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3 MSP Pitfalls to Avoid at All Costs

Author: Datto’s Christine Gassman

Becoming a great MSP can be a lot easier said than done. In Datto’s MSPeasy series, we provide hundreds of field-proven methods that can steer you towards success. But how about the list of what NOT to do? We asked this question to a handful of industry-leading managed service providers and learned quite a bit. Here are a few MSP habits that can quickly derail you from achieving all of your goals as an IT service provider. 

1. Evaluating New Technology in Front of Clients: Potential clients should never be used as guinea pigs to test new technology. While testing technology on your client’s dime might seem attractive, there’s a lot of risks involved. Even if they’re testing it during a trial period, what if it goes badly? You would likely lose the business anyway, as it’s much harder to recover your reputation from there. New technology might also be more complex than you originally imagined once it’s up and running for a client. There will likely be unanticipated learning curves and hurdles to overcome. Additionally, clients won’t be pleased if they paid for a poor experience, or wasted time trying something for free that simply wasn’t a good fit for their business. It is always beneficial to test technology internally before offering it to clients, even if you have to pay for it yourself. Think of this expense as an investment in your business. Many vendors offer robust onboarding and training for new partners. This training will yield a better return on investment in the long run and enable you to deliver a stellar technology presentation in which you’ve been fully versed.

2. Slashing Prices to Meet Client Demands: Customers balking at your prices? Join the club. Pricing pushback is an industry-wide pain point. So what should you NOT do in this situation? Do NOT change your prices to please a prospect or client. MSPs who stand behind their prices, even if it means losing sales to certain customers or prospects, typically find more success in the long run. Cutting ties with clients who don’t believe in the value of your services will provide you with more time to successfully cater to the clients that do. Successful MSPs today are picky about the SMBs in which they want to serve and focus their lead generation efforts around searching for similar SMB prospects. They spend time on bettering their relationship with current clients and upselling, not on servicing SMBs whose business isn’t benefiting your revenue stream. Additionally, devaluing your managed services can negatively impact your reputation. If you become known as the MSP who constantly cuts pricing, prospects who care about the technology will question why it is valued so low compared to competitors. A better deal doesn’t always equal better technology.

3. Partnering with the Wrong Tech Vendor: It is easy to become overwhelmed with the day-to-day operations at your MSP. Whether it be onboarding new clients, providing technical support, or creating marketing campaigns, there is always work to be done. During hectic periods, it is easy to fall behind on market trends and new technologies. A big mistake many MSPs make is not dedicating enough time to vendor evaluation. A typical MSP response to this: “I don’t have the time to tackle that kind of evaluation right now.” However, choosing the wrong technology partner for your business needs can be detrimental to the success of you and your customers. The wrong tech vendor could result in an MSP falling behind the competition and lacking the resources and training they need to be successful. The best advice here is to try your best to make the time for evaluation, even if it means scheduling a meeting that’s a month out. Entrusting your IT staff with vendor evaluation is another avenue to take. What to look for? For starters, the best technology vendors will offer solutions designed to be innovative and timesaving for the MSP professional. Time is money, and if a solution can save you time, you are saving both.

If you find these tips helpful, we have more where that came from! In our eBook: The 7 Sins of MSPs, we thought outside the box to tell MSPs what NOT to do. This eBook will show you the danger of thinking your client is okay with downtime and waiting for leads to come to you. Check it out today to start improving your efforts!


Christine Gassman is director of business development at Datto Inc. Read more Datto blogs here.

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