How MSPs Can Win Bigger Clients: 3 Essential Steps
So you have finally reached the point where you don't worry about finding and onboarding new customers since both your expertise and your reputation are indisputable. However, landing another shop or a small office brings you low MRR and no satisfaction. There’s no challenge - you have already mastered the SMB space.
You are eager to find a bigger client, grow your monthly recurring revenue, earn the reputation of an advanced managed IT provider and, why not, grow past your county and your state. However, bigger clients already have internal IT teams or MSPs supporting them. Moreover, they have higher expectations and greater demands than you are used to. And finally, how do you actually reach them?
In this guide, we will answer these questions to help you fulfill your growing expectations.
Step 1. Fine-tune Your Processes
Before you actually try to land a big contract, ask yourself if your operations, processes and approach are ready for it. If you are used to working with smaller teams, you might not be prepared for onboarding hundreds of end-users in several locations. The answer here is standardization.
To create a truly streamlined MSP, you need to standardize the solutions you are using, the hardware and software stack, as much as possible. You will have fewer issues during onboarding, maintenance and support, since you can standardize standard operating procedures for your team.
In other words – the fewer the number of solutions, the fewer the problems you encounter. It is as easy as that.
Without proper documentation, even a great team will still make mistakes and, overall, be inefficient. You need to think about creating standard operating procedures for routine operations, templates for projects, and checklists. And, lastly, how do you incorporate that documentation into your team? Do they know how to reach it, and do they review it and use it?
Don't forget about customer-facing documentation. Recheck your SLAs and MSAs with an attorney to make sure you are safe. Big companies have lawyers who will find any loophole in your contracts. Also, it might be a good idea to create FAQs for your customers for questions like how to contact support, or how to log in to the corporate network remotely. This can help you to remove some pressure from your level 1.
Further reading How to Create MSP Documentation
Ensure consistent and timely delivery of services. Get 3 free SOPs which you can edit, share, and use in your own MSP:
- Adding a new machine to the client's infrastructure
- Handling incoming support calls
- Managing MSP projects
Standardize processes or apply a framework
The third pillar of your managed IT provider is your processes. Take a step back and review how your MSP does things, rather than what things they do. You may find obvious pain points that can be an obstacle to growth. However, process overview is a hard job and might be too long or difficult for the inexperienced. To help you, there are several popular IT-oriented frameworks which are aimed towards developing a flawless IT service provider with an assured level of quality. Check out the ITSM approach and the ITIL framework to learn more.
Step 2. Enhance Your Service Stack
Big clients are not homogeneous; some might have an internal IT team and seek strategic advice, others may need help with optimizing their IT infrastructure in line with their growth, while still others might simply need a good IT service provider to help with their daily projects. However, they are not entirely different. Here are some distinctive patterns to the services that big clients might need.
Virtual CIO (vCIO)
If your prospect has an internal IT team, chances are they need a strategic advisor – a vCIO. In other words, they need a professional C-level IT manager who will define and implement their long- and short-term strategy.
Disaster recovery as a service
It's easy to perform disaster recovery for a bunch of office users with their workloads in the cloud. However, the bigger the client, the more complex the infrastructure. Are you ready to provide a disaster recovery plan for hundreds of end users? Do you know how to build a failover network or a replication server? What if your customer is spread across several sites? A truly complex disaster recovery as a service is demanding for an MSP to offer, and yet it is highly valued by big companies. They know the price of an hour of downtime.
Further reading Selling Disaster Recovery as a Service: Guide for MSPs
Advanced security offer
Bigger companies are a more tempting target for cybercriminals. Their infrastructure has more loopholes and, in the end, they have more people. And people make mistakes. Sometimes, a big prospect might need to be compliant with specific legislation. So, think about providing a SIEM-based cybersecurity offer or creating an alliance with an MSSP, if you don't have profound security experience.
Further reading Guide to Providing Managed Security Services
24/7 support and on-site work.
As we have already said, some big companies just need the work to be done properly. Thus, they need reliable support that answers the phone in seconds and an on-site tech doing all the required maintenance
Further reading An MSP Service Stack for Landing Bigger Clients
Step 3. Focus Your Sales
Now, when you are ready with your processes, stack, and services, it’s time to actually land some clients. But how?
First and foremost, you need to focus your marketing and sales message according to the needs of your vision of a big customer. Which services do they need? How do they talk about business?
You need to be experienced at sales pitching and other tactics to land a big opportunity. So, if you don't have such experience, think about hiring a professional.
One of the biggest sources of new customers is referrals from your happy existing clients. Don't be afraid to ask them about MSP referrals. If you haven't had any referrals in years, there might be an issue with your services. Find and eliminate such issues, and your chances of winning the hearts and minds of your clientele will increase.
Further reading MSPs’ Key Tactics to Reach Bigger Clients
Bigger clients are a great challenge for a managed IT provider. This is where all the pain points of your services and processes will arise and you will see if you are mature enough. However, if you successfully land one big opportunity, then you are ready for more. You are ready to grow your MSP to the next level.