How to Differentiate Your Managed Service Offerings From Rival MSPs

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Kaseya’s Miguel Lopez
Author: Kaseya's Miguel Lopez

A new year is right around the corner. As planning for 2018 gets under way, now is the time to take a look back to 10 months ago. Is your business in the same place today, or can you pinpoint the changes you made to drive your growth?

MSP business plans often include specific targets to increase monthly recurring revenue (MRR), add new logos, and prevent churn, but what tangible action items do you set to reach these milestones? What should you be doing to win the business of new clients and keep your existing clients from going to another MSP or directly to software vendors?

The reality is most MSPs are not proactively adding new service offerings to solve these challenges.

A significant number of MSPs wait for a customer to ask for new technology before considering adding it to their portfolio. While intuitively this seems to make sense, in reality it introduces risk to your business. Driving your business reactively damages your credibility as a trusted advisor and industry expert to your clients. In contrast, proactively bringing new technology to them well before they ask for it enables you to guide them, especially in the modern IT environment that is rampant with security threats.

Intensifying Competition

MSPs are in a hyper-competitive space constantly fighting to get new clients and retain existing ones. We expect this to increase in 2018. Differentiating yourself from the competition comes down to the services you offer and the experience that you deliver. By staying ahead of the demand, your business will benefit in terms of profit margins and getting services to market quicker. As new services become commoditized within the next two years, you want to be able to call yourself an expert while your competitors fall behind the curve.

How can you make the critical adjustments to your business plan to move forward in the right direction?

  • Have, at a bare minimum, an annual off-site session where you strategize around your current services and any additions or changes that should be made.
  • Create monthly action items, quarterly goals, and annual targets that address your current challenges.
  • Look for software solutions that offer a proven, prescriptive approach to accelerate your growth in new areas where the market shows high demand.
  • To maximize your revenue opportunities, add or bundle services that will expand your share of wallet with clients by capturing as much of the "MSP Pie" as possible.
  • Identify a Go-to-Market strategy for each of your services.

The MSP Pie

MSPs are pulled in multiple directions on a daily basis. Very few have the time or bandwidth to properly research all the competitors in a given industry, let alone the best ways to position various new products. In fact, many times an MSP will launch a new service, offer it to the customers that have “raised their hands” for it, and then leave it to sit on the shelf collecting dust.

Working with the right software eco-system partner changes this. Those partners will help you with a powered services approach that gives you the knowledge, skills, and abilities to truly expand revenue opportunities. It's time that you expect more than just software from your partners. 

Demand the education to be successful bringing new services to market and to sell those services to new and existing clients.

Miguel Lopez is senior VP of managed services providers at Kaseya. Read all Kaseya blogs here.