend on marketing without seeing ROI? Consider initial forays into marketing climes as operational costs that won’t be recouped. Again, working with established agencies can save you a lot of time and money here, but going about things internal is doable; it’s just going to be harder. You should expect to see ROI from effective SEO in four months to a year— figure about eight months for positive impact.
MSP marketing with a solid budget, a realistic strategy, and known marketing professionals at the helm will be poised for success. Consider existing strategies, and where changes may be necessary. If none are needed, then continue to strengthen those known plans which are working as intended.
Managed services marketing has, in many ways, your home page as its outreach flagship. The way your page appears to prospective and existing clients will do a lot toward building their confidence in you. This is just one of many considerations that must be strategically taken into account as you go about designing your site. Following are a few additional things worth considering:
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Your MSP company should always have a leadership development strategy or your leaders will grow in diverse ways which may or may not serve your business. Think of it like a tree in a garden. If you prune it and shape it, it will grow as desired. If you don’t, the roots may tear up the sidewalk, structures may be compromised, and you might just have to cut it down. So, get your leadership tree properly shaped and rooted— several strategies to help do that include:
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Your MSP business is likely going to have a much longer selling cycle than other businesses. There are a number of reasons for this; the chief among them is the associated expense which comes with technology as used in a business setting. Your best option is usually going to involve having your finger on the pulse of clients as they transition through varying stages of the selling cycle. This requires understanding those stages, which include:
- Low awareness or none at all
- Awareness of pain points
- Awareness of available solutions
- Awareness of products to help
- Fully aware of the best available solutions
Your MSP business needs to understand that initially, those in your target demographic are likely not going to be aware of what you do. You’ll need a wing of content to address this. From there, you need to focus on pain point awareness. Part of your introductory content strategy could revolve around this.
Basically, you want to recognize where pain points are for clients, empathize with them, and help apprise them of solutions to those difficulties. Once your clients know what can fix their pain points, then they need to know which specific products are best. It’s at this point that you begin to specify your MSP’s value over competitors.
Once you’ve done this correctly, your prospects become fully aware of which solutions will best fix their operational pain. If you’ve done the job right, then your provisions will ultimately end up being what prospects seek. Testimonials can be helpful here, as can cost-benefit analyses which incorporate real numbers from real clients with whom you’ve dealt and who reflect the majority of prospects you interface with.
You MSP business must understand the sales cycle and where prospects are on it to see increased ROI from outreach. When you’re reflecting the actual needs of the marketplace in a targeted way, then you’re more likely to find willing readers already looking for something similar, and encourage them.