Day 1, Empower MSP Scottsdale, General Session—Mike Cullen, AP Customer Experience and Strategy, SolarWinds MSP. Empower MSP Scottsdale took place at JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa on September 18 and 19, 2018.
Cullen’s presentation focused on outlining the MSP Institute and how it can help managed service providers (MSPs) grow their businesses. “This is where we want to train your technical people and your business people,” he said. “This is not something new to SolarWinds MSP, it's actually something that we've done for the past 12 or 13 years. It's really part of our DNA, and we do it because we want to make our customers the most successful MSPs in the world.”
He explained there are two key areas on the business side where the company sees MSPs struggling. “We want to help you over those two bumps and get you to market as quickly as possible,” Cullen said. “The first area is how to create your managed services programs and create a statement of work that aligns with those programs, as well as how to staff those programs. The second area is sales and marketing. SolarWinds MSP is a world-class sales and marketing organization, so it's really easy for us to help you with those components of your business.”
“This is going to become a big part of our website,” Cullen continued. “There’s going to be lots of great content. Our overall goal is to help make your organization successful,” he said. “This is an area we’re investing heavily in to bring you—and your employees—the training you need to for your business to be more profitable, from taking the right programs to market to having sales and marketing processes in place to thrive.”
Right now, in the current version of the institute—which can be found under the Resources section on the current website—the MSP Institute offers three elements:
“Aside from tapping into our own sales and marketing talent—including David Weeks and Stefanie Hammond—as we go forward with this, we’ll be bringing in other people, such as Tim Brown, our VP of security, who has 20 years of experience in the security industry,” said Cullen. “We'll also have somebody for Backup and then also someone for cloud, and we're going to get to the point in the new year where we'll have people that actually hold office hours. So if you have questions around a security-specific security question or a Backup question, you'll be able to call into a WebEx and discuss that as an individual—and as a group as well.”
Cullen also explained there will be a new “customer corner” where individual customers with a strong capability in a specific area will provide presentations. On top of this, there will be an industry expert corner where some of those that consult in the industry will provide content; Nick Cavalancia and Gary Pika have already contributed to this.
“Although currently housed on the main website, the MSP Institute content will be moving over to our upcoming Success Center,” added Cullen, before going on to present an overview of what this will look like and the additional things it will offer.
He concluded: “We’ll be helping your business become more profitable, by providing pricing structures from around our client base, so you know what to charge depending on where you are, as well as teaching you a lot of the sales methodologies we use… in terms of managing sales teams and what the sales process should look like. We'll even help you with compensation plans, as this can be one of the most contentious issues for MSPs.”
You can check out the MSP Institute here.
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