Take a look around - the MSP landscape is changing and evolving. Our industry is moving faster than ever and if we’re not careful to keep up, we may miss out. 

Keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s new and what’s next is so important and something to have top of mind every day. 

For the MSP of today, it’s all about setting the right expectations and having the right conversations with your partners. 

Focus on the data

For a long time, managed service providers sold their partners on their technology offerings and the specific services they provided. The conversations were around tasks they could take on to free up some of their client’s time. 

Today, however, that conversation needs to shift towards a more significant value proposition: data. 

At the end of the day, an MSP is going to be hired to protect their partner’s data. So, however that happens, and whatever technology is used to make that happen is less important than the final result. 

Especially in today’s world, as security risks make us more and more vulnerable, partners need to rely on an MSPs expertise to keep them and their organization’s data guarded. 

Partners turn to MSPs as experts and as the ones who have the knowledge they don’t. They make assumptions based on their expectations of what an MSP is “supposed” to bring to the table. 

But if expectations aren’t managed through thorough and honest conversations, misunderstandings are bound to happen, and that’s how situations become risky. 

How to have the necessary conversations

You have to lay all the cards out on the table. If there is a disconnect between what you’re selling and what your clients think they’re buying, you’re going to have a problem. 

First of all, you may not be on the same page when it comes to pricing, because your partners may not be aware of everything that’s included in your package (or of anything that’s missing from it). 

Secondly, should anything go wrong during the length of your agreement, your partner is automatically going to assume you’re responsible for fixing it, because they believe that’s what you’ve been hired for. 

Data and security protection absolutely has to be talked about, understood from both sides, and agreed upon before an SLA is signed. A partner should understand that an MSP is going to provide the necessary steps to keep their data safe, but they will have to hold up their end of the bargain as well. 

Make sure your conversations communicate:

  • What it means for your client’s data to be secure, recoverable, and accessible
  • What your client needs to do on their end to maintain their security
  • What the ramifications will be of making changes to their SLA
  • What the exact financial investment will be and details on what it covers 

 

Help your partners make the best possible business decisions for themselves. By providing open and honest guidance, it sets you up as a trusted advisor, rather than just another vendor. Managing expectations protects all parties in the long-run.

For more about the importance of a conversation focused on data and how to sell your services to your partners, join our upcoming ConnectWise webinar, ‘The New Way to Look at Managed Services’, on March 12th at 11:00 a.m. EST. Register here.