We know that growing your business is a top goal. However, broad goals like this can feel daunting without a plan in place. You can’t rely solely on word of mouth referrals to maintain consistent growth (though they should fit into your overall strategy). A practical place to start is to identify the specific ways you are looking to grow, whether it’s increasing the number of customers, amount of billings, or growing your team.
In discussing growth plans with our MSP Partners over the past six months or so, I’ve discovered that increasing revenue is a key area of focus for most of them. A critical factor in this is building a good strategy for generating new business. I’ve been able to learn about what has worked and hasn’t worked for them in their efforts to take their businesses to the next level, and I’m happy to share some insight. Below are just a few actionable steps you can begin taking to jumpstart your progress today.
Find new prospects
It’s important to maintain a constant flow of new leads into your MSP sales funnel. To gather new names, you can get started by optimizing your website, making it easier for new contacts to find. You can scale up on your inbound leads by taking to Twitter and LinkedIn, but you’ll need to be consistent—and you’ll need some great content to share!
One foolproof method of generating qualified leads is hitting the phones. As in, pull out your local business directory and grab some coffee, because you’ve got calls to make. Getting someone on the phone gives you a unique opportunity to ask qualifying questions, allowing you to steer the conversation and quickly identify potential or lack thereof. Having an actual conversation also establishes a basis for the start of a new business relationship.
Nurture your leads
There truly is something to be said for timing. Maybe the lead that you met at a networking event in July didn’t have budget at the time, but they will in January. For this reason, it’s important to have touch points with contacts throughout the year. This doesn’t mean just calling to check in on them. It means consistently offering resources that will generate interest and provide value to them, whether they’re your customer or not.
This could be as easy as a monthly email blast offering useful content or timely advice. For example, invite them to a webinar on best practices for achieving compliance within their industry vertical, offer a white paper on cybersecurity tips, or send them a hurricane season disaster preparedness check list.) The key here is to stay top of mind to establish yourself as an expert without always making a hard sell.
Leverage your current customers
There is no better advocate for you than your happy customers, and your existing clientele can help you grow in a number of ways. There is no shame in asking for references or using positive reinforcement to customers who provide you with referrals. Let them know you appreciate their support, and be sure to highlight customers in your newsletters and via case studies on your website.
Additionally, your customers present a clear opportunity for you to add value to them through supplementary services. You don’t need to feel awkward about trying to “upsell” existing customers as long as they know you have their best interests at heart. Each added value service you provide leads to an even stronger relationship with the customer.
Reduce buying option clutter
Marketing research studies show that the more choices people have, the less likely they are to buy. If your website, marketing material, or sales pitch just talks about your various services, you can inadvertently leave your prospects confused. Plus, you don't stand out from your competition.
By packaging your services in a bundle, you can productize your offerings. This makes your IT services much easier to understand and therefore easier for prospects to buy.
Want more tips?
I’ve barely scratched the surface here today, but if you’d like to take a deep dive into how to maximize your lead generation efforts, don’t miss our upcoming webinar. On Thursday, June 4 at 2 p.m. ET, we’ll be partnering with Raj Khera to host a webinar to address a number of powerful MSP marketing tactics and strategies.
Photo Credit: Robert Douglass on Flickr. Used under CC by 2.0 license