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MSP OwnersRapid growth is an interesting time for managed service provider (MSP) owners – or all business owners for that matter.

You’ve invested your life into building your company from the ground up, refining processes, marketing, selling, and having a hand in every facet of the operation. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where you need to take a step back and focus on the business at a higher level.

Owners who struggle to step back during the growth phase almost always become a bottleneck.

If there’s one thing that slows a growing business, it’s an overwhelmed owner consistently forced to put key marketing tasks on the back burner. I’ve seen this happen in many MSPs – and it happened to me at Tech Pro Marketing, my MSP marketing company.

In this post, I want to talk about three things MSP owners can do to change their stance on marketing from “when I have time” to “getting it done.”

1. Know when to step away

Simply knowing when to step back from marketing fulfillment can be one of the most difficult moves a business owner can make. Unfortunately, there isn’t usually a single definitive moment that screams, “Take a step back.”

You built your MSP from nothing. You’ve spent sleepless nights creating the marketing engine, sales processes, quality assurance protocols, and X, Y, and Z. Hitting the growth phase confirms that all your hard work is finally paying off—and it’s a great feeling.

However, there’s a downside to this feeling. If you take a step away from any aspect of the business, everything will fall apart like a house of cards. You’re going to get to a point where you need to pass marketing to others, whether that means hiring a marketing agency or finding someone in-house who can do it.

Some of the common signs include:

  • You’re finding less and less time each week to focus on marketing
  • You’re struggling to complete key marketing tasks
  • Leads are starting to slow down
  • It doesn’t feel like you’re doing anything new in marketing
  • Marketing always feels like a “tomorrow” task
  • You’re constantly overwhelmed

Your business is like your child – believe me, I get it. Reluctance to step away from day-to-day marketing tasks is not sustainable.

2. Measure your results

Many MSP owners have spent years personally in the trenches doing and/or overseeing marketing tasks. Entering the rapid growth phase indicates it’s working. As your MSP grows, your focus as the owner needs to shift to the results – rather than the day-to-day.

Monitoring your marketing results should be done every week (at least).

But what should MSP owners be tracking?

There are many, many MSP marketing metrics to track. We recommend sticking to the major ones, which include:

  • Lead generation by source
  • Cost per lead
  • Lead conversion rate
  • Cost per client acquisition

More importantly, you need an easy-to-use dashboard to keep up with these numbers. Send me a DM on LinkedIn, I’d be happy to recommend some of our favorite MSP marketing tools.

3. Refine your sales process

When you decide to delegate marketing tasks – either to a specialized agency or someone in-house – things will start moving faster. You’ve got dedicated people focusing all their energy on marketing and generating leads.

But leads won’t do you any good if you’re not converting them into clients.

You need a defined process in place to nurture and close leads. More importantly, it needs to be easy to use by your sales team.

You might be saying, “But I am the sales team.”

Just like marketing, there will come a day when you need to step away.

A big mistake I see MSPs make is hiring a salesperson prematurely.

They are getting lots of leads from marketing but struggling to close deals. Obviously, this is a sales problem – and the common misconception is that hiring a salesperson will solve it.

Here’s the issue with this mindset:

It’s not a salesperson’s job to build and/or refine your sales process. That’s your job.

If someone can create a high-performing sales process, they’re probably not applying for sales jobs; they are running their own business.

You need to invest your time and energy into creating a sales process that’s both effective and easy to jump into. Once you’ve reached this point, you can hire salespeople and integrate them into the process.

What’s the next step?

As an MSP owner, you’ve probably gotten used to having your hands in every facet of business operations. At a certain point, this will limit the company’s growth potential.

The best feeling as a business owner is knowing you can take time off (shut your phone off), and your MSP won’t miss a beat. But getting to this point is no walk in the park.

Do you feel like you’re kicking the can down the road on marketing tasks?

I can help you. My marketing company works exclusively with MSPs – and I’d be happy to discuss how we can take marketing off your plate. Feel free to request a one-on-one strategy call to discuss your MSP by completing a quick form on my website.

 Photo: Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock

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Posted by Nate

You don't want marketing help from just anyone — you want it from someone that doesn't just know MSPs, but someone that is focused exclusively on using MSP Marketing to help MSPs generate leads. Nate Freedman is the CEO of Tech Pro Marketing, where they leverage a unique blend of outbound MSP lead generation, MSP SEO and MSP websites to power their proven MSP Lead Generation Engine™.

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