How to Pitch Managed Service Providers’ (MSPs) Role in Office 365

The market appetite for cloud based solutions is high. It is still important to pitch yourself properly if you want to make your mark as an MSP for a cloud based solution like Office 365. Marketing is a critical part of your success as an MSP for Office 365.

Most MSPs state they are getting clients mostly word of mouth. However, given the dominant presence of eCommerce, most consumers in the B2B space are moving towards online queries, web resources, and internet searches to find services. So how do you pitch yourself properly as an MSP? Here are some tips:

Why is an online presence important?

According to a study by Google, about 89% of all B2B buyers tap the internet for doing any research and gathering background information. So, the bottom line is it’s highly likely that your prospects are looking online, whether they are looking for a provider or for new services. It should be a top priority to generate new leads and establish an online presence. Even if you are not intending to build any new relationships and get new clients, you should still spend enough time upselling to and nurturing your client base.

Team up with the right provider

Getting and converting leads is no joke. You need tools like cost estimators, product comparisons, and online banner ads to position your offer in the right space in the market and be able to convince prospects about your credentials. That’s why it is important to tie up with a partner that can provide such tools and help you talk the right language with customers.

Come up with your unique value proposition

It is important to focus on coming up with your unique value proposition first when trying to build your brand identity. It is the most fundamental foundation of all your marketing efforts. The unique value proposition is a clear statement that mentions all the benefits a client can gain by working with you. It should illustrate how you or your product solves business problems. It is statement made as a claim and an introduction, not a slogan. You need to build this statement by thinking about how a client sees you as a business partner.
A statement like “Because we are good”, “We get it done for you” would not be a good enough value proposition. Consider something like what Skype has as their UVP (Unique value proposition)- “Wherever you are, wherever they are – Skype keeps you together”, a good UVP.

Choose a target vertical

A philosophy of targeting anyone may not work. Instead, pick a target vertical. By picking a target vertical, you can ensure your value proposition is focused and received clearly by the prospects. For instance, consider you want to target the Information and Media sector. This focus will be reflected in your case studies, marketing, communications, and UVP. It will also be easier for you to be perceived as an expert if you are focusing on one sector.

Identify the problems faced by your clients

The ability to ask good questions and listen to the answers differentiates a masterful salesperson from one who is not. There is something called the SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-payoff) approach, which can help you ask the right questions. The way you build your questions is a very important factor in getting quality answers. The SPIN approach is composed of 4 types of questions asked in a particular order.

  • Situation questions

This refers to questions asked to know your prospect’s current situation. Here, you ask for facts and background to decide the potential problems that can be explored. These are some questions you can try:

  • Please tell me about your current solution for email and collaboration.
  • Indicate your satisfaction level with the current solution.
  • How do you estimate the equivalent value of employee productivity?
  • Do the employees at your organization work on mobile devices and remotely?
  • Please provide more details on these answers.
  • Problem questions

Here, you ask about the difficulties and problems faced by the client and her issues and needs. Questions of this type can help you identify and understand the solutions and alternatives you can offer.

  • How much trouble do you have handling the workload associated with the solution?
  • How worried are you about exceeding or reaching your current capacity?
  • How much time have your employees or you lost due to availability issues? Please characteristic as High, Medium, or Low.
  • Do you believe information security related issues are a bottleneck to your company’s adoption of cloud based solutions for collaboration and email?
  • Are you wasting considerable time trying to find the right version and the right document?
  • Implication questions

These are the questions where you ask about effects, consequences, and implications.

  • As far as you can estimate, how much time is being lost from the employees’ point of view due to inefficient business processes?
  • Do you understand how valuable the files related to your employees are?
  • Would it be helpful to automate and centralize the business processes into one location from where they would be accessible anywhere?
  • Would you like to reduce the time and costs associated with your email system and make the system more reliable?
  • Would your business be more productive if you could provide secure access to all your employees, so they could work wherever they want and whenever they want?
  • Would it be a useful capability for employees to work at the same time on the same file from two locations?

Author: Rahul Sharma

Image Courtesy: nokhoog_buchachon , freedigitalphotos.net

Sources

http://info.sherweb.com/Office-365-partner-profit-ebook.html

http://mspmentor.net/blog/10-office-365-sites-every-msp-should-bookmark

http://mspmentor.net/managed-services/032614/dont-sell-microsoft-office-365-sell-your-brand

http://blog.kaseya.com/blog/2016/07/12/how-msps-can-make-office-365-management-easy/