Keeping up the margins for IT managed services providers is getting harder and harder. The competition is catching up and while needs of the clients keeps growing, the price still seems to be dropping - and many IT companies are making a practice of leaving money on the table. Let's look at 10 things you can fix to prevent losing money every day.
1. Having no CTAs on your site
How many MSP Blogs have great content but nothing to do? Even if the prospect likes the content; that’s a dead end. There are no next-steps or call to action; no way to download something or move further into a workshop or webinar or launch a module and learn.
$$$ - invest in having visitors and do not convert leads
2. Talking about how cool you are
The website should be about the clients and how they can benefit rather than descriptions of ourselves, especially on the main page. You have to grab their attention and quickly engage them. Focus on talking about their IT problems, issues and challenges and the potential solutions.
$$$ - lower conversion rate on your site
3. Talking about IT
IT talk is for IT people. Business people are looking for business talk. If you are talking about Office 365, or Virtualization or the Cloud, you are going to lose their interest. Talking about margins, productivity, process management and salesforce automation is how to keep the attention of your prospects.
$$$ - lack of differentiation puts you in the herd
4. Offering consultation on the first page
Very few visitors will be engaged enough on the first page to book a meeting with you. They are probably open for discovering solutions to their issues and reading informative content. Only then should you move toward getting their email address. First nurture the relationship - after this is established you can start talking about a potential appointment for a meeting.
$$$ - feels too salesy or pushy
5. Pushing the Network Assessment
In the good old days, prospects were begging for the Technology Assessment, and you were even able to charge for it. Now, however, most IT systems are robust and the assessment is no longer required, so making that in the central feature of the sales process can be lethal.
$$$ - not closing deals
6. Having only one service package
Yes, in 2008 there was only one iPhone - now you can buy three sizes in four colors. Client expectation is rising as the industry matures. Limiting your prospects’ choice to one offering is preventing your them from becoming clients.
$$$ - not closing deals
7. Building the Virtual CIO into the MSP packaging
The surest way to squander the potential of the Virtual CIO revenue stream is to bundle it together with the MSP package. It downplays the value of the Virtual CIO to just a tech advisor doing tech roadmaps and warranty notifications, instead of capturing the opportunity to maximize their competitive edge.
$$$ - eliminate margins and give free advise
8. Developing Virtual CIO practices in-house
Development of Virtual CIO service offerings requires strong management skills as well as a lot of trial and error to get it just right for the specific instance. Developing it in house eats up the time of valuable resources and can lead to dissatisfied customers during the development phase.
$$$ - huge internal cost and time investment
9. Executing Virtual CIO without structured processes
Executing Virtual CIO activities without repeatable processes requires highly skilled people who, even if they can be found, will be asking for a fee. Teach one smart person the vCIO processes and give them tools to help them to deliver value to your clients in a profitable and scalable way.
$$$ - no margin for vCIO services
10. If it's not broken, din't fix it
This is an adage that is misapplied to this industry. It is misguided to think nothing has changed and there is no sense of urgency around this change. Complacency has brought down many large, otherwise successful organizations in the past. Taking commoditization lightly can cost you your entire enterprise in the end. Take advantage of this new standard and turn your organization in the right direction, fast.
$$$ - fix a broken business model instead of changing it
The MSP 2.0 movement is catching fire and re-energize the commoditization of traditional MSP services. The traditional MSP marketplace has changed a lot, and without proper strategy and actions it can damage any IT service provider.
Take action and learn more about the MSP 2.0 movement.