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Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
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April 10, 2024 | Terry Hedden

Why Most MSPs Don’t Grow — and How You Can Change That

Many MSPs fall for the bait from self-proclaimed gurus that offer training, toolkits, or services in the sales and marketing vein only to discover that they wasted hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

It’s no secret that most MSPs struggle to achieve their growth goals.  In fact, 94% cite lead generation as their No. 1 issue in business.

However, that problem can be solved in three steps — and one of them isn’t “depend on word-of-mouth leads,” as they won’t be frequent enough for sustainable growth.

Many MSPs fall for the bait from self-proclaimed gurus that offer training, toolkits, or services in the sales and marketing vein only to discover that they wasted hundreds or even thousands of dollars. With that in mind, here are some MSP growth tips designed to help your business thrive.

Marketing, Lead Generation, and Sales

  • Marketing. You must have a great website and regular marketing activities that help people discover you to establish you as a legitimate partner for their business. You need a great website, marketed on Google, optimized for organic rankings, and built to convert visitors to leads. You want to complement that with marketing via email and social media. Expect practically no leads from anything you do with marketing, but know it is absolutely required to look like the type of partner a company can depend on. They need to know who you are and think of you when they have a need.

    Terry Hedden of Marketopia talks about Why Most MSPs Don’t Grow — and How You Can Change That

    Terry Hedden

  • Lead Generation. This is a separate and distinct activity from marketing and is where qualified appointments really come from. For MSPs, there are three real paths to leads:

1.) Digital marketing via Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, which involves pay-per-click budgets of $2,000 for small markets up to $6,000 monthly for large cities. If you don’t spend money, you can’t go after real keywords that yield the best leads. Go big.

2.) Outbound telemarketing is a powerful and scalable way to reach prospects and is the leading source of leads for the world’s fastest-growing MSPs.  A skilled outbound teleprospector is a different animal from a sales closer; they are skilled and tenacious folks that will literally call 2,000 and produce maybe 5-12 qualified leads monthly with great training, management, and tools. This will generate 90% of lead count for growing MSPs when complemented by marketing.

3.) Event marketing consists of lunch and learns, trade shows, and networking events for most MSPs. This is a great source of leads and can blow away word-of-mouth and marketing-only programs, but it is 10 times harder than outbound tele.

  • Sales. Investing in leads makes no sense unless you have the skills and training to close them. Most MSPs have sales processes built to close word-of-mouth leads. Closing your dad’s best friend is a whole different ballgame than someone that doesn’t know anything about you. It takes a strong process to build trust to get them to sign, especially in the 3- and 5-year managed services contracts we are all pursuing. The more you charge, the more you must be trusted, so if you want to push $250/user packages while the competition pushes $100/user, you better be darn good at sales. Find and follow a sales program designed to turn strangers into clients.

Achieving Growth Goals

You may ask yourself why so few industry gurus will tell you the whole story as I did above.

In my experience, there are two reasons. First, many gurus got rich selling their programs to people like us, not doing what MSPs are trying to do, so they don’t know as much as they may seem to. Second, they don’t do all three. It would be hard to get you to buy their program if you thought it was 1/3 what you needed to achieve your goals. Spend $5,000 a month with me and expect 0 qualified leads a month would be a tough sale, right?

So, they sell their goods for the max price they can and leave you to figure out that you need all three of the above to truly move the needle. In the real world, failing with them leaves most of us unwilling to take a chance on someone else. We have head trash that leaves us scared, confused, and unwilling to invest what it takes to achieve our growth goals.

If it was easy to grow, everyone would.  Don’t beat yourself up if you have tried and failed. Pick yourself back up and try again. Failure is not an option and achieving your goals is the only acceptable destination.

If you are not good at the three steps above, find someone that is and trust them. Invest what it takes to achieve, do everything you can to get leads, and close more than your fair share.

For MSPs, leads are worth an average of $5,000-$10,000, so be ready to invest what it takes to get them — and repeat as aggressively as you can afford to accelerate growth until your dreams become expectations.


Terry Hedden is CEO of Marketopia. He formerly was founder and CEO of Infinity Technology Solutions, which sold in 2012.

Image: iStock


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