How to Increase MSP Sales by Analyzing Your Current Clients
June 01, 2023—
3 min read
Growing your client base as an MSP can seem challenging. You not only need to find new prospects but discover those likely to become customers that increase your margins, value your services, and stick with you. While many strategies can help you market and sell, one of the most effective is studying your existing customers. Using this approach, you can discover how to improve your MSP sales.
In this post, we look at a simple approach to analyzing your current clients to find valuable prospects.
1. Which clients are the most prosperous for your business?
When looking to increase your MSP sales, a good place to start is by analyzing the clients that generate the greatest margins for your business. These are often high-value customers that can offer you a source of consistent, reliable, and sustainable growth.
Beyond the time spent on standard services, these clients tend to preserve your time, avoid making special requests for customizations, or don’t ask for discounts on your services. They’re also often referenceable and contribute positively to your work environment and employee engagement.
To identify high-value clients, analyze your current customers according to a standard set of questions and take note of any patterns.
While not an exhaustive list, questions to ask include:
- How much time did you spend on them in the sales cycle?
- How long have they been a client?
- Have they renewed?
- How many hours are spent supporting them each month?
- How many special requests are made each month?
- What is their size?
- How referenceable are they?
- How technologically advanced are they?
- What role does technology play in their operations?
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2. Which verticals create the most value, and which create the greatest headaches?
When considering the customers that create the most value for your business, expand your analysis to include their vertical or industry. Often, these industry-specific conditions can determine whether it’s worthwhile to pursue customers within a specific niche. For example, you may find that your government clients consistently have budget issues and create headaches for your team. At the same time, your clients in healthcare pay on time, rarely complain, and result in higher margins. As a result, you may decide to more aggressively target prospects in the latter group while avoiding those in the former.
Again, ensure you perform this exercise by looking at the clients you want and don’t want in the future. By defining the latter, you can be more intentional about your sales and marketing activities.
While not an exhaustive list, additional questions to ask include:
- How important is cybersecurity to business continuity?
- How active is the threat landscape?
- How technologically advanced is the industry?
- How valued is cybersecurity in the industry?
Develop your personas to boost your MSP sales
Once you perform this analysis, develop personas for the key decision-makers that you need to influence to increase your MSP sales. Again, start by analyzing your current customers. Whenever appropriate, consider surveying them informally or formally.
1. Who are they in terms of role and technical expertise? Are they educated or ignorant about cybersecurity?
When interacting with decision-makers, they often fall into one of two camps: business or technical users. The former tends to care most about business outcomes—e.g., return on investment (ROI)—while the latter is focused most on the features and functions of your services. Understanding the technical expertise of the decision-maker can help you define the value proposition and messaging most likely to resonate and ultimately boost your MSP sales.
Additionally, you should also understand their cybersecurity awareness. It’s important to speak to them at their level and not assume the absence or presence of knowledge. This conveys that you understand their needs.
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2. Where do they get information?
Knowing where prospects get their information is important for several reasons. It helps you identify whether decision-makers fall into the business or technical camp. It also helps define their existing knowledge, expertise, and point of view. And it indicates which outlets they trust and depend on for their decision-making. By knowing the publications your prospects read and the organizations they belong to, you can discover where and how best to reach them (e.g., advertising, publicity, social media).
3. What keeps them awake at night? What excites them?
It’s also important to understand the great fears and motivations of your most profitable customers. Knowledge of both can prove invaluable in your marketing and sales messaging—improving the chances you increase your MSP sales. It can also further solidify your deep understanding of your target customers.
Boosting MSP sales is easier than you think
Discovering where to look for new clients doesn’t need to be difficult and neither does improving your MSP sales. By assessing your current client base to inform your future strategy, you can save time, anxiety, and capital from the outset. You can also create the conditions you need to grow your managed security services.