6 Steps To A Winning Managed Services Proposal [With Examples]

Robin Robins IT Managed Services, Managed Services, Technology Marketing

Your prospect requests a managed services proposal, but you haven’t sealed the deal just yet. Companies vetting managed services providers typically collect and compare proposals before making a decision. What you include in your managed services proposal can make or break the sale, so your IT services firm must stand out.

6 Managed Services Proposal Must-Haves

The managed services proposal is the most pivotal phase of the sales process.

At Technology Marketing Toolkit, we’ve helped more than 8,000 managed services providers build a steady stream of monthly recurring revenue.

Through testing and iterating managed services proposals, we’ve devised a foolproof plan for cutting through prospect doubts and earning the sale.

So here are six proven must-haves for your managed services proposal:

1. Proprietary Notice And Non-Disclosure Statement

Cover your bases with a non-disclosure agreement.

Confirm that the information in the proposal is under an exclusive, perpetual non-disclosure agreement and contains proprietary information. Include language that the proposal cannot be copied, transmitted, excerpted or communicated to anyone without the prior written consent of your company.

But remember, non-disclosure statements are void if:

  • The prospect knew the information before signing an agreement
  • The information is common knowledge or public information
  • Information can be subpoenaed

2. Managed Services Overview

This is where most IT services firms miss the mark with their managed services proposals. They focus solely on the literal services the prospect will receive and gloss over the real benefits.

Before delving into the specifics of your IT services offering, set the tone with a value-based overview. Address the prospect’s goals and concerns, and tie those to the value of your managed services.

Cover these three areas in your managed services overview:

The Purpose Of Your Service

What’s the overall goal of your managed services? Use language that reinforces the benefits to the prospect.

For instance:This service is designed to dramatically reduce or eliminate computer problems in your business while maximizing your network’s speed, performance and stability, without the expense of a full-time IT staff.

Unlike other computer consultants who profit from the failures in your IT environment, our purpose is to PREVENT computer problems from escalating into unexpected downtime, data loss, interruptions in business and financial loss. Make it known that your company cannot profit from the prospect’s technology issues to quell any concerns.

Who Your Managed Services Are Ideal For

Use this section as an opportunity to connect with the prospect’s pain points and show you understand their challenges.

Here are some ideas for your managed services proposal:This program is ideal for business owners who:

  • Need their computer network, email, database and Internet access up and running 24/7/365 without problems.
  • Value the security of their data and want to do everything possible to prevent loss, corruption or theft.
  • Want to maximize the speed, availability and performance of their network.

The Advantages Of Your Managed Services

Don’t assume the reader will automatically know why your service benefits him/her. For Technology Marketing Toolkit clients, we dedicate an entire page to highlighting the benefits of managed services.

Make the benefits unique to your service offering to stand out from competitors.

Here are a few examples to inspire your managed services proposal:

  • Avoid expensive repairs and recovery costs.
  • Experience faster performance, fewer glitches and practically zero downtime.
  • Feel as though you have an in-house IT department — without the costs.
  • Receive substantial discounts on IT services that you’re already buying.

3. Service Levels And Pricing

The next section gets into the nitty-gritty of your service offering.

When mapping out this section, remember that people like options. Tiered managed services options allow prospects to select the best service for their business — not force-fit a solution to work for them.

So offering choices dramatically increases the chances of winning over a prospect. Premium packages also give your IT services firm the potential for higher profit margins.

In your managed services proposal, make sure to outline the differences among the three levels of service (for instance, Silver, Gold and Platinum). Get detailed about the who, what, when and price for each level.

For example, say you offer a monthly network “tune up” as part of your baseline managed services offering. Here’s how you could position that aspect of your service:Every month (when) a technician (who) will come onsite and conduct a thorough audit (what) and tune up of your network to:

  • Review and update available security patches
  • Check the status of Anti-Virus Clients
  • Test peripherals, such as UPS(s)
  • Perform a full data restore to ensure back-ups are functioning properly
  • Review hard drive space, memory, CPU utilization
  • Evaluate network documentation and make changes as necessary
  • Review routers, firewalls, switches for failure or problems
  • Optimize server for maximum performance and reliability
  • Review and install operating system updates
  • Test backup and restore data
  • In-depth review of server logs for errors and potential problems
  • Add and remove users

Bonus Tip: Include a convincing IT services guarantee to overcome potential sales objections.

4. Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t let customer questions hold up the sales process. Address them head-on in the managed services proposal so prospects have all the information they need to make an informed decision.

For example, some questions a managed services prospect might ask are:

  • If I sign up for this program, what is my commitment?
  • Are new hardware and software installation costs covered under this agreement?
  • Will you guarantee that I won’t have any technical problems or downtime?

Withholding information in the managed services proposal is never a smart idea. So lay everything out on the table, and the prospect will reward you for it.

Related Content: 1 Secret To Closing More Managed Services Contracts

5. Customer Proof

Real customer reviews and testimonials carry more weight than any other factor in the purchase journey. In fact, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

At this point in the proposal, the prospect might be thinking your managed services are too good to be true. So including customer reviews (with names) in your managed services proposal will quell their doubts and validate that your services truly help customers like them.

Don’t have customer reviews? Use this Google Reviews tactic to garner more positive testimonials.

Related Content: IT Services Referral Marketing: How To Get Your Customers To Sell For You

6. Free Offer To Get Started

Jumping into a managed services agreement is overwhelming. So you should offer prospects something of value in the proposal to earn their trust and qualm their fears about entrusting a managed services provider to manage their network.

For example, as part of the Technology Marketing Toolkit, we offer prospects a free network audit to jumpstart the engagement. The audit is risk-free to the prospect and exposes potential issues lurking beneath the surface. You get the chance to demonstrate your IT expertise and immediately prove your worth by identifying loopholes or areas for improvement.

Once you’ve delivered the free audit (or some other free, valuable service), prospects will feel much more confident working with you long-term.

Need more help increasing sales for your IT services business? Our Toolkit For MSPs is specifically designed to help VARs, MSPs, and IT consulting firms effectively sell and market IT services. Learn more here.