Sales and marketing

MSP Sales Script: Stop Selling Predictable Costs. Do This Instead

Any seasoned MSP knows the old pitch: Sell customers on predictable costs and predictable service levels. But perhaps it's time to freshen up your managed services sales script.

Consider these factoids involving CEO business priorities for IT:

  • 63 percent of CEOs want their CIOs to focus on IT projects that generate revenue.
  • The other 37 percent of CIOs want their CIOs to focus mainly on cost cutting, according to a Harvey Nash and KPMG LLC survey.

The message for MSPs? You’ve spent a decade telling customers that you can deliver predictable IT costs and boost uptime. But increasingly, IT is seen as a strategic tool for helping businesses make money. Yes, a profit center. MSPs must become part of that profit-center mindset for the customer.

MSPs: Think Beyond eCommerce

Some MSPs may fear the market shift. After all, IT service providers typically are very good at keeping the lights on. But building revenue-generating applications? Many MSPs lack that talent set.

Still, there are other ways to approach "revenue generation" conversations with customers. Here are four of them.

1. Moving your customers closer to their customers - Physically: How can you, as an MSP, reduce the distance and eliminate the buying friction between your customers and their end customers? For instance, are their mobile approaches that can keep your customers' sales teams in the field -- closer to their clientele?

2. Moving your customers closer to their customers -- Virtually: How can you, as an MSP, help your customers to deepen their social and online connections to their customers?

3. Moving your customers closer to their customers -- Application User Experience: Here, I tend to climb on my soapbox and rant about application performance management (APM). Here's the connection between APM and MSPs.

4. Moving your customers closer to their customers -- Omni-channel: "At its core, omni-channel is defined as a multichannel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience," Hubspot says. "The customer can be shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, or by telephone, or in a bricks and mortar store and the experience would be seamless." Here, MSPs may need to increasingly partner with digital agencies to master the omni-channel approach.

Ultimately, your goal is to eliminate the physical and virtual distance between your customers and their customers. The result should be increased revenue opportunities for your customers.

Still not sure where to start? Instead of making a sales pitch, perhaps you should instead schedule a discovery call with your customers.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.