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Proven Strategies for MSPs to Drive Growth

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Why the financial sector must embrace AI

Guest blog courtesy of CYRISMA.

As an MSP, you are acutely aware of the growing demand for managed services, particularly cybersecurity and risk management. You’ve made smart investments in tools, infrastructure and tech talent, but closing sales and expanding your business remains a challenge.

If that sounds like a familiar scenario, read on for proven strategies to raise your sales game and drive business growth.

How to Sell Managed Services More Effectively

  1. Specific Industry and Business Size to Focus on: Know your ideal customer profile (ICP). What are the industries you would want to sell to and why? If you’re selling to SMBs, what’s the typical revenue range that your existing and prospective customers fit into? Knowing which specific segments make up your ideal customer profile will help you tailor your solutions accordingly and provide context for the marketing material you build around them.
  2. Marketing and Thought Leadership: Spend time and effort on creating marketing material for prospects at different stages of the pipeline. Use social media and your website to demonstrate thought leadership and build trust with prospects. Publish high-quality, well-researched content REGULARLY, and make it a mix of thought leadership and easy-to-understand overviews of your solutions.
  3. Thorough Discovery Process when Following up on Leads: Design your discovery process to get a deep understanding of prospects’ pain points. Use open-ended questions to uncover underlying issues and opportunities. Treat this stage as critical – every conversation you’ll have with your leads following the discovery call will be based on what you learn during this initial process.
  4. Customizing Solutions to Address Specific Pain Points: Use your research on the prospect and the discovery call takeaways to create a proposal and suggest solutions that address their pain points. For example, if a prospect struggles with compliance, highlight your compliance assessment capabilities and audit support. Emphasize not just the services you will provide but also the benefits of working with you and not a competitor – such as stellar tech support, approachability, deployment time, the ease of working with you, etc.
  5. Offering a Package; Providing Value: With multiple competing options, the final choice for a lot of prospects will come down to price or value. Be careful not to undersell your solutions, but you CAN bundle them in a way that will make financial sense for both the client and for you. Offer multiple solutions together for holistic coverage. If you use a consolidated, multi-feature product to do this, you’ll be able to keep costs low and expend little extra effort to package services together, but the value for the customer will increase manifold. You can then ask for fair price for the number of services offered.
  6. Tool Consolidation as a Cost Saving Tactic: MSPs looking to expand their service offerings while keeping costs low can benefit immensely by consolidating their toolsets. Choose platforms like CYRISMA that combine a range of tools, rather than standalone products for each separate use case. This will enable you to offer a whole suite of services, upsell and cross-sell without having to invest in a plethora of different products. It will also save you the effort, time and training needed for analysts to become proficient at using multiple different tools.
  7. Drip Campaigns and the Importance of Following Up: Don’t forget about the leads that you came close to converting but couldn’t because of specific objections, timing issues, change of priorities or other factors. Leverage drip campaigns, newsletters, email announcements about new services and partnerships to remain visible and catch their attention. They may not have been ready for a commitment when you first engaged with them, but organizations’ needs and priorities are fluid and will change with time. Keep working on winning their trust and their business.
  8. Customer Success Stories, Testimonials, Track Record: When creating marketing material, pay extra attention to documenting customer success stories and case studies. Ask existing clients for honest testimonials, and record the positive feedback you’ve received over the years. When presenting your wins and successes so far, back up the information with social proof, reviews and case studies.
  9. Speak the Language of Business, Avoid Tech Jargon: Avoid technical jargon to make your pitch more relatable. Focus on the business benefits of your services, such as reducing downtime and protecting customer data, rather than the technical specifics of your tools. Talk about how the bare minimum investment in IT management, monitoring and cybersecurity can prevent costly breaches and loss of customer trust.

Selling Managed Cybersecurity Services

According to Gartner research, while IT spend as a whole will increase at 8 percent in 2024, security and risk management spend is set to increase globally by as much as 14.3 percent.

What that means from a business perspective is that investment in building up the cybersecurity segment within your business can pay rich dividends.

What are some ways for MSPs to expand their cybersecurity offerings while keeping costs low?

  1. Regulatory Compliance and Legal Education: Increasingly, organizations across industry verticals are coming under the purview of stricter data privacy and security regulations. Essential cybersecurity controls and data loss prevention are often mandated by law. This means that it is no longer optional for businesses to have a basic risk management program in place – it’s a legal requirement. Educate your team about evolving data privacy requirements and how your services can help businesses meet these requirements. Leverage this knowledge to sell services.
  2. Best Practice Frameworks, Bare Minimum Security: Every business needs to deal with cyber threats, and every business needs at least foundational cybersecurity controls in place to stay protected. They need to minimize downtime in the event of an attack; protect employees’ and customers’ data, maintain backups; build minimum capacity to withstand incidents; and, in general, follow cybersecurity best practices that include vulnerability management, deployment of system updates; data loss prevention, secure OS configuration; and more. It makes more sense to leverage a managed service provider to perform all these tasks rather than build an IT security function in-house which can prove time and effort-intensive, and which ultimately may or may not provide the level of protection needed. Even if an organization were to deploy the latest and greatest tools and build a solid infrastructure, it’s really monitoring the alerts that these tools generate that matters in the end. And finding skilled analysts to manage tools can be difficult. This makes MSP services a great proposition, especially for SMBs with limited resources.
  3. The Latest Data on Breach Costs: Update your knowledge on the latest data breaches, ransomware attacks, penalties that business have to pay for non-compliance, and the overall costs of neglecting cybersecurity. Time and again, the lessons that data breaches teach us is that even basic cybersecurity controls – managed well – can prevent or at least limit the impact of a cyber incident. Another oft-repeated principle is to make your business a difficult target for cybercriminals, who like to “go after the low-hanging fruit.” Leverage cybercrime reports, government statistics, and best practice frameworks published by non-profit entities to educate your prospect on the need for foundational security. If you can convince them of the high ROI on essential security controls, you’re many steps closer to winning their business.
  4. Industry Comparison Data: Many tools these days provide industry-wise breakdown of cyber risk scores and security control implementation. Look for data on the industry average for cybersecurity scores in your prospect’s business domain. Leverage this data to show them how doing better than their peers in the industry can give them a competitive advantage. With higher-than-average risk scores and strong data privacy programs, businesses can demonstrate to their end clients and prospects that they are serious about data protection and security and earn their trust.
  5. Keeping Cyber Insurance Premiums Low: Cyber insurance premiums, too, are heavily impacted by businesses’ current cybersecurity efforts and the ability to demonstrate that they actively work on reducing cyber risk. Use residual risk cost calculators, potential data breach cost estimates, and sensitive data value assessments to show clients how they can minimize residual risk by implementing essential controls. This, in turn, can be shared with insurance auditors to control insurance costs.
  6. Measurable Outcomes and Steady Progress: Cybersecurity service providers have often lamented that businesses are hesitant to invest in security because the benefits are not easy to demonstrate. If you are doing your job well – i.e., preventing or averting incidents – it’s hard to show clear ROI. That is why it’s important to quantify cyber risk, provide measurable outcomes, and have clear KPIs. Show prospects how they can progress over time with your service package, and how you will measure this progress. Use existing case studies and data on how you’ve helped other businesses reduce risk.
  7. Managed Services vs Professional Services: As an MSP, you likely offer both Professional (one-time or short-term engagements) and Managed (ongoing, subscription-based) Services, in addition to retainers or monthly block hours. A great sales strategy is to start with a Professional Service offer – assistance with a project or a one-time assessment – and convert this to a Managed Service in time. There are plenty of reasons why this can be a win-win scenario for both parties. With managed services, your clients will know that they are paying a previously agreed-upon amount for a minimum set of services each month. They are assured of ongoing protection against threats, continuous monitoring of their systems, and a team of experts that are keeping systems hardened at all times. They can then focus entirely on their business and leave the IT monitoring and security management to you. This is different from and better than the block hour or retainer model which may not provide as much value as a managed service model, and may be more expensive on a per-hour level.
  8. Ongoing Vulnerability Management: Vulnerability management is also essential because new vulnerabilities are published every day, and vulnerability and risk assessment cannot be a one-and-done activity if it has to have any meaning beyond checking a box or completing an audit. Additionally, regular vulnerability and patch management is often a compliance requirement, or an end-client may need a VM program as part of the contract.

The demand for managed security services is growing fast. The global market size is estimated to go up to anywhere between US $70 billion and US $101.86 billion by 2031 (the estimates vary but the minimum CAGR is expected to hover around 13-14%.) There’s no reason why you, as an MSP already in business, shouldn’t grow as more organizations come to understand the benefits of managed services. By researching your customer profile well, packaging your services in ways that appeal to your prospects, and making smart investments in tools that deliver real value, you can significantly increase the pace of your business’s growth.

How CYRISMA can Help

CYRISMA was designed with the needs MSPs and MSSPs in mind, offering a comprehensive suite of tools for cyber risk management in a SINGLE SaaS Platform. From vulnerability scanning to dark web monitoring, CYRISMA consolidates essential tools into one powerful platform, eliminating the need for multiple products and reducing costs.

More MSPs are switching to CYRISMA because of the unmatched value it provides. All scan types and assessments as well as all future updates are included in the standard pricing. There are NO hidden costs.

Discover how CYRISMA can transform your cybersecurity offerings and drive your business forward. Learn more and watch our three-minute demo here.