5 Steps to Improve Your MSP Sales
Selling your MSP’s services to new clients can be a tough gig. Especially for the less tech-savvy clients, where all managed service providers’ (MSP) suites can sound like a foreign language, it can be hard to distinguish your business from the competition.
Most MSPs are, first and foremost, service-focused organizations, with the sales and prospecting side of things often taking a backseat. Many smaller MSPs don’t even have dedicated sales teams - rather, their company owner, or a select few technicians, perform outreach to new clients.
Print Partner works with MSPs across the country, supplementing their services with our managed print services from our parent company, Green Office Partner. Based on our 14 years of industry experience, we know some of the most common hurdles MSPs must overcome to sell their services adequately.
This article will review five main steps to selling your MSP’s service suite and getting consistently positive results. While this is by no means a comprehensive sales guide, we aim to provide you with general guidance and information to get you started on fleshing out your prospecting strategy.
1. Articulate Your Service Suite in a Clear and Concise Manner
In order to sell MSP services, the first and most crucial piece of the puzzle is to be able to articulate your value proposition in a clear and concise manner.
Having your service suite memorized is only half the battle. Now, you have to communicate what you know to prospects.
Consider the “why” behind what you sell. You may have the most comprehensive backup and disaster recovery service on the market - but a less tech-savvy client may not recognize this unless you know how to talk to them.
You are not selling 1s and 0s. You are selling safety. Security. Ease of mind.
Also, consider the synergies between your offerings.
What service does one package cover that another does not? Which security package is suitable for which tier, and why?
Knowing how to supplement specific offerings with others will help you confidently cross-sell and up-sell to your customers, increasing your profitability and creating more value for them.
For more tips on improving your MSP’s profits, read: Top 6 Ways to Increase MSP Profitability in 2023
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Once you know your offerings like the back of your hand, research who resonates with what you bring to the table.
Successful businesses don’t strive to please everyone - rather, they identify their niche in the market and strive to deliver killer results to that audience.
It’s possible that you can provide fantastic results for multiple different groups - identify them, and develop packages that provide specialized support for each audience you want to satisfy.
Consider how to cater to other industries. Which service package is best for law firms? For hospitals? For schools? Etc.
To learn more about how we target different industries for print service sales, read: 5 Industries that Use the Most Print
The more market research you have at your fingertips, the easier it will be to answer your prospect's questions, allowing you to move forward with them in the sales process.
3. Craft a Focused Marketing Strategy
Once you know your target market, it’s time to find prospects. But how?
Marketing is a deep rabbit hole to venture into, and it would be impossible to explain how to develop a marketing strategy in one section of this article. But we’ll review some of the primary avenues you can take to get some eyeballs on your MSP:
- Email Campaigns: An easy way to target specific prospects. Crafting a few quippy sentences that link to your landing page can be a great way to build your client base fast.
- Social Media Posts: A free, easy way to get your name out there. Even if you only have a few followers, using platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are easy, free ways to plug your brand. And making consistent, interesting posts will allow you to gradually build up your followers and widen your client base.
- Cold-Calls, Pop-Ins, and Snail Mail: While these may seem dated, these tried-and-true outreach methods can still be effective when implemented in a strategic and focused way. However, understand that cold-calling and onsite visits are expensive and time-consuming for you and your team. Be creative with it! For example, our team performs cake walks, where we show up at prospective partners’ offices with customized cakes.
- Referral Incentives: Encouraging your existing customers to refer you to new businesses is a highly effective form of organic marketing. Prospects will trust you more if their buddy is referring them, so your chances of closing deals are higher than with traditional marketing.
- Third-Party Marketing Packages: There are agencies that offer “done-for-you” marketing campaigns (For example, check out TMT) that you can plug into your blog and social media accounts, so you don’t have to do them yourself. This can be a great solution if your team doesn’t have the time or resources to adequately handle marketing in-house.
Understand that different audiences will have varying responses to different marketing techniques. So plan to research, perform A/B testing, and complete the puzzle that is your overall marketing strategy.
4. Build Your MSP’s Credibility with Testimonials and Transparency
Nobody wants to be your guinea pig. When building a relationship with your prospect, they need to know about the excellent work you’ve done for previous clients.
Past success is often an indicator of future success - use your past wins to your advantage!
Susan Perez of Brightgauge writes, “Reliable IT services are a crucial part of any modern business, so it makes sense that any company considering your business will want to confirm your expertise before agreeing to a long-term deal.”
Perez outlines some of the primary ways you can put your expertise on full display:
- Share Personal Achievements and Experience: Let your clients know about how you’ve helped others in the past. What makes you and your team qualified to service their business?
- Provide Testimonials and Referrals from Previous Clients: Talking about yourself has its time and place, but having others offer praise is a potent sales tool. When you establish rock-solid relationships with clients, ask for referrals and testimonials from them - you can use these on future opportunities to quickly boost your credibility.
- Bring Prospects on a Tour of Your Office: Pull back the curtain, and let your prospects see your headquarters. Give them tours, introduce them to various team members, and be transparent. Being honest and open with them about your organizational structure will help build your trust and will quash any hesitation they may have for working with you.
Using these techniques, your prospects will get to know you and your MSP. Knowing where you guys came from and your current organizational structure will give them a complete understanding of what you do, making them more likely to move forward with you.
And if they decide not to move forward - no worries! After all, why would you want a client that doesn’t accept your MSP for what it is? If they don’t like what they see, your relationship was never destined to work anyway.
5. Propose Clear and Consistent MSP Agreements
You’re almost at the finish line. It’s time to seal the deal!
You’ve built a relationship with your client, and they’ve concluded that you are a credible organization.
Hit them with an offer they can’t refuse!
When presenting them with a proposal, you first need to ensure that your pricing makes sense for both you and your client. You know what your value is and what it costs to provide the services you are proposing.
You should also know your prospect’s budget - find the sweet spot that will satisfy both parties’ needs.
Also, make sure to detail the value of each service. Break down all services offered within each package.
You want your clients to know precisely what they will be paying for.
If you’ve done sufficient fact-finding during your relationship-building process, the proposal should be a sinch. There should not be any surprises.
Print Partner and Selling MSP
After reading this article, you’ll have a foundational understanding of how to find clients, build trust with them, and eventually close deals.
However, we understand that selling is a complex process that is constantly evolving, and even well-established MSPs can struggle with onboarding new clients.
Luckily, Print Partner has your back!
We partner with hundreds of MSPs throughout the United States, supplementing your IT support with top-shelf managed print services offered by our parent company, Green Office Partner.
When you work with us, you’ll be able to offer print service to your clients without changing anything about your current business model. Just make the introduction, and we’ll handle the entire sales and support process afterward. We take complete ownership of the account.
And unlike many other print vendors, we don’t offer any IT-related services that compete with MSP service suites, and we never will.
Plus, we pay you! For each referral you send our way, we’ll pay you at least $250, plus $1,000 per copier sold and 5% of the referral’s lifetime print allotment.
We pay you, we collaborate with you, and we protect you. So consider partnering with us, a Print Partner you can trust.