As a new year gets underway, it’s important for MSPs to stop and reflect on what steps you should take to improve your business in 2015. If you don’t take the time to evaluate your approach and make a plan now, you’ll get caught up in day-to-day operations and miss your chance to make necessary changes.
Here are four adjustments I believe are vital for MSPs to focus on over the next 12 months.
1. Stop selling BDR services as a standalone product
I continue to see many MSPs who don’t bundle backup and disaster recovery as part of their core offering, instead choosing to sell it as a separate, optional service. This is a missed opportunity. By incorporating BDR services into your base offering, you can focus on selling the value of the entire suite of services you provide. Backup and disaster recovery will become something your SMB customers see as an added value, not an added cost.
This is especially true if you purchase fixed price cloud backup services from your vendor, which allows you to stop charging customers per gigabyte and simplifies pricing conversations. Read more about the advantages of this approach in our new e-book, Pricing Data Protection in a Fixed Price World.
2. Start using backup to grow your business
Backup and disaster recovery is a service that all businesses need, so you should be shooting for 100-percent penetration with your existing customers. Taking the time to understand all the use cases a current customer might need beyond file and folder backup, such as virtual servers or SQL Backup, will also create opportunities to expand engagements and grow your business.
BDR can be a good lead generator for your core service, as well. It’s easy for people to understand backup and disaster recovery and see its value, while it might be difficult to explain some of the other products you sell. That’s why you should be using BDR to help start relationships with new SMB customers.
3. Become a better communicator
Communication is a critical part of maintaining current customers and attracting new customers, but it often gets ignored by MSPs. Make it a priority to improve your sales and marketing plan—or create one if you haven’t already. Whether you use email newsletters, social media, or content on your website, you need to have clear, consistent messaging that helps customers understand everything you have to offer. Figure out what differentiates you from your competition in a way that matters to customers, whether that’s personal service, specializing in a specific vertical such as Financial or Healthcare, or packaging, and make sure you’re communicating that.
4. Leverage vendor relationships
At Intronis, we have a lot of tools available to help MSPs succeed, such as marketing materials and sales collateral from the Partner Toolkit, and free training through Intronis University. Later this year we’ll be introducing Data Protection as a Service as another way to help you improve efficiency. Explore the options, and make the most of what’s right for you so you can concentrate on running your business.
Neal Bradbury is Co-Founder and VP of Channel Development at Intronis. Neal is responsible for generating greater business value for the company’s MSP partner community and alliance partners. He has held many leadership roles since founding the company in 2003, including partner support, product management, and most recently operations. Neal has more than 15 years of experience in networking, security, integration, and systems management.