MSP owners tend to play a game of ping-pong when it comes to their marketing, testing out different providers until they meet one they think is going to deliver blazing hot leads ready to sign at a mere glimpse of a salesperson even if they completely botch the sales process. Then, when that provider doesn’t deliver on this pipe dream, the MSP will move on to the next company with similarly poor results.

Sure, there are unicorns; but more often than not, you’re going to need to put together quality marketing, successful lead follow-up, and an effective sales process to close the deal. Here’s a quick guide on how it’s done through the lens of five of the biggest failures we’ve seen.

  1. Meddling: Here’s the deal, as a managed services provider, you spend your days convincing people that you are the technology expert and that they should trust your recommendations. It’s extremely frustrating if a client purchases their own desktop/laptop and expects you to service it. It’s time to pay that advice forward. When you hire a marketing provider, trust their expertise. If they recommend posting something on Facebook that doesn’t mention IT in an effort to get some engagement and interaction, trust them. Let them drive the content, provide approvals where necessary, input when asked, and let the systems work. On the other hand, if they’re asking you to come up with the vast majority of the content rather than taking the lead with a clear understanding of IT, run the other way.
  2. Understand Your List: Our marketing program tracks lead scores based on engagement. When a contact reaches a lead score of 30, it’s time to make a phone call, go through the diagnostic questions, and see what happens. Unfortunately, though, once someone hits that lead score, we often hear why that person isn’t worth a follow-up. They’re the wrong size, wrong industry, wrong whatever excuse du jour. If you’re not going to follow up on the lead when they hit the score, don’t put them on the list. A huge list of people not worth your time in the sales process is garbage. You’d be better served with a smaller list of people that are actually engaged in your content and would make for good clients someday.
  3. Follow-Up: When you get a qualified prospect alert (lead score of 30), you actually have to follow-up. If you’re not using a program that tracks lead scores, (you should be, but that’s a side point), look at open rates and click-through rates to determine your most active prospects. We recommend a three by three matrix – three phone calls + three voicemails/email follow-ups. You don’t call one time and give up. You don’t sit on it for 20 days before you pick up the phone. You get a lead alert, you take action within 24 hours, and then repeat that action at least three more times over the next ten days before releasing them back to ongoing marketing efforts.
  4. Use the Right Scripts: Here’s an example of the worst script you could use: “We know that you’ve been reading our materials, so we just wanted to follow-up to see if you needed anything.” First, it’s creepy. Second, you know exactly what they’ve been reading, so you have a pretty good idea of what they need. Use this information to your advantage without sounding like a stalker. For example, if you notice they’ve been reading all of your cybersecurity materials, the call begins something like this: “With all the current news about cyber-attacks and security leaks, the last thing business owners need is to feel like a target. Our clients have mitigated this risk by taking advantage of the latest technology tools available…” Effective scripts will be your quickest ticket to turning someone who is minimally interested in a first appointment.
  5. Complete every portion of the sales process: After you get past the gatekeeper, stick to the script. We have clearly defined every portion of the sales process and we host Academies, Summits, and Labs on the subject for a reason. This is the difference between telling your marketing company it wasn’t a good lead and closing a deal. If you bring on board a marketing company, it is your responsibility to ensure that you back them up with a strong sales game. And, if you’re having trouble closing deals, come see us.

So, to answer the question posed in the title MSP Marketing…Is it Worth It? Absolutely! In the past six months, one of our clients has added over $60,000 in projects and $144,000 in agreement revenue from the campaigns CharTec is running. They also have two more Sales Presentations on the calendar. However, you can only expect these results if you’re willing to put in the work to avoid these five pitfalls.