We had a great debate in our Banff Workshop about timing one’s IT Strategy correctly when meeting with new prospects. Some people were adamant the IT Strategy meeting be a requirement to even sending a proposal, while others were more inclined to implementing an IT strategy creation process after the onboarding, after we fix all the client’s technical issues.
This is often the case in a workshop, when everybody was right but in conflicting ways. Let's see how to best approach this question.
One of the hot topics in the bootcamp was a typical MSP issue - managing client agreements. The problem gets verbalized in different ways: "I have many new services I would like to sell to existing clients" or "I have to re-onboard all of our customers because the agreement is very old" or "I want to increase our prices to reflect the improvements and additional tools we introduced" or "I barely make any money and I need to renegotiate our prices".
Sound familiar? We’d like to introduce a systematic approach to solve this problem for now and the future.
We just finished our first ever live 3 day Managed Service Productization boot-camp in Banff, Canada. With 25 participants we worked to crack the code in scaling up the managed services. Jam-packed with real work, the workshop groups created amazing content and generated ideas that have been sparkling. I wanted to capture some of the more intriguing ideas the MSPs came up with.
I’ll be elaborating on these topics in upcoming weeks, since I see each topic as worthy of more than a blog post, but here are the main ideas. These are my personal Ah-ha! moments.
If you’re running a successful, growing and modern MSP practice, you either have solid Account Management / Technical Account Management practice in place, or you’re still doing it ad-hoc, and plan to develop a clear structure as soon as possible.
In both cases calculating the ROI of the new role is critical, as well as setting goals and realistic expectations for the employees. Check out this ROI calculation and the huge potential of proper Account Management to growing your business.
Here’s a mystery you all know all too well - pricing your stand-alone vCIO services so you’re not robbing your clients nor yourself...that trepidation when you’re putting together the proposal, or trying to ballpark a figure in a meeting. It’s always been a gamble.
There’s a way to find the proper middle ground, following a simple process to help you to close more deals without risking a critical over or underestimation, of your client’s expectation or your services. Here is the formula...
In our design of the new Quarterly Business Review tool we wanted to ensure that MSPs can find business opportunities with existing clients, enhance the quality of their engagement, become a business partner and demonstrate the value they provide all at once. Achieving those multiple goals in the midst of commoditization of traditional infrastructure management services requires finding a balance among five different strategies. Let's check those success factors to make sure you deliver timely and engaging QBRs.
We’ve identified several common mistakes managed services providers are making during the QBR process, leading to less and lower quality client engagement, over complicated processes and too much work. We wanted to create a tool that’s straightforward, easy to use, and guides the service provider to optimal client engagement.
I was interested about the vCIO, vCTO, and Virtual Executive types of services. So my colleague Peter did some research on LinkedIn on the topic. Keep in mind everything herein is based on LinkedIn publicly accessible data...it’s interesting but there’s a limit to the depth of research you can do this way.So in general, I found that clearly the Virtual CIO industry is driven by the US. I can confirm this from personal experience, that American MSPs are much more comfortable with this term than European, Australian or even Canadian IT managed services providers.
MSP 2.0 blog
The BLOG discusses more about the future of doing managed services in the Cloud era. Design, develop services, create value propositions, manage the sales funnel, deliver the services, create a world class team, and win.