5 Best Practices to Build Your MSP’s Influence
Do you know how much influence your MSP commands in the channel and what your business is doing to extend that influence? In a people-driven, overcrowded business landscape such as managed IT, creating your sphere of influence with customers and vendors, who share your values and business priorities, can serve you as a great differentiation tool.
Ironically, the road to building influence in the channel doesn’t start with sharing your product brochures on social media or doing pitches at trade shows. Other than creating meaningful content for your peers, it begins with establishing internal company culture around clients’ needs.
1. Share your Knowledge
One of the best ways to leverage your industry experience is to help educate your peers, whether that be at conferences you organize, through weekly podcasts, during webinars, with CoP, or through mentorship. Whichever route you choose, be intentional to elicit long-term change. To achieve this, create education-focused content.
Business blogs, whitepapers, and case studies will help you humanize your MSP brand. The content you create will not always be directly related to your product offering, however, it will always convey your MSP’s authentic and knowledgeable voice to industry stakeholders.
2. Futureproof your Business with Innovation
Introduce innovation in everything you do. Start with risk-mitigating technologies, business practices, and strategies that directly improve your CSAT score.
It is also important to recognize your manpower’s role to sustain your ability to continuously innovate and influence. So, to support organization-wide innovation drive, encourage your engineers to pursue as many certifications in emerging technologies as possible. As a supporter of this innovation, pay for or reimburse any costs it takes for your engineers to continue their professional education to become domain experts. Also, get the team trained by industry experts in continuous learning sessions so they can be on top of their game.
3. Customize as Much as Possible
Though with little differentiation in the business model, every MSP is different. You as an influential business must take time to realize and actualize this. Work with your sales team to understand each prospect’s business profiles and extend tailored IT services. In a business landscape where all products and services look like clones of one another, your ability to customize for each client will only help you add to your influence.
As you cross-sell or upsell to existing customers, refrain from using manipulative tactics and fear-mongering to sell their customers products don’t need. As an influential MSP, you must practice honesty and strong business ethics.
4. Remain Customer-Focused
Building a great rapport with clients is the key to retaining them and converting them into your brand ambassador, extending your influence in an industry that is customer-obsessed. So, make best customer support practices evident in all aspects of service delivery, starting from security and disaster recovery planning to business continuity and risk management.
Forge strong relationships with your existing clients on the backbone of engaging content. Continue educating them through educational emails, business case studies, multi-media tutorials, and product videos demonstrating your thought leadership. To engage with each one of them on a personal level, ask your account managers to set up frequent non-technical check-ins other than obvious quarterly business reviews.
5. Forge Strategic Ties with Industry Influencers
To position yourself as an industry influencer, partner with other influencers. Start by partnering with influential strategy, service delivery, marketing, sales, and HR domain experts that understand the MSP business model inside out. Also, work closely with vendor partners, which may seem unusual in a highly competitive industry such as Managed IT, but can extend your influence. If possible, co-create knowledge content to share best practices and market your brands together.