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Co-managed IT is becoming a popular option among businesses in need of additional IT support, particularly larger ones with internal IT departments. While some MSPs are turning toward co-managed IT services to generate additional monthly recurring revenue (MRR), it’s important to consider the following: The co-managed IT model isn’t the right fit for every MSP, nor should it be.

Just to make sure we’re on the same page, if you’re unfamiliar with co-managed IT, here’s a brief description: Providing managed IT services to a customer that has internal resources.

Before selling co-managed IT services, consider the following questions:

    • What services are you selling when selling co-managed IT?
    • What is your value proposition?
    • Do you still have a competitive advantage?
    • How will you price your services?
    • Are you even qualified to offer co-managed IT services?

When selling co-managed IT, greater discipline is required. For example, you need to clearly define what makes a good customer. Even if you can make money taking a customer on, you still may want to say no. It may not be what’s best for your business.

Even though the sales process for selling co-managed IT is familiar, it’s less forgiving. You absolutely must have command over the sales process if you want to succeed in selling co-managed IT services.

Going through the decision-making process

When you’re selling co-managed IT services, there are usually multiple people involved. Who are you dealing with? The decision maker or someone in IT? Ideally, when you are selling co-managed IT services, you’re going to want to have more time and discipline around the decision-making part of the process. Your goal should be to guide the right decision maker through the this process.

Finding pain points (understanding pain)

As with any other sale, when selling co-managed IT services, you must understand the prospect’s pain points. Is your prospect trying to fill a hole left by staff changes? What does success look like? Understanding the prospect’s definition of success and matching it up with what you deliver is key. But remember, even when you are finding pain points, you must practice self-discipline.

 Having the money conversation

Always have the money conversation as early as possible. As soon as you qualify a lead, you want to begin discussing money. Review the prospect’s overall budget as well as your costs. When you’re talking with the decision maker, try to get a sense of vendor costs. Get the decision maker to tell you where the value is. After you do that, position your value in that context. Then, help the decision maker answer how the company is going reallocate its resources to deliver on that value.

Balancing it all

Selling co-managed IT is a balancing act. There are usually many emotional factors in play when you are selling, and you must be aware of them all. For example, you can’t always assume that every decision maker wants what’s best for the company. Each step of the sales process is necessary.

Before selling co-managed IT services, consider about the following: Is your sales process mature enough?

If you do not have enough command over the sales process, you can still have success, but it won’t be consistent, and you won’t be acquiring clients at the right price.

Photo: Leckamon / Shutterstock

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Gary Pica

Posted by Gary Pica

Gary Pica is a pioneer in the managed services field. He is one of ChannelPro's 20 industry visionaries and MSP Mentor's most influential leaders. He has already built two top-performing MSPs. Today, Gary is the President of TruMethods, a training, peer, and accountability firm aimed at helping IT solution providers reach their full potential as MSPs and cloud providers. Gary shares the key ingredients that transformed his business and his life through his training process. Today, hundreds of IT providers around the world utilize the TruMethods business transformation framework.

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