We like new clients just as much as the next guy, but what happens after they come on board is what really pays the bills and keeps our company growing. Over the course of three years, a managed services agreement usually doubles, if not triples thanks to business growth, sideline projects, and a continued lines of open communication with the customer.
Don’t get us wrong. We do not believe in nickel-and-diming our customers just so that we can wring more money out of them. We also don’t low ball our initial agreement just to get the customer onboard then slowly but surely raise it as we go. Finally, we don’t quote a project out of the gate, then hope to get the managed services agreement after they fall in love with our service. On the contrary, our agreements are traditionally priced at least 35% higher than our competitors, and they are all three years in length. So, where does the growth come from? – Technology Business Reviews
What is a Technology Business Review (TBR)?
This is when you sit down with all of the decision-makers at a company and discuss what has been going on – the good, the bad, the ugly. You review trouble tickets, SLAs, any complaints, performance analytics, and customer service scores. Then, you take time to plan out the next few quarters. Discuss projects, growth plans, and budget for any needs.
Some call these Quarterly Business Reviews, and that’s fine as long as you actually conduct them quarterly. We prefer Technology Business Reviews so that you can meet at whatever interval needed. Large clients may require more frequency, while smaller clients may not be profitable if you’re meeting quarterly.
Technology Business Review Pitfalls
MSPs fall into two specific pitfalls when it comes to Technology Business Reviews.
- Not Taking the Time for the Meeting: I first phrased this as not HAVING enough time for the meeting. In all reality, we have time for what we prioritize, so those that aren’t conducting these reviews, simply aren’t taking the time to do so. We get it. You feel like you’ve talked to the company enough by dealing with their problem tickets, particularly if they are a relatively new client and you’ve been working with them closely. Here’s the problem, eventually they are going to become that quiet client. If you don’t take the time to establish the importance of regular conversations now, they will not see the value in them later.
- Getting Clients to Commit to the Meeting: Many MSPs that struggle with TBRs tell me that clients don’t want to have these meetings. They don’t have anything to talk about. That means that you have not effectively presented your value and leaves an open door for a competitor. Establish the habit early, always bring ideas to the table, have a clear agenda (with room for their additions), and you shouldn’t have trouble getting in front of your clients.
Implications of not Having TBRs
Whether you’re not taking the time, don’t have the people, or don’t see the value of having TBRs, not meeting with your clients regularly has series implications.
- Your agreement gets stale, and your profitability tanks. Those that don’t conduct TBRs are typically the same people sitting on 5-year-old agreements with outdated pricing. A TBR is a natural starting point for a refresh, which will allow for a pricing assessment to keep the agreement on track.
- You’re an open window for competitors. People want to feel loved and cared about. Choosing not to communicate with your customers leaves the door open for someone who will.
- You’re missing out on opportunities. The whole premise of this blog is that TBRs are some of our biggest moneymakers in MSP Sales. While we don’t set out to generate new projects with every TBR, they are a natural evolution of meeting with our clients, whether it’s adding a laptop here or there or taking the entire environment to the cloud.
If you haven’t already, take the next quarter to get your TBR process in line. Schedule time to meet with each of your customers. Plan out the agenda. Own that you haven’t met with them as much as you want to and that you’re implementing a new program. Simply take the first step. Act!