Year-End Sales Strategies for MSPs
At year’s end, MSP customers may be eager to spend remaining budgets, motivated for the next year, or distracted by holiday parties and upcoming days off. Every vertical is different in terms of how the year’s end effects customer buying trends. 2020 in particular has been especially stressful, surprising, and unpredictable, so Axcient got Robert Cioffi, the COO and Co-founder of Progressive Computing on a Facebook Live Chat to discuss strategy.
Joined by Axcient’s Chief Revenue Officer, Charlie Tomeo; Director of Sales, Eric Timmons; and Director of Customer Success and Moderator, Corey Banner, the group discussed how best to generate new leads, while continuing to meet Partner needs, and looking to the future of 2021. Keep reading or watch the 30-minute Chat for a discussion on how your MSP can stand out during the busiest season of the year.
Embrace new technologies.
2020 accelerated the cloud conversation for almost every business. MSP customers are considering serverless environments for the first time, such as Axcient’s new Direct-to-Cloud appliance-free BCDR. Progressive Computing and many MSPs, experienced a spike in initial conversations with customers. And recently he’s received very strong commitments on moving forward.
Robert explains, “Just recently, we’ve found that the appetite to embrace this new normal, and to adjust or re-pivot their business, has now started to resurface a lot of those conversations. Now they’re going from initial conversations to, ‘What is this going to look like architecturally? From a cost perspective? How do we budget for this?’ With some of those moving to, ‘Alright, let’s start making it happen.’”
Give MSP customers the information necessary to understand the current climate, threats, and technology available, check-in regularly to let them know you’re here, but also give them time. Robert says, “Some customers just aren’t ready so we need to remind ourselves that our seat at the table requires us to be as patient, consultative, and empathetic to their business needs and requirements as possible. This isn’t going to sell itself. We have to make sure that we are being careful about, and respective enough, to slow down the process where applicable.”
Reevaluate your products, services, and stack.
When COVID-19 restrictions where initially put in place, Axcient provided MSPs with free x360Cloud and x360Sync licenses to support Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace backup, and secure file sync and share. Of course, reliance on these cloud based services and the need for real-time collaboration aren’t going anywhere, so we continue to offer free NFR licenses for both x360Cloud and x360Sync.
Axcient also accelerated the development and release of Direct-to-Cloud hardware-free BDR. We know remote workers need endpoint backup in their homes and on personal devices, but BDR appliances are expensive, stressful, and require regular maintenance. Now with Direct-to-Cloud, remote and dispersed workers and satellite offices can back up to the secure Axcient cloud to protect from rising cyber-attacks and other disasters.
It’s critical that MSPs acknowledge, embrace, and respond accordingly to this digital transformation. Listen to your customers, provide education about their options, and equip yourself with the best solutions and stack available to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in 2021.
Use 2020 as a case study for BCDR.
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses did not have a true busines continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan in place to respond to the events of 2020. Even though, “100% of our customers are 100% protected because they are all on Axcient,” as Robert says, he also acknowledges that not every business is so lucky. He explains that the necessity to work from anywhere really tested some systems to a point where it was obvious what MSP customers weren’t able to pivot.
Now and going forward, Robert emphasizes the conversation about resiliency to disasters with his customers. He says disaster recovery has really risen in importance, even though it’s a baseline IT service. Using 2020 as an example of the unpredictability of business, can help customers understand why it’s so important, and how their business can be impacted without a proactive solution in place.
Use this time to reflect and reset the future of your MSP. Maybe vendor sprawl has you wasting time, resources, and money – standardize your stack to increase operational maturity and maximize profits. Perhaps your customer journey could be elevated by reducing friction and offering a ‘try and buy’ experience. Or maybe you’d benefit from partnering with a vendor who offers a comprehensive and mutually beneficial Partner Program.
Engage customers and prospects regularly.
If you’ve waited until the end of the year to follow-up with leads, offer demos and trials, and “seal the deal,” you’ve waited too long, but it’s never too late. Robert and Progressive Computing conduct quarterly business reviews (QBRs) to engage clients throughout the year. These regularly-scheduled strategic touches put MSPs in front of their customers – albeit virtually this year – to discuss challenges ahead, assess current solutions, and present products and services.
Robert conveyed that there’s been an increase in demand for these conversations in 2020 as customers navigate uncharted territory. Not only do these conversations highlight your value as an MSP, and your ability to offer solutions, but they strengthen and solidify relationships with customers. Robert recommends that MSPs pounce on the chance to speak with clients, regardless of how structured the conversation may be. No need to wait until you’ve developed the perfect presentation. Compile some bullet points to make the discussion mutually beneficial and pick up the phone. If you’re not actively engaging customers, another MSP will.
Regardless of how you attack 2021, know that Axcient is always here to answer questions and help you explore your opportunities for MSP growth. Schedule a Demo or Start Your Free 14-day Trial now to see how the Axcient x360 Platform can help grow your business and protect your customers.
About the Author:
Liz Mellem // Technical Copywriter, Axcient
Liz Mellem has been a freelance copywriter for over three years in the technology, education, and alternative medicine industries. She produces content, sales collateral, and email marketing campaigns that contribute to digital marketing strategies for sales growth and brand awareness. In her free time, Liz enjoys reading, exploring Austin, and Netflix with her cat, Harlem.