The managed services market is growing rapidly. However, many organizations remain unfamiliar with the concept of managed services and are therefore unsure of whether they should work with a managed services provider (MSP). Selling IT services depends largely on educating the consumer about the benefits of working with an MSP, understanding their pain points, and then making a pitch that’s tailored to their unique business needs. Here’s our guide on how to sell IT services to businesses of all sizes.
The process of selling managed services will vary depending on the type of service you’re pitching and the company to which you are selling. But generally speaking, there are a few key points you should hit with every sales presentation.
1. Focus on value: Many MSPs work on a retainer or a fixed fee basis, rather than a break/fix cost structure. For a customer who is used to only paying when something breaks, an ongoing fee can feel like a big adjustment. Highlight the value your MSP will bring to the table. By proactively working with the organization, you can save their business money in the long run. Most importantly, what is your specific value proposition? What value do you and your company add to the product that is different than anyone else?
2. Tap into a pain point: Try to identify a problem that the organization may be facing and show the value your MSP solution can bring to resolve their issue. Working with a customer who is spending a boatload on traditional on-site storage? Explain to them how a cloud solution can reduce maintenance costs and provide the flexibility to work and collaborate remotely. Or maybe IT is a general sore spot for a small business owner who has no technical background: your MSP can take the burden off the company by taking over this role entirely.
3. Provide some background: One of the barriers for many MSPs is that potential customers simply don’t understand what they are selling. This is in part because there are so many managed IT services you can offer. Try to break down your complex list of services into categories or tiers, setting out the business benefits or result of each service instead of the components or technical details. If you are using a complex contract or service level agreement, go through the document piece by piece to make sure the customer is comfortable with your agreed-upon terms. Transparency will build trust and help close a sale.
4. Price your services appropriately: This is a big stumbling block for many MSPs. Overcharging or overpricing your quotes is a quick way to destroy any trust you have built with your customers. But undercharging or underpricing your quotes can lead to nightmare customers—and lead to others perceiving your services as low quality. Make sure before you go into a sales pitch that you’ve determined the fair market rate of what you plan to offer. Check out other competitors’ websites and ask customers what they can afford to budget. Whatever your price point, back it up with great service.
5. Master the cold call: A good way to get new business is to use a referral program, but cold calling is somewhat unavoidable. MSPs that master the cold call can achieve big growth—use these tips to make your sales calls go smoothly.
Learning how to educate customers, build relationships, and be transparent in your pricing and services offered can go a long way in beating the competition as an MSP.
Small business can be a tough target for MSPs. With limited resources and tight budgets, SMBs may be less likely to take a risk on working with a managed services provider. However, many small business owners also have limited IT experience, and outsourcing their managed IT services can be a big benefit for their business venture. It’s up to you as the MSP to work out how to sell IT services to small businesses in a relationship that is mutually beneficial.
These are some sales points to hit if you’re wondering how to sell IT services to small businesses:
Selling managed services to businesses starts with building a relationship. As with any conversation, asking the right questions can put you on track for a fruitful relationship that leads to a long-term sale. Ask these questions to boost your sales strategy:
These open-ended questions can help you unlock some powerful insights and start the conversation off with your potential new customer.
Interested in more sales strategies for reaching more customers and pitching your managed services? Explore our MSP Institute or contact our Sales Team for other strategies you can use to grow your business.