3 min read

What to ask from executives on a QBR?

By Denes Purnhauser on Sep 23, 2020

Most MSPs enjoy great personal relationships with office managers and technical contact people because of their regular work together. As executives are not part of the operation it is very important to know them better, understand them better and build strong relationships with them through the only touchpoint you have: Quarterly Business Reviews.

In this article, we check the 8 most important areas you can cover with your executives to get more engagement.

7 min read

The reason why QBRs are not repeteable

By Denes Purnhauser on Sep 14, 2020

If you’re an MSP doing Quarterly Business Reviews / Business Strategy Reviews / Technology Business Reviews or anything along those lines, you might have noticed a chronic hurdle: it’s impossible to wrap a process around them that has traction for more than a few quarters. Thus it’s hard to make those productive, engaging, and repeatable. The result is either an ever broken process or the owner of the MSP is stuck in these meetings and prevented from focusing on more strategic work.

Topics: Managed Services Providers QBR Quarterly Business Review
3 min read

Lessons Learned: How to thrive during uncertain times

By Adam Walter on Aug 25, 2020

Throughout the pandemic and these times of uncertainty, we’ve seen various industries defaulting to panic mode. They don’t know what to do or what’s coming next, so they hold their breath, make decisions in the moment and hope for the best. Moving from one thing to the next without strategy has left these employees increasingly tired and unmotivated. 

In the technology world, we have a phrase for this practice that we hear multiple times a day: Firefighting. Firefighting means you’re spending your day putting out one fire after, always moving to the next issue with no time to plan ahead or create solid solutions for the future.

Being stuck in this firefighting mode comes with a big problem: burnout.  Always having something to do is fun at first; it feels like you’re coming in as a hero and fixing the problem. Then reality hits. You aren’t getting anything done, you’re just bouncing around from one thing to the next and creating recurring problems.  Fortunately, there’s a way to stop this, and that’s where Lessons Learned comes in.

Topics: vCIO Managed Services Providers Strategic Leadership Adam Walter
6 min read

vCIO: The Ultimate Guide

By Denes Purnhauser on Jul 10, 2020

The vCIO or Virtual CIO (virtual chief information officer) term was popularized in the managed services industry to initially differentiate one MSP from another by adding higher-level management practices to their services.

The term has been overused and without a lack of an accepted definition, certification or agreement across the industry the term has lost its original meaning. As any MSP could claim to provide vCIO services it is no longer the main differentiator. Meanwhile, the service provided by vCIOs has become more relevant than ever.

That is why most MSPs have their own terminology for the vCIO role such as digital advisor, digital consultant, business technology advisor, and so on. 

Topics: vCIO Managed Services Providers Virtual Chief Information Officer MSP Virtual CIO CIO
6 min read

The 6 Steps of the IT Consultative Sales Process

By Denes Purnhauser on Jun 25, 2020

The currently dominant sales processes aren’t able to generate enough leads nor provide proper differentiation for MSPs. This undermines any chance for predictable growth. When they aren’t able to win new business in a predictable way, managed services providers can’t grow, develop new services, hire the ‘A’ players, develop internal processes or scale. The root problem is that the current transactional (the client is looking for an IT provider) and solution (IT Infrastructure or NIST Cybersecurity Assessments) sales models are reactionary. These methods assume that the client understands the problem and has a pretty good idea of the solution they’re looking for. These models don’t enable the managed services provider to elevate the message, educate the client about what’s important, differentiate the MSP’s offering, set proper expectations, or start a conversation without a buying intent. The IT consultative sales process does all of that and thus provides far more predictability.

Topics: Managed Services Providers IT Sales MSP IT Consultative Sales Win New Clients
9 min read

5 reasons MSPs do not have predictable IT sales

By Denes Purnhauser on Jun 18, 2020

 

If you are reading this blog, it’s likely that you’re the best managed IT service provider in town, you have the most mature offering, hire and train the best people, and have the best internal processes an MSP can imagine. However, it’s also probable that your sales are just not at the level you want them to be. You are not alone. Even the best MSPs have issues with sales. But underperformance in sales is only one symptom of the problem. The root cause is that your sales are not predictable, and this leads to all sorts of issues. Let's dig into the cause, then see what you can do, then develop a plan to make this happen!

Topics: IT Sales Person Managed Services Providers IT Consultative Sales Win New Clients
4 min read

Podcast That Bridges the Gap Between Business and Technology

By Denes Purnhauser on Jun 10, 2020

I have long been a huge podcast fan. I listen when I drive, hike or while working out, but I had trouble finding something great to share with our MSP community. I told this to Adam Walter about a year ago and he took up the challenge. Now after hearing the 7th episode of his Humanize IT podcast, I decided to put out this blog for our audience to make sure the word got out. I love this new voice and narrative about how to differentiate, how to serve and how to run an MSP of the future. He has been interviewing the most forward thinking MSP leaders about how to make IT more human, how to drive great conversations and how to deliver business value to clients.

Check out the latest episodes here. Thanks to Adam for doing this for the community!

Topics: vCIO Virtual Chief Information Officer Adam Walter Skip Ziegler
3 min read

Your web conference setup sucks (and how to fix it)

By Adam Walter on May 5, 2020

In today’s distributed workforce everyone is settling into a routine. Many, however,  haven't really put objective thought into how their presence is viewed by their clients. We are still playing by old rules: dress nice, speak clearly, have a predefined agenda. This is no longer the case, and it takes a back seat to web presence. So, for those of you who don’t want to read this whole thing, here are the 3 things you need to know.

  1. Your web setup is too casual and unprofessional.
  2. Your current setup will cost you customers in the long run.
  3. For less than the cost of a new outfit you can distinguish yourself.
Topics: vCIO IT Consultative Sales IT Client Engagement Adam Walter
15 min read

How to craft a perfect QBR Process

By Denes Purnhauser on Apr 23, 2020

 

Quarterly Business Reviews are tricky. Some clients are not engaged with your QBRs and require a different approach, some clients don't justify the time spent on a QBR every quarter, and some clients are more mature and need different reports, even some demanding complete technology roadmaps and updates...do you need a custom QBR template for each client?! If there's no one fit-for-all QBR process or template it seems that scaling Account Management and vCIO is going to be near impossible, since every client is different.

In this article we show you a method to assess the complexity of your QBR needs and the time you can afford to run those meetings. Then we introduce three different types of QBRs with all the major agenda points, and we'll show you how those QBRs look in an example.

Topics: vCIO Managed Services Providers MSP IT Account Management IT Client Engagement QBR Quarterly Business Review
4 min read

How to help executives make strategic decisions in the bathroom

By Denes Purnhauser on Apr 15, 2020

The two most prevalent trends in client engagement are the increased frequency and remote delivery of meetings. We see, however, another trend that may surprise you, and its impact is as significant in your client meetings as in your sales meetings.

The power of the traditional printed collaterals, pdf reports, and personal influence is fading from future decision-making processes. This trend shows that your client executives and prospects might be making strategic decisions sitting on the toilet….

I do not want to bury the lead. Our tool is used to prepare, deliver and follow up important client meetings. We measure engagement with shared reports and we’ve just found out that the majority of follow-up items from client meetings such as QBR Reports, Strategy Reports, and Sales Proposals are opened on mobile devices. 

This shows not just a surprising shift in engagement, attention span, information processing and decision making in general, but should send a wake-up call for every client-facing employee: the way to win deals, approve projects and upgrade contracts is not just doing the same thing in zoom.

Every account manager, vCIO and sales executive should rethink how their processes can help them succeed not just in the next 30-60 days but the years to come.

Here are 6 quick tips to think about in this new era of decision making:

Topics: vCIO IT Account Management IT Client Engagement QBR Managed Services Platform
4 min read

5 Steps to Run Effective Client Meetings Remotely!

By Myles Olson on Mar 31, 2020

Without the ability to meet in person and present your ideas, it may be difficult to keep your clients engaged in IT support services. Spending on IT may not be seen as essential when your clients are struggling. But when has technology ever been more relevant to the success of business and the economy?

How will you communicate your value and the relevance of your services or are you prepared to risk losing MRR right now?

In speaking to our members we have learned what makes a client meeting engaging while working remotely. I put together a quick guide for you outlining the most effective features they have been using in remote client meetings.

Topics: IT Client Engagement
3 min read

How We Predict the IT Industry Will Adapt to a New Crisis

By Adam Walter on Mar 25, 2020

One of the best things about IT is that we thrive on change.  Even when the world is on fire, we are at our best — we have come through for society several times over within the last 20 years alone. Our resilience and adaptability are what make our industry so valuable.  

Topics: vCIO IT Client Engagement Technical Account Manager Adam Walter
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