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As an MSP marketer who speaks to business owners on a regular basis, I tend to get a lot of prospects who contact me at different points along the larger journey that they’re taking. Some are just getting started, while some have an existing marketing plan in place that they’re looking to overhaul. Some are decidedly in between. The one thing they all tend to have in common is that they know they must take some grand “next step.” They’re just not entirely sure what it is.

Based on experience, I can usually tell which direction a conversation is headed pretty quickly. If I’m speaking to someone and they tell me they’ve either hired an inbound marketer or an outside sales rep, it’s usually followed up with some variation of “I hired this person to generate new leads for my business, and they’re not having the success that I need.”

Whenever I hear this, one of the first things I ask is “what are the actual tasks you have them doing?” What I’m trying to learn  is the process they’re following to generate leads. The expertise of this person is probably solid, and the goal is good, so if there’s a problem it likely has a lot to do with the “how” and not the “why.”

Undoubtedly, the answer is always the same. 99 times out of 100, I’ll hear “well, I expect them to figure that stuff out on their own. That’s what I hired them for, right?” 

That’s where I tell these MSP business owners to pump the brakes.

The truth is, while it is possible to hire a marketer or salesperson who is just going to go out and get those qualified leads on their own without any type of instruction, that’s a tall order to ask of anyone. That person needs to have not only a wealth of experience, but they need to be a “self-starter” in every sense of the term. They probably need to understand your business better than you do and they need to have their own extensive network that they can immediately draw from. If they have all of this, they’re probably going to demand a pretty high salary, too – think north of $100 to $200 thousand dollars.

If you just saw that number and immediately started to re-think your plans to hire a sales rep or inbound marketer, that’s probably a good thing. However, that doesn’t mean you should write it off entirely. It’s still something worth exploring – just not in the way you were about to explore it.

“The best-laid plans of mice and men…”

If you’ve got between $100 and $200K to hire someone — like the hypothetical marketing wizard I described above — to start generating leads for your company, go for it. Seriously, it’s probably a good move. You’ve got the money and if they’re as good as they say they are, your return is likely going to be enormous. Or, you could try a different approach.

Maybe you don’t have that kind of money to drop on one person. Maybe you do but you really, really don’t want to. In any event, instead of paying one highly skilled person to create and operate an entire lead generation process for you, you can create the lead generation process on your own, and pay a much lesser skilled person to operate it.

A lead generation process is exactly what it sounds like: a system for generating leads that you know works. It’s a process that can be broken down into a series of smaller, more realistic, and actionable steps that can then be followed by someone who maybe doesn’t have decades of experience or who isn’t the absolute self-starter that you are.

To put it another way, you need to create the system for them. Give them the tools they need to succeed and THEN hire them, instead of hiring them today and hoping they bring their own tools with them tomorrow.

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again – nobody knows your business better than you do. Which means that nobody knows who you’re trying to reach better than you. Your ideal customers, by this point, are like close relatives. You know what they need to hear, when they need to hear it, and where they’re located.

All of this is actionable, insightful information you can use to build the organic lead generation process that is optimized for your business and its goals. Once that process is in place, you can then hand it off to someone to carry you over the finish line.

It’s like hiring a NASCAR driver and providing them with a $500,000 race car to use on your behalf. That’s a lot better than hiring that same NASCAR driver and saying “you probably know how to build a fast car, right? I’m sure you’ll do fine, good luck.” One of those methods is probably going to land you with a “First Place” trophy. The other is going to land you with a confused look or two.

Only hire a lead generator for your MSP once this process is in place. If it isn’t, the most objectively qualified, “best and brightest” name in the business ultimately isn’t going to be able to help you.

Strengthen your process, strengthen your business

Creating a successful system for generating leads isn’t something you’ll be able to do overnight. Often, it’s the result of a lot of energy, reflection, and – of course – time. If you’re interested in taking this next step for your business and want to make sure you put your best foot forward, feel free to contact either myself or one of my colleagues at Tech Pro Marketing to schedule your one-on-one strategy call. We’ll learn about your business and make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

Photo: tsyhun / Shutterstock

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Nate Freedman

Posted by Nate Freedman

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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