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.
What is the real underlying problem
The original problem is nothing more complex than the ad-hoc and un-managed service development process period. As a service company you spend a whole lot of time developing your services. All internal processes are service development, all tool deployments are service development, all new vendors are service development...meaning everything you do that isn’t providing a service to a client is you developing your services. If you do that without any control mechanisms the result will be misalignment with clients.
We all know that service development doesn’t happen without reason. The technology is always changing, the market needs new services, old services become obsolete, clients come and go, and new opportunities arise. As a managed service provider, a plethora of moving parts to deal with can result in less profitability, under-utilized services and obsolete agreements. The usual solution is to spend more facetime with clients and explain, negotiate, present, and discuss with the owners or account management team why you need to re-align. Sometimes, however, we need to manipulate prices, introduce new services or otherwise change the set agreements.
Solving these symptoms requires identifying the root problem: make the service development, deployment and communication a conscious effort.
Service Development and Deployment Process
Without going deep into details, let's go through the process quickly. It’s surprisingly simpler than we’ve found most people fear. This is because of the closely related industry with which we face this challenge: software companies. We don’t have to do much more than understand how they’re solving this problem, and apply the practices.
So let's put these basic principles into play as an MSP
Based on the interest shown, we’ve created a webinar to help you adopt these five principles. Sign up for the session now.
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.