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5 min read

How to Schedule QBRs for Engagement

By Denes Purnhauser on Jan 14, 2021

Most MSPs have a hard time not only engaging executives in QBRs but even being able to sit down with clients, as they don’t see the value they add to their business. The goal of scheduling a QBR is more about selling them the process, benefits and the results so they see the value and look forward to these events.

We are going to discover the minimum requirements of scheduling an engaging session with the right people in the client’s organization. As a result you are going to get more executive level decision makers in your meetings with higher anticipation.

Topics: Managed Services Providers IT Account Management IT Client Engagement QBR Technical Account Manager Managed Services Platform
6 min read

The State of the vCIO in 2020

By Dr Peter Torbagyi on Jan 7, 2021

Every year Managed Services Platform publishes a report about the state of the vCIO. We summarize the experiences of the largest vCIO community in the world. We’re not just interested in the major trends in the technology space, but how those impacted the vCIO role and responsibilities.

Topics: vCIO Virtual CIO CIO Managed Services Platform
3 min read

Client Engagement in 2021 New Features

By Denes Purnhauser on Dec 10, 2020

At Managed Services Platform our vision has always been to turn technically heavy client meetings into engaging value added business conversations. 

2020 has brought new challenges for Account Managers and vCIOs. Client meetings became remote, the duration of sessions shrank, the topics in QBRs steadily increased and clients got very apprehensive about investing in general.

We would like to go through the upcoming new features to make sure you can solve those challenge.

Topics: Managed Services Providers IT Client Engagement NIST Cyber Security Technical Account Manager Managed Services Platform
6 min read

How to bridge the gap between cyber security technologies and business value

By Denes Purnhauser on Dec 3, 2020

The borders of the network have disappeared, and people have moved out of the office with minimal focus on securing their remote environment. Ransomware events are increasing in both frequency and amounts demanded. Compliance and certification is getting more focus as governments move to support cyber security initiatives. The news is full of talk about security concerns. 

Despite all the trends favouring cyber security related services, the gap is still growing between the real value of cyber security Services and their perceived business value. 

In this article we go after why MSPs still seem to be struggling to articulate the business value of higher cyber security standards, creating proper business development plans and capturing the market opportunity. That leads to all kinds of problems for clients, including not being protected. Bad executive decisions mean MSPs cannot monetize cyber security services and end up hurting their bottom lines.

Topics: Managed Services Providers IT Account Management Strategic Leadership NIST Cyber Security IT Business Development
5 min read

Business Relationships cannot be automated...

By Denes Purnhauser on Oct 8, 2020

There are many tools and best practices out there to streamline, and automate technology conversations with RMM integration, ticket reports and asset management functions. The reason is that as most MSPs by starting their QBR processes they simply try to run faster to the wrong direction. The common mistake we see is they try to streamline a technology focused tactical conversation (important for them) rather than elevate themselves with strategic-business focused QBRs (important for clients). Let’s see the 3 reasons why it is the case, 3 impacts taxing these MSPs and the 3 steps to fix this quickly.

Topics: Managed Services Providers Strategic Leadership QBR Quarterly Business Review
4 min read

Do you have an Annual QBR Playbook?

By Myles Olson on Oct 2, 2020

Although client meetings are getting shorter due to the remote environment, account managers need to pack more into each session. Flooding the client with too much information in a short amount of time leads to an overwhelmed audience, a lack of decisions and countless unorganized follow up meetings. The key is to be able to define all the talking points with the client and spread them out logically over the year. This sets a predictable rhythm for the account manager and the client so they can discuss all salient points and make decisions one step at a time. In this blog we review how to best distribute the topics over the year and the critical points of developing your Annual QBR Playbook.

Your QBR Annual Playbook is your game plan to specify the different topics, decisions and engagement over the year on the different QBRs. This playbook is developed internally and shared with the client to engender alignment.

Different playbooks should be developed for different client segments. If you have only one meeting with a client for a year (as they are small and have no budget for more meetings) you cannot really have a playbook with them. However if they actually have 2 or more meetings a year then a playbook can come in quite handy. We are going to review a 4 meeting QBR formula as this can be applied to medium and larger clients as well.

Topics: vCIO QBR Quarterly Business Review
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.

Topics: vCIO Managed Services Providers IT Account Management Strategic Leadership QBR Quarterly Business Review
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
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