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Many MSP owners I’ve spoken with have said that the hardest part in sales is getting the permission to impress a prospect in the first place. Most potential clients are getting support from a competitor and they might not be open to having a conversation yet. So, how do we get more companies to give us an opportunity to show we’re different?

This is where the SaaS industry has some ideas. They are experts in fast growth and some of their ideas are great for MSPs — but it requires a different kind of implementation plan.

The free trial!

First off, let’s get on the same page on what a free trial is. According to Pierre Lechelle, it means the following:

If we repurpose this, we’d change “SaaS” to “MSP” sales funnel, where users discover your service through any means. Only afterwards, they may sign a contract with you.

How about conversion benchmarks? According to many SaaS experts, the average free trial conversion rate is 25 percent. Maybe this sounds good, but if you look at the glass half empty, you see three out of four prospects are walking out of your MSP. Both perspectives are valid, so let’s focus on what we can all agree on: how to reduce the walkouts!

Only for the “Best Fit” companies

Of all the tips I came across to increase customer conversions from trials, by far the most common recommendation was to target the right people.

If your ideal client is a company within an hour driving from your office, has 20 to 80 employees, and doesn’t have an internal IT department, give  those types of companies the premium free-trial experience.

You can filter the good from the bad by creating a landing page for sign-ups with a form that asks all the critical qualifying questions on it. Simple? Yep, that’s exactly the point.

Think about the times you’ve tried something without paying. Maybe it was Netflix or a software solution like HubSpot’s CRM. Did you buy it afterwards? If you did, you probably remember a certain feature during the free trial that made an impression.

Bottom line is that if you can’t deliver at least a ‘9 out of 10’ star experience or a 10 out of 10, you risk letting potential clients walk away disappointed and unimpressed.

Try ‘edutainment’

A serious problem with most security awareness training is that it’s usually boring. Not only is it boring, it’s done once a year and so the lessons are quickly forgotten a few days later and there’s no recurring testing.

A hard part that rarely gets discussed is the fact that phishing simulators take a person to implement, whether that’s in the client’s organization or the MSP. So, what if you offered a free trial that is the opposite of boring, and that could leave a wow impression?

Hook is one vendor who is disrupting the security space to fix all these problems. As an MSP, try to find innovative players who take a unique approach. Not only are they offering something that sounds and works differently, they often come with rebrandable marketing collateral you can use to further educate your customers.

Getting the word out

Let’s face the hard truth: most MSP websites aren’t getting lots traffic from qualified prospects. Fixing that problem is beyond the scope of this article, but let’s talk about some simple ways we can spread the word about free trials through other means.

Email Signatures– Our support team members are customer-facing and they send lots of emails to clients. A very simple, and effective option is to update their email signatures to include a link to a landing page for free trials.

Before you edit their signatures, create a landing page on your website that describes what is included in the free trial!

A good landing page should focus on the benefits of the trial, and it must have a long form that enables you to qualify prospects better. One of my favorite tools for making sleek email signatures is HubSpot’s free email signature generator tool.

Newsletters– Direct mail is so hot right now! It can help you target the right kinds of companies. In fact, with a physical newsletter, you may not even need a landing page because it explains the benefits.

Second reason why physical newsletters are awesome, is because they won’t get caught up in spam filters.

Let’s face it — nowadays, we’re getting 100x more emails from strangers compared to actual mail. This means our newsletter has a higher likelihood of getting opened.

Grabbing your prospects’ attention isn’t easy, but trying a unique approach can help you standout from your competition and give you the opportunity to show them that you are different. To learn more on how to build your unique MSP brand, visit today.

Photo: REDPIXEL.PL/ Shutterstock

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Derek Marin

Posted by Derek Marin

Derek Marin is President of Simple Selling, the agency that generates predictable pipeline for MSPs. If you would rather tap dance in a minefield than add prospecting, marketing and sales team management to your to-do list, then feel free to book Derek directly from here: You can also reach him at or subscribe to the MRR Growth blog at for frequent sales tips and encouragement.

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