In several of my seminars, I often ask people what is marketing supposed to do for your MSP?
Usually, they’ll say things like “To get our name out there” or “To build a brand or generate awareness.”
But I don’t think marketing should do any of that. My type of marketing is about generating results because marketing should facilitate and accelerate the sales process by attracting right-fit prospects, pre-selling them, and predisposing them to do business with you.
Sales and marketing are not two entirely separate functions. Instead, they should work together. Marketing is the beginning of the sales process.
When you go knock on doors and try to get people to outsource to you, the truth is they most likely already have an I.T. person or an I.T. company. So you have to think of your strategic play because most people do not think about it that way. They have the bare minimum marketing in place, but nothing that is unlike anything the average Joe off the street is doing. That’s what I call the vulture marketing plan, which is you wait for something to die in front of you like another MSP screws up and they die, a server goes down or something else, and the prospect is desperate, so they reach out to a bunch of people.
We surveyed 1700 plus MSPs, and we asked them how many leads they generate in a month.
So basically, you’re waiting for something to die, and then you jump on the carcass and peck at it with all the other vultures. That is not the best way to run a marketing plan.
Unfortunately, this is how most MSPs operate. 75% are yielding less than one lead per month. I mean, think about that now. There are two main problems I see with that:
- Pretty obvious, but they are getting NO leads.
- When you don’t get a lot of leads coming in, you get horribly ineffective at closing sales because you don’t get practice.
I currently run a sales and MSP Champion Sales Accountability Group where we build playbooks. There are about 50 people in this group, different MSPs. We talk about specifically how they close sales, overcome objections, confirm appointments, and the thing that many of them are struggling with is they’re not getting enough leads.
So even though you know how to close a sale, you’re not going to be good at that unless you get to practice.
If you don’t get good practice, you often end up selling out on price because you don’t have a presentation plan or a sales playbook to close a sale. Unfortunately, that’s the reality. You can’t confidently hire new techs because you get into this feast or famine mentality.
They could use the help but can’t afford to hire someone new because profitability goes down the minute they hire that person. They don’t have the business quite yet to cover the salary they would have to pay the new hire. So you want to get your sales and marketing dialed in because if you know you’re going to add two customers a month and you can trust your marketing to deliver that, you can get ahead of hiring because the money will be there. You don’t have to wait until you’re so desperate, underwater, and buried that you basically will hire the first person who could fog a mirror. The other downside is that you’ve got a new person, and now you’re trying to onboard them, which is like laying the track in front of the train as you’re rolling along- very difficult.
A scenario I like to play out for my clients is imagining losing their best customer. It could represent 40%, 30%, or even 80% of their revenue, and they’re not in a long-term contract, so they cancel next month. So they’re out, and they’re still holding all the licenses for the software. They still have all the engineers and techs, and you have all that overhead, and you don’t have any marketing systems to replace that income quickly. Which leaves you hurting for a while, going into debt, or you have to lay people off.
So bottom line, if you want to grow your business and be consistent, you’ve got to have a marketing plan in place.
It’s just as simple as that. And you got to have a way of bringing in clients consistently, predictably, and cost-effectively.