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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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Should MSPs Bundle BDR in Their Managed Services Solution?

Posted June 10, 2016by David Walter

Sometimes MSPs can learn from the sales and marketing efforts of other industries, such as the fast food industry. Once these establishments determined that selling all items a la carte was leading to losses, they reinvented themselves by offering combo meals, which led to a significant turnaround in profits. So how can you leverage this and apply it to your services? Read on to learn how to make profits boom by bundling backup and disaster recovery (BDR) services into your IT solution!

 

Combo on the IT Menu

Let's compare restaurants with MSPs for a moment. Most people don't just buy a burger for lunch (what's a burger without fries?). If the restaurant sells just individual items, it misses out on opportunities to convince customers they can get all their food items in one place instead of searching for a drink or other choices down the road. 

Creating a meal deal provides better value that patrons appreciate, since they may not have time to drive around to other places on their lunch hour. When MSPs try to sell each service separately, they too, miss out on offering the simple all-in-one package, which is why bundling BDR into your managed IT services solution is like the combo meal of the IT industry.

Sample Package

  • IT management

  • BDR with backup servers in remote locations

  • Continuous server monitoring

  • Security software maintenance

  • Hardware and software recommendations and installation

  • Cloud-based solutions

  • Electronic communication

  • Internet marketing - looking for help with this? Check out MSP SEO Factory

  • Additional options

  

Turnkey Solutions

Bundling is a strategic sales and marketing tactic that offers two or more services as a packaged deal, allowing you to provide clients with an all-in-one solution at a set price. The fast food analogy is just one way to look at the benefits of bundling IT services instead of selling individual items one at a time. Your goal as an MSP should be to simplify your packages in a way that saves your clients time and money, which will help your business earn more money. In doing this, you will also build better relations with clients, as they will view your services as a turnkey solution instead of just one piece of the puzzle in their search for IT specialists.

When you offer BDR as part of your IT solution package, you'll be the hero that relieves clients of security concerns, helping you differentiate your services from the local MSP competition. Every business needs to be completely prepared for emergencies such as power failures, security breaches, data loss or other disasters that could damage your accounts and credibility. Including BDR as part of your IT services ensures the safety of your clients’ precious data in any disaster situation, giving you a competitive advantage in the search for a turnkey solution.

 

Sell Complete Pizzas, Not Half-Baked Slices

Selling managed services without BDR is like selling pizza without tomato sauce and saying, "sorry, but we only sell dough, cheese and pepperoni and you'll have to redo the whole pizza yourself once you find someone else who sells tomato sauce." The point is, a pizza has layers created in a certain order. In the same way, businesses prioritize the data protection BDR gives them, putting backup policies and practices in place before loading their servers with data and expanding their IT infrastructure. BDR is like an insurance policy with built-in steps to follow should technical problems slow down your business. It creates a sense of comfort instead of the eerie feeling that something major is missing from the equation.

MSP Marketing Tips for Bundling

  • First, demonstrate that you can communicate clearly to non-technical clients

  • Show the client a brief video that summarizes how you help businesses

  • Take the mystery out of backup and recovery and explain disaster scenarios

  • Emphasize limited downtime due to preparedness

  • Discuss services and benefits unique from other MSPs

  • Offer customized bundling to fit client needs

 

Value of Security

Some MSPs might worry that bundling deters sales by reducing customers' choices. But the truth is, as with fast food, offering convenience is crucial to branding and developing a loyal following. Would you even think about selling shoes without laces, or bicycles without brakes? You certainly wouldn't want to sell cars without seat belts. By bundling BDR in a managed IT services agreement, clients may have reduced choices, but they will get greater value out of your offering, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

 

Win-Win Pricing

Raising the price slightly to include BDR isn't going to hurt the sale in most cases, since every business needs to be prepared for disaster. What hurts the sale is failing to establish the business need for a business continuity solution. When you offer protection against downtime and other technical breakdowns, it's a win-win situation for you and your client. You capitalize on a new revenue stream and opportunity to create stickier clients, and they maximize uptime and in turn, productivity and profitability. You want to market a solution that reflects your firm's skills and experience, right? Some decision makers might be skeptical of your expertise if you don't offer BDR, which is why it's essential to include it.

In order to maximize their margins, many MSPs leverage multiple pricing and packaging strategies. According to a recent survey commissioned with Spiceworks, 75 percent of MSPs favor bundling their IT services, rather than using an a la carte approach. For a deeper look into today’s leading MSP pricing and packaging strategies, check out our Pricing Profitably eBook!

 

The Secret Sauce to Your MSP Bundle

Offering BDR is just one example of how you can transform your MSP practice into a one-stop IT shop, enabling you to be your clients’ virtual CIO and strategic advisor. How can you further solidify your role as their BDR expert? One way is to run DR tests and IT fire drills. The extra attention to detail and reliability of an all-in-one solution is what will give your MSP services a one-up over your competition.

 

Conclusion

MSP marketing is all about convincing businesses that your team can offer trusted technology advice and maintenance. For true end-to-end management with your manged IT services bundle, consider looking for an IT management platform that not only includes BDR services, but also bundles proactive remote monitoring and management (RMM), 24x7x365 data protection, an IT help desk and more. The more value you can add to your package, the more word will spread that you are an asset to the IT business community!

 

Business-Continuity-the-MSPs-guide-to-backup-and-disaster-recovery

David has 16 years of experience in MSP marketing support for the IT industry, including his current position as Marketing Director at MSP SEO Factory. He also speaks at IT marketing trade shows, is a sales trainer for major IT companies, and is a published author of his latest book 'Stratospheric Marketing Secrets'.

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