Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
When reviewing a gap analysis with a client, we often come off as the person on a terrible first date. Instead of conversing with our clients, we sit down and point out all the wrong or missing things. No one wants a date like that, and your clients are no exception.
A poor approach to gap analysis can hurt your business and the relationship you are trying to build with your customers. Of course, you need to do a gap analysis for your clients. It’s part of what helps you understand the goals of their business and how you can help. However, if you can’t align your findings with the needs and values of your client, you’ll find yourself getting nowhere. When approaching your client with your analysis, it’s not your thorough, super detailed report that will catch their attention. It’s understanding your client and the value you bring to the table. When your clients come to the same understanding, you stop becoming a nag with the same repetitive concerns. You become a partner and an asset.
Talk to your clients about their business. Make it a point to understand what aspects of your gap analysis are most valuable to their operation. You may have a lengthy list of items that need to be addressed, but not all of them are things your client will care about. Let them know how your gap analysis helps them run their organization and generate profit. When you take the time and effort to have a conversation with your customers, you start to build trust, which will, in turn, open up more opportunities for you!
There will be gaps that your clients will not understand. This is not a foreign concept to those of us in the IT world. We have language and lingo that a layperson does not use. While this can be a challenge, you should take this as an opportunity to showcase what you have learned about their business and how your gap analysis pertains to their success. Educate them as to why your services are needed. Prioritize the things that are most important to them. This is not you being a salesperson. It allows for a customer-led strategy! Your customers have the chance to do the work for you by prioritizing what risks need the most attention. Then let them know what future steps you can take to improve things in the future. It’s a win-win scenario!
Remember, you do not know every gap in your customer’s portfolio. When a client seeks your services, you are often given a small window of insight that usually only pertains to IT. Make an effort to build rapport. It will help you prioritize the gaps that need the most attention, and your client will start to trust you to make decisions. Again, this allows you more opportunities to expand your services and build a business relationship that can last decades.
Gap analysis doesn’t have to be boring and repetitive. Use it as a tool to strengthen your business relationships and turn them into a profit!
2 min read
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
2 min read
Okay, you just exchanged business cards with the owner of an accounting firm during a chamber event.
He said, “Sure, let’s plan on meeting some time over the next 2 weeks.”
Awesome! You left the event with a qualified lead! Plus, he agreed to meet and he already shook your hand.
The problem, because we all know it’s never that easy, is that there’s a delay. You couldn’t ask him much of anything, and nevermind describing what makes your MSP unique.
There’s no set date for the appointment, and who knows, he may bump into a competitor or research online in the next 10 days!
So, what do we do now?
6 min read
One of the most under-appreciated success factors of an MSP is its capacity to develop services. We’re the purveyors of Managed Services; there are hundreds in the repertoire of any given MSP. This keeps us busy - going from concept to a product that can be sold and delivered is a long road. While product based companies have a process for product development, we service companies too often overlook the value in this powerful business practice, where all our innovation, differentiation, profitability and growth can be formulated in advance.
The trend of fragmentation in services - into verticals, delivery tools, integrations - just multiplies the need for planned process.
The usual development process for managed services providers is to do a project - develop something that solves a problem for (and with) a specific client and standardize it later. This can lead to long term future revenue, but without a clear process mixing up service development and the real revenue generating activity of the company will not only kill our internal productivity, but likely our relationship with the client, if everything they see is always in beta testing.
Let’s identify some basics to ensure our process is better than the average and pull ahead of the competition.
10 min read
The Virtual CIO phenomenon is not new, yet the promises of the role have not been realized across the industry. Some mature MSPs who believe they have a functioning Virtual CIO practice, on closer inspection, still show challenges with delivery, scalability and profitability.
While we could go in depth to identify the root of these problems, instead here we'll highlight the twelve most common mistakes MSPs make with their vCIO. At the end of this article there is a questionnaire where you can measure yourself against other MSPs.
#update - We released this blog a year ago. This is an updated version covering the latest developments. It seems that the MSP 2.0 community was able to solve most of the issues during the last year. These mistakes now can be prevented. It has been a long year, for sure... :-)
5 min read
We’ve been talking about the 4+1 Website Sins Preventing MSPs from getting more MSP leads. Many of you are asking, "Okay. I know our MSP website doesn’t generate leads like we wish it did, but we don’t have the money and time to re-work it, so what do you suggest?"
Here we describe a process to add elements to your current MSP website in under 60 minutes and generate leads.
1 min read
Denes and Myles discuss the top, middle and bottom of the MSP marketing funnel and how it relates to the buyer's journey through your marketing process. Understand what type of marketing works at the different levels. Follow these steps to learn how to define your buyer-personas so your marketing efforts directly target your ideal customers.
7 min read
After talking with dozens of IT managed services providers and analyzing more than 500 MSP websites, we have a pretty clear understanding why the online marketing of MSPs has been broken. If you are reliably and predictably generating the right leads then you can skip this - just check the short MSP website grader at the bottom. Otherwise stay tuned and read this short article.
Before we start, we need to establish one thing: "Clients we desire do not have IT problems anymore."
If they have visible IT problems, they are not good for us. Why? Well, if in 2015 a potential client has not been able to find someone who can take care of their basic IT needs we have to watch out. They either have not been able to or have not wanted to spend on IT.
Our best customers are the ones who understand IT and want more services because they think technology can deliver value to them.
The only way we’ll see qualifying prospects with visible IT problems in a given department is when the IT provider has been dropping the ball continually, and we all know this is happening less and less frequently.
Most potential clients have solved the MSP 1.0 problems: infrastructure, networks, devices, virtualization, and some cloud. We need those people because they want to move forward. These are our "best potential clients." Unfortunately, they have solved the traditional problems with someone else, but that does not dictate that they have to continue to solve their next challenges without us.
If we agree on this, we can now start analyzing why our current websites are not working.
7 min read
The virtual CIO phenomenon is not new, yet the promises of the role have not been realized across the industry. Some mature IT managed services providers who believe they have a functioning vCIO practice, on closer inspection, still show challenges with delivery, scalability and profitability.
While we could go in depth to identify the root of these problems, instead here we'll highlight the twelve most common mistakes MSPs make with their vCIO. At the end of this article there is a questionnaire where you can measure yourself against other IT companies.
3 min read
Let’s begin with what makes inbound marketing great in general. It draws your target audience to you, so you don’t have to go to them. You become a trusted authority on your subject matter in your market. The concept is simple but there are some key points I see people often overlook.
First and most important to remember when you’re building your inbound marketing campaign is that you need to be continually adding to the content your audience is looking for. Your MSP’s clients are out there right now trying to find ways to make their businesses more efficient for less money.
If you’re not providing them the information they’re looking for, your competition will. Even if they aren’t actively shopping around for your services they are seeing articles, blog posting, and comments on their social media feeds. There’s a good chance you’re reading this right now because you saw it in your LinkedIn news feed. This is how inbound works..