MSP marketing this year: Focus, priorities, and winning strategies.
It’s that time of year again.
MSPs have made their plans, resolutions, and budgets for the new year. To say 2023 was a big year would be an understatement. I realize people say this about every new year, but I believe this past year was different – primarily thanks to the meteoric rise of ChatGPT.
We’re just over one year into ChatGPT, and it’s definitely ramped up “shiny new object syndrome” in many MSPs. As the owner of Tech Pro Marketing, an MSP marketing company, I speak with a lot of MSP owners. Over the past couple of months, many have told me they want to use AI to automate more in 2024.
Now, this is great. But there is also something MSPs should equally prioritize this year – examining the bottlenecks in their customer acquisition process.
In this post, I want to talk about where MSPs should focus their marketing efforts in 2024.
Looking at your bottlenecks
Every MSP needs new customers.
All too often, MSP owners look at their lack of new customers and think they have a sales problem. The real problem may lie in several different areas within the customer acquisition ecosystem. I want to discuss a handful of the most common problems we see – and what solutions may be worth considering in the new year.
1. People are not visiting your website
Your website is the first impression many clients will have with your MSP. Think about SuperOps. When you land on the homepage, there’s an immediate sense of professionalism – and you know you’re going to get high-level content.
Your MSP website should be a hub that educates prospective clients on the value you add to their business – and provide steps to get in touch. You can build the most beautiful website the internet has ever seen, but if no one’s visiting it, it’s not doing you much good. The immediate goal of your website is to generate traffic.
If this is the case, you may consider implementing an SEO and/or Google Ads strategy in 2024. Before you dive in, there are some things you need to know about these digital marketing tactics.
- SEO is a long game strategy. It may take anywhere from four months to a year to start seeing solid web traffic.
- Google Ads will get you website traffic immediately, but the traffic only lasts as long as you keep paying Google – and it adds up fast.
My recommendation is, start with both SEO and Google Ads. Invest heavily in Google Ads early on, while SEO works in the background. Once you start seeing decent organic web traffic from your SEO efforts, you can gradually reduce your spend on Google Ads.
2. People are visiting the website, but not converting
This is an interesting problem – and the cause isn’t always black and white.
In some cases, we can trace this back to an SEO problem. Maybe your MSP website is getting placed on Google searches for the wrong keywords.
For example, let’s say your website is showing up when people are Googling “computer repair” – and you don’t offer this service. People are coming to your website thinking you’re a repair shop, realizing you’re not, then leaving. In cases like this, you may need an SEO expert to analyze your website and make changes to the strategy.
If it’s not the SEO strategy, it could be an issue with your website’s user experience – and may need a redesign or optimization. Keep in mind, website design is a field that evolves by the hour. When clients are looking to invest in a service provider, the website is their first impression. You’d be amazed how quickly a cutting-edge website will start to earn the dreaded “outdated” label.
3. People are filling out contact forms, but not scheduling meetings
Filling out a contact form and booking a meeting is a much bigger step for a prospective client than many business owners assume. Every minute in the workday is precious, and most people don’t block time on their calendars for nothing.
In these situations, the solution may be a better lead-to-meeting system – which may require hiring a new inside salesperson to stay in touch with leads and make sure those meetings actually happen.
Hiring a salesperson is a big decision. You need to be sure there is a solid pipeline of leads first. The salesperson’s job is to turn leads into sales – not generate leads and then close them. Lack of leads is a marketing problem, not a sales problem.
4. People are scheduling meetings, but not taking the next steps
Booking meetings, but not taking any further steps is a big sign that there’s something off within your sales process. You’re attracting the right people, nurturing interest in the early stages, but they are hesitant to start the deeper conversation.
This is one of the trickiest bottlenecks because it’s tough to pinpoint exactly where you’re losing people. If this is a familiar song and dance for your MSP, we recommend investing in some sort of coaching to help you build out and refine your sales process.
Finding the right sales coach can be tough. As we all know, the MSP sales process isn’t like any other industry. Be sure you’re working with someone who specializes in the MSP sales ecosystem.
5. You’re getting to the proposal stage, but no one is signing them
By this point, you’ve probably invested hours of your time into sales calls, discussions with stakeholders, and proposal writing. I think we can all agree that getting ghosted in the proposal stage is extremely frustrating.
Being completely honest, many proposals are doomed from the start. Whether the proposal is too long, wordy, poorly-designed, or struggles to communicate solutions, there are a million reasons why proposals get ignored.
If this sounds familiar – and you’ve been creating your own proposals from scratch – I strongly recommend investing in a proposal management system. Most of these programs have proven templates that appeal to prospects and communicate your MSP’s value clearly.
More importantly, you can generate proposals quickly – without having to start from scratch.
6. People are signing proposals
If people are consistently signing your proposals, your sales process is probably doing alright.
Now you can focus on your efforts towards implementing AI. Some of the best places MSPs can use AI include:
- Long-form content for SEO
- Email campaigns
- Finding strategic partners
- Incorporating an intelligent chatbot on your website
- Automating the repetitive tasks in the onboarding process
This is just the tip of the iceberg with AI.
If sales is doing great, AI is going to help you serve more clients more efficiently.
Getting caught up in shiny new object syndrome is easier than many would like to admit. The thing about shiny new objects is they won’t do much good if you’re having fundamental business problems – like issues with the sales lifecycle.
What good is automating tasks in your client onboarding process if you’re not making any sales?
As an MSP owner, you’re obligated by trade to be a technology leader. I get it.
But my advice to you is this: make sure you have your basic business processes right first. Once your numbers are peachy, then explore the bells and whistles.
If you’re experiencing issues related to points 1-3 mentioned above, I can help you. Get in touch with me on LinkedIn.