Our latest webinar, run by Aris Demosthenous, takes an in-depth look at how and why you need to really understand your target audience and provides you with a range of key strategies and insights to do this. The following is an excerpt to give you a taste of what you’ll learn…
Having consulted and worked with over 1,500 managed service providers (MSPs) one-on-one, I can tell you with confidence the MSPs that both understand who they are selling to and why—and then actually inject that knowledge into their growth plan on a daily basis—end up growing the fastest. They have more successful sales motions and higher close ratios because the messages they are delivering are the messages that their prospects want to hear. For this reason, they tend to end up with happier customers that cause them fewer headaches down the road because they have sold them exactly what they wanted and needed in the first place.
The first thing to understand is that all managed services prospects share a few characteristics.
They are reliant on their network being available in order to be productive on a day-to-day basis, and will usually let you know when it goes down. If they happen to be in a break/fix engagement with you, these are the guys that get frustrated if you can’t be there for them almost immediately. At this stage, they are probably starting to wish there was a better way to handle their issues as they arise!
On top of this, they are typically non-technical buyers and don’t have any internal IT staff to lean on for information, either. Although they will understand that they have certain uptime and security needs, they will typically not understand their options and will need guidance and advice. This is your opportunity to gain their trust and position yourself to make the sale.
The one thing your prospects struggle with the most is identifying their IT costs properly. They may simply tally up the accounts payable to you and other IT providers in a given year and call that their IT cost but, the truth is, they don’t really understand the impact IT issues have on their bottom line. This is an opportunity for you to become a trusted advisor and provide them with real value, which will go a long way when asking for their business.
While they may share most or all of these characteristics, they are not all ready to purchase your fully managed program. If you are hearing things like, “I need to be able to budget for IT,” then they are in fact ready to buy that program from you. If the message you are hearing is, “I’m not ready to invest in IT,” then you are likely looking at a break/fix or block customer unless you can show them that their business really does need to invest in IT. Similarly, if you are hearing that, they are “in need of a very particular thing right now,” they are likely an à la carte customer, and if you are hearing that they are looking for someone to help keep their network up and running, then they are likely looking for a proactive program.
Here’s a quick guide to what services will suit specific business needs:
If you know whom you are targeting and what their needs are, you know the right tools to use. This will help you attract the right prospects with your messaging in a way that aligns to your goals as a company. That being said, no plan is foolproof, so make sure you do a great job listening to your prospect and put them in the right bucket the first time. Trying to force them into something they are just not ready for will result in a failed sale and likely push that prospect away from you enough that they are unwilling to listen to you again in the future. After all, you didn’t listen to them, so why should they listen to you?
If you want to understand more about how to refine and target your sales strategy, check out our latest webinar by clicking here.
Aris Demosthenous is training content manager at SolarWinds MSP
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