If you’re like most tech entrepreneurs, you probably launched your MSP business because you’re really good at solving IT challenges and reasonably confident you would pick up the remaining essential business skills along the way.
But now you’re a bit concerned because, although your existing customers are happy, you’re struggling to fill your pipeline with enough well-qualified prospects to stay consistently profitable. And in a time of economic uncertainty, not having a healthy flow of fresh leads can be incredibly distressing. Here’s the good news: there’s practically unlimited opportunity for MSPs in 2022 (and beyond). As organizations increase their reliance on complex tech for nearly every facet of their businesses, demand for MSPs will continue to grow.
That means there are plenty of prospective clients ready and waiting for your services, but they may not know you exist. And if you don’t attract them soon, someone else will.
Let's explore the main reasons you’re not generating enough leads yet, and a few actions you can take to overcome those roadblocks and fill your MSP's pipeline fast.
You Aren’t Targeting the Right Audience
One of the biggest mistakes MSPs make is failing to define their ideal customer and enthusiastically taking on every client willing to pay their prices. At first, all business seems like good business — until you’re struggling to find good leads because you’re casting your net too wide.
Here’s how you can overcome this challenge:
IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET MARKET, THEN REFINE. Start by defining your preferred customer. Instead of merely hoping to reel in any business with IT infrastructure to manage, narrow your scope to specific industries or markets. For example, depending on your experience, you might prefer to work with healthcare companies, financial institutions, manufacturing organizations, or the education sector.
Once you’ve identified a target market, refine your ideal customer further. How big is the company? Do they have multiple locations? What specific services do they need? When companies hire an MSP, they want to know the experts supporting them have a firm grasp on their industry’s unique challenges. The more narrow your niche, the better you can specialize and demonstrate that knowledge.
MAP OUT YOUR BUYER’S JOURNEY. Take time to better understand your prospect’s path to purchase. Where do they go to look for an MSP? Why might they want to switch from their current provider? Who is involved in the buying process? As you illuminate their journey, you can pinpoint specific opportunities for improvement.
For example, you might find that prospects get hung up in the early stages and need more education about what an MSP is, how providers might differ, and how companies like yours work with organizations like theirs. Armed with this knowledge, you can ensure your marketing efforts address those needs.
MAKE SURE YOUR MESSAGING REFLECTS YOUR AUDIENCE’S NEEDS AND CHALLENGES. As you get to know your audience more intimately, you should revisit your marketing messaging and sales tactics. Evaluate whether or not you’re addressing their specific pain points and how you and your team will overcome them.
You Aren’t Doing Enough to Captivate Buyers
When you first entered the job market, what did you do to get hired? Instead of sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring, you likely crafted a compelling resume listing your proficiencies and accomplishments, networked, and followed up after interviews. You knew that to snag a job you wanted, you had to prove your value and stay top-of-mind.
The same holds true for generating leads for your MSP business. You have to show up, demonstrate your expertise, and make it easy for prospects to take the next step. Here’s how:
INCREASE YOUR VISIBILITY. Establish and manage your MSP's online presence so your audience can easily find you. And be sure to spend most of your time, effort, and marketing funds in the spaces where your audience hangs out. Participate in forums, platforms, and professional organizations that cater to the niche you serve.
BOOST YOUR CREDIBILITY. Prospects can’t simply take you at your word — they need to see actual results you’ve generated for buyers like them. Create case studies to host on your website and promote across social media. Share testimonials from satisfied customers, and ask them to post on third-party review sites.
PROVIDE A STREAMLINED EXPERIENCE. The more steps a prospect has to take to reach you, the more opportunities they have to walk away. Strive to provide an effortless experience throughout the buyer's journey — including a user-friendly website and a quick follow-up process.
You’re Working Harder, Not Smarter
Sometimes, when you feel like you’re doing the most to move ahead, you’re just spinning your wheels. If you believe you’re taking all the right steps to generate leads for your MSP business but still struggling to fill your pipeline, then it could be a sign you’re working harder instead of smarter. Here’s how to flip the script:
INVEST IN AUTOMATION. It takes time and energy to generate leads and convert them into paying customers, but those are scarce resources for business owners. Fortunately, while you can’t add more hours in the day, leveraging automation can eliminate some of your biggest time-sucks. By offloading tedious manual tasks from your plate, you can refocus that time on growing your business. For example, consider adopting helpdesk software built for MSPs and professional services. This way, you can support requests across multiple customers and locations, track all your billable time, and build robust reports in just a few clicks.
CONSULT THE DATA. Take a look at a few of your best customers and work backward from the moment you won their business. How did they find you? What initially captivated their interest and ultimately convinced them to sign the dotted line? Analyzing these relationships will help you uncover which efforts are driving the best results.
The truth is, generating leads is hard work. (If it were easy, everyone would start a business.) But, by identifying what’s holding you back, you can take steps to dismantle the roadblocks and reach your audience. And once you optimize your lead generation process, you’ll have a healthy, flowing pipeline chock full of lucrative opportunities.