We’ve been doing some research lately to gain a deeper understanding of the major lead generation challenges facing Managed Service Providers. And we’ve heard the same things over and over.
“We only get prospects with break-fix requirements, not long-term contracts.”
“We’ve worked with a marketing service before and it didn’t work – the leads were dead ends.”
“We’ve found outbound marketing and sales don’t generate business for us, we need people to come to us.”
Reading between the lines, what we’re hearing is resignation born of frustration. We’ve noticed, MSPs, that you seem tired of lead generation. And you’re all asking one overriding question:
“Why’s it so hard to see results from a lead gen campaign for managed service providers?”
The answer to this question is, simply, because you aren’t doing it right. Yet.
How do you do it right then? Well, we’d be happy to tell you. But to find the right way to tackle MSP lead generation, you first need to understand the reasons behind the major challenges and barriers to success in generating leads for the IT service sector.
These challenges tend to be broken down into the following areas:
Challenge 1: The planets must align
To emerge from an outbound lead gen campaign triumphant, with a qualified prospect who’s likely to convert to a client, you need to combat odds akin to winning the lottery. This is because you’ll need to find this prospect at a time when they’re ready to make the switch. The thing is, most of your potential prospects are probably happily serviced elsewhere. That means you’ll have to find them when either they are facing service issues and are unhappy, when they are scaling up or when they have a contract up for renewal soon.
Challenge 2: You need to be prepared for the long game
Even if you’ve been handed a juicy, qualified lead that doesn’t mean they will convert overnight. Why? Because changing MSP is a high-cost, high-risk decision. The logistics involved in changing MSP can lead to business and service interruptions. Also, there’s not only the financial investment but the time investment to consider. So the process can take years. But, to make up for it, once you’ve got them, you should have them on board for years.
Challenge 3: The market is competitive
MSP startups just keep popping up out of nowhere, don’t they? The ever-increasing demand placed on businesses to protect their information assets and businesses from cyber-attacks means there’s an ever-increasing demand for MSPs. Where there’s increasing demand, there’s increasing supply. So you’ll find yourself as part of a crowd that keeps growing larger – how do you make sure you stand out? According to computer weekly, even the most upbeat of MSPs are wary of increased competition.
Now you know the issues, how do you combat them?
To discover the workaround for MSP business development challenges, you need to kind of reverse engineer the above problems. So, let’s reverse engineer each one. In reverse order. Since we’re reversing.
MSP Lead Generation Solution 3: Blowing the competition out of the water
Right then, you’re up against the competition. Lots of competition. And the question was, how do you stand out from the crowd? You need to figure out what it is that your prospects want to see. How do you portray yourself as their perfect fit?
The truth is, you don’t need to stand out in the way you think. Your prospects don’t care about your list of USPs. They don’t care about your sales pitch. Nor do they give a real jot what makes you different, or better. I’m sorry to say, they aren’t interested in you at all. They’re interested in themselves.
So that’s your solution. You need to stop talking about what you do. And start talking about what your prospects do, what they can’t do, and what they want to do. Then, you will discover what your relevant USPs are – they are how you can show your prospect how you can help them solve their pain points and attain their goals. Genius.
MSP Lead Generation Solution 2: Shortening the sales cycle
You wanted to know how to tackle the long sales cycle problem. The first conclusion is that we must shorten the sales cycle, create urgency, and put pressure on the client… Nope. You can’t shorten the sales cycle, because you don’t have any leverage or control over the decision-making process or external factors. The answer is not shortening the sales cycle, it’s understanding your sales cycle. The real answer is ABM – Always Be Marketing.
When we hear “we’re too busy for any new business right now” as an objection to carrying out a lead generation campaign we want to cry for future you.
Through analysing your current customers you will probably note none of them converted in a day. They have come from marketing efforts past. You need to always, always be marketing for your customers of tomorrow. Design a sales pipeline where you have a variety of prospects at various stages of the buying process, and it doesn’t matter how long the sales cycle takes.
MSP Lead Generation Solution 1: Be in the right place at the right time
Working backwards on this issue, the problem is with needing to find a way to be in the right place at the right time. We can’t offer you a crystal ball. So the solution isn’t finding a way to contact a prospect at the right time. The answer is lead nurturing.
Being in the right place at the right time means being in their minds when they need you. The answer to this is committing to lead nurturing and demand generation campaigns. Through lead nurturing, you ensure you take up residence in a little tiny area of your prospects’ minds. When the time is right, they’ll know where you are. And they’ll be catapulted right to the end of the buying process, too.
Engage a lead generation partner who can make a difference in your sales process
If you’re struggling to source qualified leads that will enable you to achieve the growth you deserve, we can help. Start the conversation with us.
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