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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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6 Simple Mistakes That Cost IT Support Companies Business

Posted December 1, 2016by Scott Spiro

6 Simple Mistakes That Cost IT Support Companies Business.jpg

Your IT support company offers an excellent set of managed services for potential clients, but you can't seem to land as much new business as you'd expect. Why is that?

You could be unintentionally driving prospects away or missing lucrative opportunities. Whether you're looking to speed up your sales process, drive more qualified leads or develop a more profitable, loyal client base, growth in the new year is possible. You just have to get out of your own way. 

Here are 6 IT support mistakes MSPs make that push clients into the arms of their competitors. 


They Fail to Follow Up

Potential clients need to know that you'll be responsive when they need you. If you fail to respond to prospects during the sales process, they might expect the same level of service for all support-related requests. For instance, maybe they won't trust you to answer their tickets promptly. Clients can't risk waiting around when they have problems with their IT infrastructure. If this happens, they'll do business with someone else. Create a workflow that speeds up your follow-ups to separate yourself from the pack early on.

Pro tip: Before you follow up, do your due diligence and familiarize yourself with their company. Here are helpful strategies when conducting prospect research!

They Don't Pinpoint Ideal Customer Profiles

If you invest your time and resources into being a jack-of-all-trades IT support company, you won't be able to target your ideal customers properly. It's OK that the services you offer appeal to certain prospects more than others. It's actually more cost efficient to identify your target market and devote your sales and marketing efforts to these businesses, rather than trying to be everything to everyone. Looking to specialize? Check out these 4 steps to mastering your MSP vertical!

Criteria for creating an ideal buyer profile include:

  • Employee number
  • Revenue
  • IT needs
  • Vertical

Find the high-margin customers who work best for your organization, and avoid accepting projects that you can't realistically undertake. Otherwise, you could damage customer relationships and your company's reputation. If a company is obviously a poor fit for your IT support services, let them know upfront. They'll appreciate it and may refer ideal clients your way.

They Delay Identifying a Poor Fit

Your MSP client sales cycle can take months, so you shouldn't wait until the third or fourth discussion to decide that a prospect is a poor fit for your services. Nail down the qualifying questions, and list red flags so your salespeople can identify healthy and unhealthy clients from the get-go. Ideally, these potential customers will be screened out before you invest significant resources into building the relationship.

They Don't Market Key Services Well

How well do you market your MSP's key services? Use benefits-first language to let MSP clients understand the value that they're getting out of the relationship, and make sure your marketing messaging and website reflect the ways you help customers with their IT support needs.

They Target the Wrong Channels

Where are you marketing your IT support company? Do you limit yourself to your website and social media accounts, even if your customers frequent other channels? Dive into your analytics to pinpoint how superstar clients find you, and optimize those channels. You may find niche communities attract a lot of attention, or perhaps an industry blog. Don't wait for people to stumble across your website or content; get in front of prospects early in their search for IT support.

Their Pricing Model Isn't Strategic

Which factors did you consider when you set your MSP pricing? Many companies focus on being the lowest priced, and they assume they will attract more clients with budget pricing. In reality, they either end up providing poor-quality service because they have to take on too many clients to cover costs, or they get a reputation for being cheap.

Research typical costs for the market and the impression you give at each level. Know that higher prices may require you to spend more time justifying your value, but you will have a more manageable client load.

Sometimes a lack of business comes from a lot of small problems, rather than one big issue. Take the time to audit your IT support company's operations and determine whether you're leaving money on the table.


Need more help getting the word out for your company?

The-Complete-Guide-to-MSP-Marketing-eBook

Scott Spiro is founder and CEO of Computer Solutions Group, Inc. (Inc. 5000 Honoree in 2015 and 2016), author of the Amazon Top 10 Best Seller “The Business Owner’s Guide to I.T. and All Things Digital”, and sought-after speaker. Most recently in 2015, Scott was interviewed on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, the Los Angeles Times, and CBS/KCAL Channel 9 Los Angeles. He is also recurring Tech Expert on KTLA Channel 5 in LA.

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