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3 min read

Treat People Like People

By Adam Walter on Jan 9, 2023

“We all want to make money but we have prioritized the idea that we make money over providing solutions and services.”.-Bruce Sarte

Today one of the issues facing tech companies and many others is that we treat people like everything but human beings.  We classify them as clients/customers, employees, bosses, or even simply as “The man”.  We have dehumanized relationships. We used to solve problems for people now we only present pre-built solutions without understanding the person in front of us.

Topics: IT Sales Person Business Building for IT Companies MSP IT Account Management
4 min read

2022 Year in Review

By Adam Walter on Dec 19, 2022

When we looked back on 2021, we felt great. We were starting to come out of the pandemic, had just acquired Managed Services Platform, and were beginning on a rebrand. When we looked ahead to 2022, we had no idea what it was going to look like. We wondered how we would be able to hit all our goals.

Well, we can confidently say that 2022 has been nothing short of spectacular.

Topics: Business Building for IT Companies MSP IT Account Management
3 min read

It’s the Little Things

By Adam Walter on Sep 6, 2022

As an MSP, you’re going to have moments when you mess up. There will be times when you forget a project or miss a deadline. Have you built up enough goodwill with your clients that in these instances, they’re going to tell you that it’s okay?

Let’s paint the picture using chips. Your client has a bag that, anytime you do something nice for them or perform a favor, a chip gets placed in the bag. Eventually, you’re going to withdraw chips from that bag when you need a favor of your own - but what happens when there are no chips in that bag? Well, the bag is likely to be thrown at you.

There are some people that are constantly doing nice things for other people, though they never spend the chips they earn by asking for favors of their own. They’ve built their business and are unaware of how to ask for help due to being too independent. It’s important to not only collect chips, but to spend them, as well. You must have a flow of exchange in order to develop a mature and productive relationship with your client.

This is where the little things come into play.

Topics: IT Account Management Disruptive MSP Technical Account Manager
2 min read

PitchIT Volume 2

By Adam Walter on Jul 5, 2022

Welcome to the second part of PitchIT with Sean Lardo of ConnectWise! We’re diving deeper into our IT world and how to provide your service to clients.

For those of us who work in IT, we know that our industry is ever-changing and growing. However, the growth that we’ve seen over the last few years has been exponential. When Covid hit, our services had adapt and expand in ways we did not anticipate. People had to stay home and run their businesses while out of the office. Innovation wasn’t what we wanted. It was what we needed!

Serving our MSPs is, of course, always at the forefront of our work. But how do we ensure they have the resources and understanding needed to do their jobs? The answer is simple, and ConnectWise has broken it down into 3 promises they make to their clients.

Topics: vCIO Managed Services Providers IT Account Management QBR
2 min read

Talk like a CFO

By Adam Walter on Mar 7, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd

As an MSP, you probably hate talking about finances, but, learning to talk like a CFO will help you be able to better connect with your clients. A CFO is focused on what financial actions are going to increase profits for their company, and you can use them as a resource. Let’s dive in!

First, you have to think about the CFO the same as the CEO: they are an executive who is trying to run a company. A CFO is looking at the revenue coming in and, although they are not responsible for generating that revenue, they are responsible for how that revenue gets allocated. It’s their job to manage expenses and make the right financial decisions for their company.

When an MSP comes in and talks to clients about products and services, the CFO is just thinking about it being another expense. You can’t blame them, it’s their job. Everything is looked at as either risk or reward.

To speak like a CFO, you must think about the financial aspect and how the company’s finances get managed. This means you should talk about products and services in context with how they are going to help the CFO’s company. This will let your client know that you are being thoughtful with your technology suggestions and thinking of your client’s return on investment.

With that being said, you can also learn a lot from your client’s CFOs — they are going to be one of your best resources when it comes to defining what’s going to help the company. CFOs have spent a lifetime learning what they know and you have to take advantage of that.

Ultimately, you don’t have to be a financial expert. The CFO is already filling that role.

MSPs sometimes show up to client engagements with the expectation that you need to educate your clients on technology. If we leave it in those terms, you are not going to get those meetings right. You need to show up and allow your clients to educate you on their business. Along the way, you are going to explain your role and make sure that your client understands how their technology is helping them, but the role of teaching your clients how you do your job is not what your main goal should be.

If you want to sell your clients fully on a product, you’re going to have to talk like a CFO. And, to talk like a CFO, you’re going to have to learn from one.

If you really want to get in with a CFO, tell your client contact that you want to understand how finances work at their company. Ask if you could have some time with the company’s CFO to chat about how ride offs work within their industry to see if there are any that you could help them take advantage of with your technology and services. This will knock their socks off!

You may not know anything about finances or taxes and you may hate the thought of talking about those topics, but you can sell your CFOs on what you’re trying to implement if you can show them why and how it will benefit their business and use their knowledge as a resource.

Topics: vCIO IT Account Management
4 min read

How Salespeople Close IT Projects Faster?

By Myles Olson on Jan 28, 2021

We’re all too well aware of the enormous amount of work that goes into the preparation phase of every client IT project. From the idea stage (we need to replace the server architecture) to actually being able to send a proper quote ($18,500 with labour cost) the MSP spends dozens of hours coming up with the IT project plan and the numbers. The hours are tracked as “sales” hours spending time on those quotes but at the end of the day most of those projects never take off. Everybody is bummed, the client calls off the opportunity, the team writes off the time to a “lost opportunity” category and life goes on. However there is a totally legitimate, battle-tested sales tactic that a few MSPs use to cut this unproductive and morale-draining busy work. Let's get into the details.

Topics: IT Sales Person Managed Services Providers IT Account Management QBR Technical Account Manager Managed Services Platform
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

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
3 min read

What to ask from executives in 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
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
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
Sign up for the Client Engagement Excellence Manifesto PDF coming end of January

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