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 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 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
16 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: MSP IT Account Management IT Client Engagement QBR
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
3 min read

How to transition to High-Value Business Partners during the recession

By Denes Purnhauser on Mar 25, 2020

The narrative is about to change now. With the recession coming only high-value and proven partnerships are going to last. All fat is going to be on the chopping block. High-value strategic relationships with technology providers will be critical for all organizations. In this blog I teamed up with Rich Anderson to probe some thoughts on the opportunities and conduct a practical walkthrough with inspiration on how to actually do it.

Topics: IT Client Engagement Strategic Leadership Win New Clients Technical Account Manager
4 min read

Times Are Tough, We Hope These Changes Help

By Denes Purnhauser on Mar 25, 2020

We are currently living through a period of uncertainty we'll never forget. We are going to go through this together. Like many of you, we are trying to do what we can to help our customers and the larger community navigate this challenging time. Here are details on plans that will hopefully help, as well as a sincere ask from us for your input on what more we could do.

We are adding free tools, upgrades, solution sets, partner help, new functions, community access and self-help materials to help you to recession proof your MSP! Here are the details
Topics: Managed Services Platform
2 min read

Remote Work Readiness Insights from MSPs

By Myles Olson on Mar 18, 2020

Thoughts from our Covid-19 Remote Work Readiness Webinars

We're certainly living in unprecedented times right now. With many businesses looking to stay productive while sending staff home to work, there's never been a time when technology has been so crucial to the economy. Now is the time for MSPs and IT Solutions Providers to leadership with technology solutions that will save their clients

Topics: IT Client Engagement Win New Clients
7 min read

How to guide your clients with remote work Technology Solutions

By Denes Purnhauser on Mar 17, 2020

Communication is everything now. You can leverage two tools to communicate clearly your clients and prospect's readiness for remote work. A COVID-19 Remote Work Readiness Audit and a COVID-19 Remote Work Readiness Self Assessment help regain your relevance to your clients and prospects. Demonstrate clarity, direction and professionalism with clear communication.

6 min read

Why the better MSPs work the less perceived value they have

By Denes Purnhauser on Mar 10, 2020

For a while after our session with Sea-Level something was bugging me. We pondered a conundrum in this seminar: why can’t MSPs not become the victim of their own success? Why does a smooth service have to lead to disengaged clients? How can the MSP remain the hero not justhen the client has problems in their day-to-day operation but even when those problems are gone and the technology just works, and they stop noticing the value of the services? 

After many 1-1 discussions we came up with an answer. The issue comes into clear view from a distant overhead, as does the solution. Now having been able to create a model that explains the problems, the solution is far less difficult to manage.

We are going to break down the problem into 3 stages each with a brief explanation.

Topics: vCIO IT Account Management IT Client Engagement Technical Account Manager
2 min read

Why your meetings suck

By Adam Walter on Mar 3, 2020

Imagine sitting in an operational meeting with your accountant. They are telling you about reconciliation and collecting receipts. They then tell you how many transactions took place and where they need clarification on spend.  Bored yet? I am typing this and I am bored

This is how your clients feel when attending your quarterly or monthly operational meetings on connectwise tickets. The SLAs and project status are important to YOU and they are kind of important to the business but the method in which you are portraying information is wrong.  How do I know this? I have been an IT professional for over 20 years. Today many clients will ask me to sit in on meetings with their MSPs to help them understand what is going on. It truly is horrible, clients have just accepted that this is the way things are.

Lets go a bit darker now. The truly sad part is that even the account manager and techs are bored in these meetings. They are viewed as a necessary evil because someone told them that a MSP best practice is to meet with the client on a regular basis and give status updates. So here you are, in another boring meeting, wishing that it were time to leave. 

“Everyone is miserable but you keep moving forward 
because it is what you are supposed to do.” 

Now lets flip the tables for a second, that is right, just grab the top and flip the whole thing over. Screw what you are supposed to do, let's talk about what you want to do. 

Topics: vCIO Adam Walter
4 min read

5 Practical Ways MSPs Can Prevent Churn

By Denes Purnhauser on Feb 25, 2020

We asked last week during our webinar with Sea-Level Operations: What are the symptoms of Account Management debt? Low perceived value,  communication breakdown, and churn were included in 100% of the responses. Most interestingly 77% of the time churn was mentioned without prompting. During the session we analyzed this situation and identified the crucial methods to prevent potential churn. We are going to highlight the 5 major activities Account Managers can do to accomplish this.

Topics: IT Client Engagement Sea-Level Operations
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