Recently, I had the opportunity to be a guest on the SMB Community Podcast. I had a fantastic conversation with the show’s host, Karl Palachuk, on the topic of marketing for MSPs. We both agreed that generating leads as an MSP can be challenging. We talked a lot about how it often feels like it’s impossible to achieve consistency. We also talked about how inconsistency with lead generation can lead to inconsistent revenue and profits – which ultimately creates a feast and famine cycle.
And when the topic of the conversation came back on me, Karl asked about my why: why would I focus all my professional energy on a seemingly insurmountable task?
Today, I’m going to share with you the same thing I shared with Karl. Yes, consistently generating leads for an MSP is very difficult, but it IS possible and, in my opinion, the process is much more straightforward than most people give it credit for.
The challenges of MSP marketing
Before I discuss how to gain consistency in your MSP lead generation, I want to first explain what causes inconsistency in the first place:
- Successful MSP marketing is all about timing. It’s about being in front of the right prospect with the right message at exactly the right time. Most potential prospects are in all likelihood already happily under contract with another MSP, so for you to have success, you need to make sure that your message is in front of your prospect at a time when they a) are NOT totally happy with their current provider and b) have a contract renewal coming up in the near future.
- Another one of the major factors that makes MSP marketing so challenging is the length of the sales process. Moving to a new managed services provider is a large investment in terms of both time and money. This is a big decision that a most companies need to think about very carefully, and this leads to the sales process lasting months or in many cases years.
- Finally, there’s an incredible amount of competition in the market today, which can often make it feel like you’re swimming against the current. According to some sources, there are upwards of 40,000 MSPs operating in the United States. This means that you won’t be the only one marketing to your prospects.
At this point, your focus becomes clear: all you need to do is present your prospects exactly the right offer at exactly the right time.
So how do you address all these issues, while also breaking free from the feast and famine cycle? You focus on not just generating a high number of leads, but on opportunities to generate leads on a CONSISTENT basis.
Always be marketing
One of the big mistakes that I often see is that after an MSP gets a few new customers in a month or two, they essentially put their marketing efforts on hold. They’ll say, “I’m too busy right now and I don’t have the time to market” or “why do I even want more new customers right now?”
Consistent #LeadGeneration for an #MSP can be very difficult, but the process is much more straightforward than most people give it credit for. #MSPmarketing
The problem with this approach is that it assumes your new customers came from recent marketing efforts. The truth is, most of your customers are coming much farther down the line from when you initially marketed to them. Stopping your marketing for a month or two now to curb short term demand, won’t actually do that. Instead it will more than likely cause a dry period months down the line.
If you want to have a consistent pipeline, you need to be marketing every single month. Month in, month out, no exceptions.
Review results annually
Along the same lines, you should be reviewing the results of your efforts over the long term, being careful not to overreact to a single bad month. Short-term results only tell a smaller part of a much bigger story, and you may very well have months where your marketing efforts produce poor results. You might say to yourself “I spent $1,000 on Google Ads last month and I didn’t generate a single lead, so I’m going to stop that right away.”
The problem is that this doesn’t give you enough data to fully understand your return on marketing spend. For example, let’s say that you decide not to stop your Google Ads campaign, and over the next two months, you land three new customers and maintained that $1,000 per month spend. At this point, you’ve essentially just paid $3,000 for three new clients.
I don’t know about you, but I think a lot of our clients at Tech Pro Marketing would be extremely happy if they could spend $1,000 and get a new customer. So instead of making decisions after a single poor month, expand your horizons and take a look at things on a quarterly or better yet, annual basis. This will give you a more comprehensive look at how your efforts are bearing fruit.
Focus on nurturing
The last opportunity for this type consistency involves building the strongest possible nurturing process. To capitalize on every opportunity, you must stay at the top of a lead’s mind, even if it’s something as simple as getting them to sign up for a weekly or monthly newsletter. Continue to create and send out relevant collateral that provides value to people without overtly asking for something in return.
If you want to have a consistent #pipeline, you need to be marketing every single month. Month in, month out, no exceptions. #MSPmarketing #LeadGeneration
At that point, when they ARE ready to make the switch, there’s a better-than-average chance that the first call they make when they pick up the phone will be to you. It won’t necessarily be tomorrow, but it will happen – and that is an exciting position for any business owner to be in.
Getting it done
In the end, I fully understand that all of this is a lot easier said than done. Many of these things take a lot of work and require boots on the ground, so to speak. That’s a big part of the reason why I founded Tech Pro Marketing in the first place – to help as many MSPs as possible generate leads and consistently grow their business.
So if you find that all of this is too much of a challenge to execute on your own, then I encourage you to apply for a one-on-one strategy call with Tech Pro Marketing. We’ll help figure out what your next move is so that you can hit the ground running in 2021 and beyond.
Photo: Comaniciu Dan / Shutterstock