Building a solid technology portfolio is essential for a successful MSP, but having a good lineup of products and services is just one part of fortifying client relationships, attracting new business and remaining competitive. MSPs have to establish a unique position in a crowded marketplace, and communicating their value is a critical component of meeting their business goals.
To win new business and maintain margins, MSPs have to offer a value that their clients can’t get from other providers. If they’re doing a good job, it’s likely their clients may even be taking their efforts for granted because things are, generally, running smoothly. MSPs need a simple, easy-to-communicate value proposition to clarify why existing and new clients should spend money with them. That value proposition also needs to be communicated regularly.
How can they do all these things? Barracuda has a new eBook, The MSP’s Guide to Demonstrating Value to Customers, that can help.
A successful MSP adds value to their customers’ businesses beyond simply installing applications or hardware. But value is a subjective and multi-faceted commodity. To demonstrate value clearly to clients, MSPs need to treat every customer relationship as a partnership and establish regular communications about the value being provided through regular reporting and meetings.
According to the eBook, “MSPs have an opportunity to show their value at every turn. The secret is to incorporate value-driven best practices into your service model, so that along with every service ticket, customer call, and problem solved, there’s an intent to communicate to the customer that the work performed adds value to their business.”
Include the right services. MSPs need to add value beyond the traditional upkeep services. By providing technology and services that help ensure operational uptime and productivity, the client will see the MSP as an integral part of their business, not just a third-party resource.
To that end, the scope of services should include remote monitoring and management (RMM), security, cloud hosting, disaster recovery and more. Those services also need to be backed by excellent response times.
Sell value, not services. Having a suitable package of services is just the first step. Those services should not be sold as commodities but as a means to an end:
- Sell uptime.
- Sell reliability.
- Sell the ability to withstand an outage or prevent a data breach.
In other words, the sales pitch should focus on the results the solutions provide, not the solutions themselves, and those results should be framed within the context of the needs of the specific customer you’re talking to.
Leverage regular reporting to demonstrate value. Reports provide information, insight, and visualization of the client’s network state and the work the MSP has accomplished. Those reports should be explained to the client and provide insights into actual value not just a list of tasks completed.
Stay on top of customer goals and needs. As companies grow, their technology requirements have to adjust, and the MSP should adjust with them. Ensure the services and solutions provided still match their goals, and if not, find a way to continue showing value by adjusting or expanding those solutions. Adding value is not just a one-time event. If the MSP fails to monitor the evolving needs of clients, they risk a critical misalignment. Schedule regular meetings with customers to review their goals and challenges and engage in partner-building activities around their evolving needs.
Establish value-centric service level agreements. Instead of focusing on response times and coverage, the SLA should include content that can help educate the customer about how to best gauge performance within the context of value.
A successful MSP establishes partnerships with clients and demonstrates their work's value to help grow and maintain their businesses. Client relationships cannot be strictly transactional — those types of arrangements can quickly fall prey to competitors with lower prices or flashier products. Communicating regularly with customers so that the MSP can appropriately address their needs (and show value) will ensure long client relationships and a more successful business.
You can download the eBook here.