One of my favorite movies is Field of Dreams. If you’ve seen the movie you’ll recall the famous line, “If you build it, they will come.” Apparently, this works to bring baseball players to a cornfield in Iowa. Unfortunately, the same approach doesn’t work for marketing efforts.
Many MSPs think, “I’ll just build a website,” then I’ll “throw an ad in the Chamber directory,” or “put up a social media page.” Certainly, that will be more than enough to get people flocking to my door for my services! It sounds like a good plan, but, unfortunately, that’s not how it works for MSPs. You’ll need a solid game plan, so, keeping with the Field of Dreams baseball analogy, let’s talk about the actual work involved in effective sales enablement (AKA what we have renamed Marketing at CharTec).
Getting to First Base: Content.
It’s important to have quality website content with a strong message. We recommend discussing the problems that you can solve for your clients, rather than provide a laundry list of solutions. We call this PAS vs. SPA and we use it throughout the sales process. It is also very useful when you’re coming up with a marketing strategy.
One goal of marketing is to get the people you’re looking for to identify with the problems you’re showcasing. If you’re highlighting Security, you’ll want to advertise the latest cyber threats, maybe throw in some stats or local breaches, and end with how you can help businesses avoid these threats. If you’re trying to sell more BDRs you can follow the same theme – start with how old equipment is unreliable, how businesses have overpaid for back-up hardware in the past, and how you can help. Start with the problem and let sales show them your solution.
Now that you have a Marketing plan laid out, the hard part is about to begin. Don’t just throw one ad on social media and park yourself next to the phone expecting calls. Good marketing means consistent marketing, so you should always be generating new content. Running the same old ads is a weak approach.
Rounding Second Base: Distribute said Content.
Dive into as many advertising outlets as you can. The more eyes you have on your marketing, the greater chance you’ll have of piquing someone’s curiosity. We use website content, blogs, a strong social media presence, outbound campaigns, press relationships and more. Again, the goal in all of your marketing material is to sell yourself as a Managed Service Provider who can solve the problems small to medium businesses have. Approach it like you are an expert in your field, because if you don’t, no one else will see you that way.
If you currently don’t have a social media presence, create one. Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups that are connected to the types of businesses you’re looking for. If you have clients who are Plumbers, join online Plumber Groups. Like and Share their posts. Engage with their topics and conversations. Basically, treat them as peers and not as a piece of meat you’re trying to devour.
Remember that every piece of marketing you put out brands you and your company. Look for ways to stand apart from other MSPs. Most Managed Services ads are serious, and sometimes meant to elicit fear, but we’ve seen some humorous ads that worked very well. Have fun with your marketing. Brand yourself as an expert. And back up everything you say with quality social media posts demonstrating your value.
Runner on Third: Engage and Interact.
A key element of the marketing process is to track the response you get from people interacting with your content. Did someone open an email? Their score just went up. Did they also read a blog? Their score went up again. Set your threshold of these points to a spot where you feel it’s time to engage them, then it’s time to make that phone call. You’ve spent all that time and energy developing content, posting ads, searching for interested prospects, so when someone collects enough points to become a HOT lead, have sales call them! This is what all that work was for. If you drop the ball now you just might end up losing this opportunity.
And now your Sales Team is up at bat.
The bases are loaded. Will they strike out or hit a grand slam? Truthfully, that is up to them. You’ve done your job. You’ve created ads that have generated interest. You’ve consistently output new and better content. You’ve sent the hot leads to sales and you’ll have more for them soon. Now it’s time for the Sales Enablement I was talking about earlier. The sales team is up at bat, so hope for the best, but get back to work and keep loading those bases.