With a projected 11.5 % CAGR in the first half of this decade, managed IT services is one of the fastest-growing segments in the IT sector. Yet, sales and marketing prove to be two of the biggest challenges that MSPs face. While they can be attributed to the sticky nature of the market and the notoriously low 5% annual turnaround, a key factor is the tech-savvy nature of the people who work in the industry. It is true that folks in the MSP space do not enjoy hosting marketing webinars as much as they enjoy setting up high-tech servers for a client.
Marketing, when done right, can open up doors for incredible business opportunities and work wonders for your profitability. With that said, we'll be talking about five useful methods to help you start marketing your MSP better and grow faster.
1. Coffee and croissants
Yes, you read that right! Invite your clients for a Friday morning coffee and croissants, and have light, casual conversations about how they feel about your service, and the things you plan to do. Invite some prospects too! They'd love to talk to your clients and understand exactly how you're a valuable service provider. The informal nature of the initiative combined with the casual morning discussions that follow make it a great opportunity to increase advocacy and pique interest from prospects. It also makes up as fun conversation starters for your clients whenever they attend a meeting. "Hey, did you know, the folks at XYZ MSP invited me over for some coffee and croissants at their place?" Word of mouth and referrals are still some of the most effective ways to get clients in the MSP channel.
2. Vendors can help you sell too
Your vendors have probably sold products to you many a time. It's very likely that they also supply direct to companies and SMBs in the area that are in need of IT service providers. If you make a genuine effort in supporting and selling their products to your clients, you can get solid referrals over time. Make a conscious effort to build great relationships with a few select vendors and watch the magic happen in the long run.
3. The age-old barter system
This method still works, and is useful especially for MSPs that are just starting out. You don't need to look for monetary deals all the time. A great way to go about this is to explore opportunities with local government/public initiatives that deal with SMBs. Offer them IT services in exchange for marketing in their email blasts, events, and publications. If the local body also offers IT support, ask them to recommend your MSP. It is an effective way to attract local businesses without burning through your marketing budget.
4. Explore client groups
MSP is a community-driven market at large. People like to draw inspiration from each other's choices and decisions. If you're an MSP, you're probably a part of 15 MSP groups and Reddit channels. But, have you thought about the groups your clients are a part of? Client groups are a gold mine for MSPs to generate leads. Besides, it's a great opportunity to understand the real pain points and business needs of clients in that specific vertical. Actively interact and engage in discussions with people and offer your expertise wherever relevant. This way, you not only build on your visibility, but also your credibility as an MSP.
5. Free assessments open doors
Cold calls and emails are common marketing tools in the MSP space. But they're not as effective as you think. Instead, give prospects a way to assess your services without a downside to help them understand the clear value your MSP offers. For example, if you're an MSP specializing in cybersecurity, you could offer to do a free configuration scanning or a security audit (by reviewing their code). When you show them how well you're able to solve their pain points, you have a hot lead on your hands.
Remember, growth in the MSP space is usually linear, and success takes time. Buying the services of an MSP is a long-term investment for businesses. Which means that your marketing plays a huge role in bringing your MSP more long-term clients who are directly responsible for your growth. When you consistently keep working on your marketing strategies to bring in a predictable stream of leads, you can supercharge your MSP's growth from linear to exponential.
(Hold on! We've got some really useful MSP sales hacks at the Bugle that we think you'd really like. Take a look!)
This guest blog is courtesy of SuperOps.ai and authored by Nithish Kumar, product marketing associate. Read more SuperOps.ai guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of ChannelE2E’s sponsorship program.