Your MSP business needs to court PR as possible, but it’s not always easy to get. You’ve got to do something newsworthy. Accordingly, positive newsworthy action should be budgeted into your marketing.
There are many tactics you can take here, you want to be scrupulous in all action and meaningful. Contacting the chamber of commerce in your community can be key in helping you figure out from where you should start and which direction you should go. From there, consider these tactics:
Speak Out Locally in Your Community
Your MSP business must be a presence locally. Providing charity services to schools or other public institutions is newsworthy, and may be as affordable as certain marketing expenses. So, go ahead and provide such services for a proscribed time period, and don’t be shy about sending press releases.
Additionally, speak out on prescient issues and provide clear, true, accurate information people can relate to and which helps reveal the technological situation in which communities increasingly find themselves. The world is changing, you’ve got opportunities in abundance here.
Give Free Advice–Most Clients Can’t Apply It Without You Anyway
On local blogs, social media, during interviews, and wherever possible, give sound tech advice which can be followed. Here’s the thing: following your advice won’t be easy for clients. Imagine a contractor telling you how to build a house step by step. Are you going to do it yourself, or does this make it more likely you’ll hire builders? It’s the same with tech.
Write Effective, SEO-Optimized Biography Segments That Are Newsworthy
SEO groups which serve MSPs can help you optimize your bio to be both newsworthy and the most visible. Constantly update it with your accomplishments and exploits in the community to increase its newsworthiness.
Maximizing PR Organically
It’s advisable for an MSP business to design effective bios, give advice, and become a visible local presence. Such steps should organically induce local media authorities to recognize your action, facilitating increased community awareness of your business, and a higher likelihood of conversion among target demographics.
Many MSP business strategies revolve around demonstrating benefits associated with their products or services. While there is a place for such marketing, there is another a school of thought endorsed by many MSP marketing agencies who’ve tread SEO waters over the last decade. This strategy is demonstrating how what you do prevents your clients from experiencing loss.
Constructing Loss-Avoidance Sales Messaging
There are several features of an effective outreach sales strategy worth considering. You’ll want something constructed, rehearsed, revised, refined, and correctly informed at every level. Three areas that encompass much that are involved will be briefly examined here:
Collecting Data Requisite to Inform Outreach Optimally
MSP business sales must show clients what they’re losing without the right sort of IT. Show potentiality, show how to outsource personnel using BYOD strategies through the cloud, or whatever defines the services you provide.
Part of the value you bring is loss deferral, so pitch around metrics that demonstrate how what you do has benefited existing clientele and could be conducive to target prospects.
Motivation Identification and Application: Loss Avoidance
Identify which specific losses motivate your prospects into seeking IT solutions. Are they trying to conserve time? Are they trying to increase security? Are they looking for a competitive edge some other way? Figure out their directives, and where they’re losing, and show how you can plug the gap.
Construction of Sales Messaging Around a Loss-Avoidance Approach
Sales messaging needs to be geared at the primary clientele your MSP caters to. Yes, you want specific pitches around specific prospects, but generally, a wing of outreach including blogs and other content should be established to help attract prospects. SEO agencies with MSP focus can be key here.
Loss Avoidance Marketing Can Be Effective
When MSP business sales strategies show how loss can be deferred through pitches constructed around client motivations, and such strategies are informed by data, it naturally motivates conversion of target prospects.
MSP sales strategies must necessarily shift. Technology changes, markets come and go, mergers whom you focus on may differ year to year. Sellers need to know when you’re changing focus, why, how you plan to do it, and what this means to them over the course of regular operations. People don’t like change; keeping employees apprised of coming shifts is wise in helping diminish transition difficulties.
What to Do to Maintain Staff Awareness
There are many different things you’ll want to do to keep staff apprised of operational shifts. Several common “pillars” of proper communication include the following:
Facilitate Greatest Reasonable Transparency
MSP sales departments will have information that it isn’t appropriate for staff to have unless they’re at a certain level of the company. Detailed financial records can be a prime example of this.
However, where you can be transparent, you should be transparent. Let sellers know where you’re moving, why, and what you expect of them. When they understand where changes are coming from, the chore of shifting behavior is less difficult and you’ll likely get results quicker.
Keep Careful Metrics As Regards Outcomes
When you’re making a big shift, you must measure how effective the change is proceeding. This will help you determine where sellers have received the full import of your communication regarding the change, and where they need a little additional help. You can more effectively keep everyone on the same page with the right metrics.
Listen to Employee Feedback
Employees sometimes understand selling intricacies invisible to management. When they’ve got feedback on changes, listen. Listening doesn’t require agreeing with them, but it can make them more comfortable and help them get on board with you. It may even reveal a thing or two.
Alignment with Objectives
When MSP sales personnel are heard, they feel valued. When you measure change, you can keep everyone aligned. Being transparent enables both of these tactics. Together, these three “pillars” of sales changes should help with necessary transitions.
Your MSP company needs feedback. Such feedback is necessary for the establishment of expanded clients and for the betterment of provided services. Sometimes, you lose sales simply because services are provided in a way which clients don’t properly understand. Without feedback, you can’t know.
Properly Managing Feedback
All that being said, it’s important to note that feedback isn’t unilaterally qualitative. Some feedback is negative, and following it will ultimately undermine your operation. Accordingly, consider these strategies:
Acquire Unadultered Feedback
Your MSP company must get real feedback that isn’t filtered in any way. Good or bad feedback can reveal different things. Sometimes, you’ve just acquired a “bad apple”, as it were, in terms of the client rendering negative feedback. You can learn from them going forward to avoid other similarly negative clients. Sometimes, they just don’t understand what you’re doing, and you’ve got to show them.
Ensure Only to Court Feedback from Real Clients
Don’t seek feedback from non-clients. You wouldn’t ask someone who has never seen a movie to give you their opinion on whether or not said film is entertaining, would you? It’s the same with feedback. Non-clients giving feedback could be an example of corporate espionage; bad actors working with competitors to get you chasing your own tail, operationally speaking.
Incentivize Clientele for Feedback, Reviews, And Referrals
Give clients reasons to give you feedback. Give them discounts. Court reviews. Institute a referral program which rewards clients for bringing you more business. Make regular communication a two-way street, and you’ll get access to information you didn’t even realize is fundamental to successful operations.
Properly Utilizing Feedback
When your MSP company incentivizes feedback, reviews, and referrals, prioritizes legitimate feedback from real clients, and acquires unadulterated feedback, true information can be co-opted toward establishment of more effective operational practices. Such tactics are essential in helping your business most effectively utilize existing resources, serve clients, and establish profit that’s sustainable.
When your MSP company provides good service, this does several things. It increases the business existing clients do with you, meaning customers have greater value to your company as a whole. Additionally, it increases the likelihood of organic referral from existing clientele to new prospects.
Service Maximization Techniques
Furthermore, quality service establishes your community reputation and often facilitates increased profitability. The key to any business is providing something that is actually valuable, qualitative, and to be desired— obviously! There are a few ways you can positively augment this for total maximization, however, and they include the following:
Ask the Right Questions
An MSP company must be constantly innovating. This is for purposes of competitive viability, and it’s essential for profitable development. Asking clients what works for them and what doesn’t can help. Additionally, asking for reviews or referral can be a good idea. You might also incentivize a referral program.
The key is, there’s much to be gained from client feedback. You can learn what they think they need, what they actually need, their perspectives, and various viable tactics for further engaging the market.
Continuously Expand Your Understanding of Clientele
The better you understand your customers, the better you can serve them. Additionally, this helps you identify new clients in the same demographic, and perhaps other as-yet unobserved demographics who likewise correlate.
Get metrics on when they use data, what sort of services they need, their levels of security, and anything else pertinent. This helps you know when to sell them additional services, and how to best protect them.
Responding to Major Changes Appropriately
Whenever an exceptional technological transition happens, being at the forefront is key. The same is true for disasters or shifts in the focus or scope of clientele. Sometimes they’ve got a scale-out on the horizon. Sometimes clients must scale back. Sometimes you can provide new tech that gives customers a competitive edge. There are many possibilities.
Leveraging Service to Expand Sales
An MSP company that efficiently responds to market and client transitions, expands their understanding of clientele, and asks the right questions will be situated to increase sales conversion. Figure out what information you have, what information you can acquire, and how best to incorporate it going forward.
Your MSP business will naturally encounter clients who make working with them a real difficult thing. Sometimes it’s in your best interests to keep them on, sometimes it’s not. Determining where that “event horizon” is can be difficult.
Keep Them or Cut Them Loose
Essentially, you do need to know when to cut such awkward clients loose. If you keep indulging them, what you lose will outpace what you gain. Do that enough and a full suite of clients could bleed you dry of profits with gradual inevitability. For the security of your business, you need to identify when it’s time to let problem clients go. Following are a few tips to help you do that:
Determine Reasonability of Client Requests
Your MSP business needs to take the requests of clients with a grain of salt, as the saying goes. On the one hand, if the client asks something that isn’t too reasonable, it’s okay to indulge them. If they ask something that isn’t unreasonable but will be impacting enough to cost your business resources, be straightforward and offer a fair price for augmentation.
The key here isn’t to automatically approve or disprove any request, but to establish a system of evaluation. Managers need to have latitude to bend the rules for clients, but not do it too much.
The Customer Isn’t Always Right: Suggest Alternatives Initially
Sometimes, customers ask for wild things that are impossible. You can’t indulge that sort of thing or you’ll go bankrupt, and other clients will suffer. If a customer asks for something wildly unreasonable, before dismissing them, explain the difficulty and suggest reasonable alternatives.
Hire Personnel Who Have Patience to Deal with Diverse Clients
Your team needs to have employees who aren’t prone to anger and have patience to deal with client misunderstandings. Oftentimes, their odd requests stem from a miscommunication of some variety. Understanding, patient personnel draw this out.
A Win-Win for Everyone
When your MSP business has patience dealing with personnel, suggests alternatives, and evaluates requests for viability, clients are more likely to be pleased and your business is more likely to retain profitability. Accordingly, establish careful request evaluation procedures and hire the right people.
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.