Your IT company may have been able to skate by for years with just an office space and a very basic company website. You had a steady flow of customers coming in. Maybe there were a few slow months here and there, but nothing you couldn’t weather by waiting it out until things picked up again.
There are a few prerequisites to being a good managed service provider. Of course, you have to provide your clients service, and your delivery needs to be proactive. One of the most important considerations, however, is to have clients to provide services to. This means you are going to have to generate the leads to nurture into these clients. Let’s discuss how to do that.
Whether you are determining what marketing strategies to use in your MSP’s overall marketing efforts, or deciding what to do during your next marketing campaign, it helps to know who you are marketing to.
How many businesses in your service area do you think are out there that fit your ideal customer profile, but aren’t yet aware you exist? How many know of you, but aren’t yet aware of what managed services is, and how an outsource IT provider would benefit their business operations?
If you speak to the owner of any business, they will tell you that they’ll accept referrals that come their way. Most likely, they’ve already done so if they’ve been around long enough and are keeping their current clientele happy. It makes sense - what business would turn down a potential lead that they didn’t have to spend their marketing dollars toward trying to acquire in the first place?
Small businesses need to understand how to successfully convert a lead into a paying customer if they want to remain in business. To know where to start, it’s important to understand the three main categories of leads:
Having a good lead list gives your business an opportunity to connect with potential future customers. Large enterprises have the resources to track down prospects online and add high-quality leads to their marketing lists, but this can be difficult to do for small businesses.
A B2B Referral Program is a formalized process set up that allows your customers to recommend your business to another business in need of your products and services by asking your sales team to reach out to that other business in question. Often, these programs are paired with some sort of reward to the referring party, and may even offer a reward for the business that they referred if they become a paying client.
In the competitive atmosphere that surrounds the world of managed services, it can be hard to get ahead of your competition. Sometimes, it’s not enough to just differentiate yourself through your marketing efforts. To get clients through the door, you have to “wow” them by going the extra mile.
A quality email marketing list is essential for any business in the B2B space. However, compiling a list is a complicated, time consuming process. Because of this, many MSP companies will compile a list all at once, and then continue to use that same list for all of their future marketing needs. This mistake can negatively impact your marketing efforts.
Leads -- without them, marketers wouldn’t have much of an audience. This is because a very small percentage of a given audience joins a marketing funnel ready to complete a transaction. In fact, many members of this audience will have to be introduced to your solutions as a prospect before they will become a lead. As a managed service provider, there are a few activities you can engage in to help encourage this lead generation.
Deliverables can be remarkably effective tools to leave a favorable impression on your prospective and existing clients. Essentially subscribing to the ‘free sample’ methodology found in many retail channels, deliverables allow your potential customers access to a brief taste of the resources you offer.
One of the major motivations behind implementing a marketing strategy is to inspire someone to do what you want them to do. However, that raises the question of how one can be sure that their audience reacts they way they want them to? The simple answer: by using a call-to-action.
What is a landing page? A landing page is any web page that you can “land” on. If you found this blog article on Google, you clicked and landed on it. Landing pages can be make-or-break experiences for users; not only do they need to look appealing, they also need to be engaging.
Given the strategy involved with landing pages, marketers and advertisers build them as standalone web pages that focus on a single goal. As standalone pages, they have no links or affiliation with the rest of your site. Instead of landing on these pages through Google, users arrive on them through a call-to-action from an outside source, such as an email.
Marketing is incredibly important for your business’ success, but only if your marketing is reaching your target audience. How do you do this? You need to relate to your clients and potential clients. It’s like when you’re looking for a new sitter for your child, you don’t pick the first person you talk to and your clients aren’t going to just pick you because they see you first. You’re going to interview and talk to the potential sitters and see which seems like the best fit for your child - who likes to go outside and play, who knows CPR and actually gets along with your child. The same thing goes for your clients and potential clients - they want to make sure you value the same things they do and that you care about them.
While the exact amount may vary, there’s one thing that is always true: Generating and converting leads to sales takes time and effort. Much to the chagrin of sales managers and businesses owners, the majority of leads are not properly followed up on, if they’re followed up on at all. Approximately 20% of all leads are abandoned after the second follow-up attempt. Converting a lead into a sale requires nurturing - and nurturing takes time. But, there are ways that you can improve your follow up procedure without bogging down your sales team with additional work.
Your website is your voice. People today use the Internet to help find almost everything they're looking for. Even if they're looking for something that cannot be purchased online, they will use the Internet for research. This is why having a good and informative website is so important. Your website is the first impression or your company many people see. Your website is your company's voice, marketer, and lead generator.