I'm on Robins' webinar listening to 5 MSP's (managed service providers) talk about how much business they grew in 2009 over 2008. I have clients that are doing fantastic - growth of 35-45% over 2008 in Managed Services as well.
As small businesses cost cut, outsourcing becomes important. They can't afford to hire an IT guy, but technology is incredibly integrated into businesses of all kinds today. Who is going to keep that going? You Are!
It's the right time to pitch Managed Services - that includes UC, Hosted PBX, SAAS, Managed IT, backup/data storage, et al. You just need a clear, concise message to the correct target audience.
However, you must have a sales & marketing plan that you execute on.
The other reason they are doing well is because they are continually doing Lead Generation:
- Lunch-n-Learn seminars.
- Direct mail campaigns.
- Appointment setter.
- Writing articles for chamber newsletters, etc. (Blogging too to re-purpose the content).
- JV - joint ventures for co-marketing and cross-selling.
- Social Media.
- Monthly newsletters - print and email.
Four Other Factors of Success:
- Beyond Lead Generation is a system for sales and provisioning (and hiring and onboarding both customers and employees).
- MSP's can leverage the name brand of the vendor that they are work with - Apple, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, ADTRAN. These brands can help you fill seats or get attention.
- Other things that helped were Testimonials, Referrals, and creating Raving Fans!
- Networking with other successful business people - whether at FISPA, a Master Mind Group or elsewhere. It encourages you, scares you, helps you and supports you.
The best investment you can make is in yourself - learn how to be a better salesperson, marketer, business person. What got you to this level, won't get you to the next level. To grow, you have to step outside your comfort zone. (See you in Orlando on March 22-24, 2010).