As a managed IT services provider, it’s important for your team to have strategic consulting skills and effective processes, which ultimately lift sales. Think about the following words: Proficiency. Expertise. Talent. Skill. Art. Knowledge is power. Working with the most knowledgeable and talented people on the planet is a great way to relieve stress, move your business forward, and sleep well at night. As a business owner, working with experts whose expertise and integrity you trust is a truly magical experience. Check the box, move on to the next problem. These guys have my back.
As a buyer, the experience is manna from heaven. As an MSP, delivering that experience consistently is the difference between success and failure. The good news is that the ability to deliver that kind of experience is completely achievable. In fact, it is easier to be consistent here than it is with availability and backup. Here are a few things you need to think about.
Develop expertise. I work with Intronis partners Josh Smith and Chris Johnson from Untangled Solutions in California. Several years ago, as the result of some lessons learned from taking part in the MSP Simulator hosted by CompTIA, these guys decided to get strategic and focused about their business. They evaluated their customer base and their own expertise with one goal in mind – to figure out which customers they were helping the most. After quite a bit of research and thought, they focused their business on getting better at delivering healthcare value. Two years later, and these guys are making a killing and are working exclusively in the healthcare space. They deliver more value. They win more jobs and get more referrals. The customers are happier. Not hard to do, just smart.
Study hard. If you choose to find out what you are good at, like my friends at Untangled, the next job is to become the best around at what you do. Assuming you chose to do something that you already enjoy some level of expertise with, spend time figuring out what you don’t know and what problems you cannot solve for your customers and go get that core competency. Certification, vendor training, hands on effort, hiring the right resources and whatever else it takes to establish that level of competency. Make a plan and go do it. Get better than everyone else and enjoy the view from above.
Build effective process. Recently I was on the phone with a Canadian Master MSP who is growing like a weed and signing up resellers on an almost daily basis. As a result of an inability to scale to the mid-market effectively, in addition to razor thin margins, the Master MSP model has been suffering over the last few years. So, I asked him what he was doing that was different – here was his answer. “We are entirely process driven. In fact, process is our primary focus. As a result, we deliver a level of consistency that our predecessors were unable to achieve. Our MSP customers know what to expect from us every time. It makes a huge difference.”
Do what you are good at, invest in getting better at it, and make it reliable and repeatable. I hope that sounds somewhat familiar to everyone. It is really at the core of what most coaches are telling their MSP customers to do. The only thing I would add is to be deliberate about it. Make the way you do these things the focus, not the things themselves. Then, you can pick almost anything and be successful with it.