If your MSP business is to thrive, you need a constant flow of leads coming through your “sales pipeline.”
A lead doesn’t necessarily need to be a brand new client; it can be a new project for an existing customer or the prospect of cross-selling a new product or service to several.
The key point is to keep your “pipeline” full of new opportunities, and to do so you must be consistent in your sales and marketing efforts.
The frequency of new prospects tends to ebb and flow in all businesses, which is why it’s important to keep your marketing efforts steady though the busy times as well as the quiet. Often, prospects take some time to convert into real-life contracts and sales.
With a steady effort, some of these will hopefully come to fruition during your quieter times.
Here are three strategies to help you keep your pipeline full of opportunities:
Often, you will find yourself in situations where clients tell you about future plans for their businesses. For example, they may say they plan to recruit five new staff in May, or that they intend to revamp their website in the winter.
These are valuable pieces of information, and every one of them should be logged, so that you get back in touch with these clients at the right time.
It doesn’t matter whether you use a full CRM system for this lead tracking or just a simple system of reminders – simply getting back in touch with clients at the right time can often lead to sales.
This is such a simple strategy, and yet one which many business owners neglect. There’s nothing worse than seeing a client do business with a competitor if the work could have been yours had you been more proactive.
It requires discipline to dedicate regular time to marketing, as it’s far too easy to neglect it when your MSP is busy with daily work, especially if things are going well financially.
However, if you neglect marketing while you’re busy, you’ll find there’s been nothing maturing in the pipeline when things go quiet. Having to redouble your marketing efforts because there’s not enough business coming in means you’ve left it too late.
If you want a consistent pipeline, you need a consistent effort.
The more diverse your marketing efforts, the more chances there are for leads to enter your sales pipeline. So think of all the different ways you can generate more leads.
Firstly, network with other businesses who may be able to send clients your way. For example, a Web design firm and an MSP can often be prefect partners in sharing mutual clients.
Next, think of other ways to generate ongoing leads. By partnering with a sales specialist or lead generation company, you may be able to keep leads coming in with no effort beyond following up and converting them to sales.
If you take one thing away from this article, it should be the importance of consistency in your lead generation efforts. Landing the largest of contracts is always a triumph, but the next thing should always be waiting in that pipeline.
Don’t let it run dry.
Listen to our June webinar record where MSP guru Richard Tubb shows you how to create and develop a lead generation plan for your MSP.