Referrals Won’t Sustain Your MSP Business

Referral business might be the “easiest to close”, but it’s the hardest to come by. And relying on your customers to introduce you to new opportunities is unreliable.

MSPs need consistent, reliable sources of revenue to survive and thrive.

Even though more scalable methods appear difficult to navigate, and might not yield the same conversion rates as referral business, they’re necessary, and extremely valuable once you’ve mastered them. By fine-tuning sales approaches, several of our franchise clients have closed six-figure deals after only a handful of emails and calls.

And they continue to do it month-over-month.

This article will leave you with a few tips on how to see results from some other growth vehicles you either haven’t tried, or have tried and haven’t quite seen the results you’re looking for.

1. Take Stock of Your Real Competitive Advantages

Many companies now outsource a considerable portion of their daily IT responsibilities, and while there are subtleties and nuances, many MSP offerings are similar across the board (VoIP, cloud, network security, etc.)

So, leading with figures like 99% uptime or “we pride ourselves on customer service” doesn’t cut it anymore. What company will say “oh, well our customer service is subpar!” or “we hover around 80% uptime.”

Technical competency has already eaten most of those businesses alive, and as a result, prospects need more to be “wow-ed”.

Lead with case-studies or huge successes. Pinpoint what components lead to those victories and take the time to structure and share them in a compelling way.

2. Do Your D*mn Research

Understanding what’s important to your prospects takes considerable time and research, but the ROI speaks for itself. There’s no sense in building a pitch deck around about up-time when their current vendor already has them humming at 99% plus.

However, if your campaign revolves around customer service when they’ve suffered quality issues with vendors, you’re on your way to turning heads.

Get to the bottom of why the prospect decided to meet with you. What’s missing from their current service? What are they looking for in a new one? The sooner you can uncover their motivation for changing things up, the sooner you can evaluate whether or not your services align with what they need.

3. Be Compelling–Stand Out in a Commoditized Space

Whether you’re launching ads, engaging via social media, or sending emails, staying “feature-first” in a crowded space doesn’t cut it.

Stories and quality testimonials are gold in the MSP space.

Through stories, prospects can learn everything they need to know about your company–it beats chewing through a laundry list of services that look nearly identical to many other options they’re evaluating.

How are you going to stand out?

Tell Your Story

Maybe one of your founders did network security for the government or served doing ops work overseas. That information is rooted in points that make your business more human, more valuable, but maybe most importantly, memorable to someone who’s already trudged through 20 MSPs screenings in the past week.

Stories humanize you and your business, so do some digging and lead with what makes you different.

4. Outsource your Business Development Efforts

You might have an entire team who does VoIP installs in their sleep, but when it comes to articulating what makes their company better than the one down the street, they’re at a loss for words.

Instead of blowing your budget staffing out an entire marketing team, look to qualified vendors who, are not only much more cost-effective, but will take the time to understand your business, clearly communicate your value, and get you new customers.

If you’re unfamiliar with the landscape, deciding on the right business development vehicle can be overwhelming, but with the right tools, it’s a lot easier.

Referral business is nice when it happens, but you can’t rely on it–it’s too unpredictable. Use these tools to help you solidify more predictable, scalable resources of revenue.

Sapper supports over 50 MSPs across the United States, having generated 1000s of meetings, over 75% of which have resulted in next steps.

If you’re looking for new ways to streamline your pipeline, meet with us.

Ryan Myers

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