Have you heard of the “race to the bottom”? Essentially this is a danger that spells doom for any managed services business (or any business for that matter) that doesn’t understand the fundamentals of solution or value selling. If your sales team spends their days trying to convince a customer or prospect that they do service XYZ better than your competitors, you are at risk. Stating that your service is better, that your technology is more advanced, that your experience is second to none, these are all classic fuel on the fire that will move you ever closer to the bottom. I know, you’re reading this thinking “we ARE better at all of those things!” and I’m here to tell you that if your services fit on a line item or are easily identified in “the stack”, the bottom is closer than you think. Your business becomes just another choice amongst an ocean of other choices.
the Elite 150 The question is, how do you do better? The answer: Look to those who are knocking it out of the park. If you look at the 2019 Elite 150 list and you’re not on it, then you should probably keep reading this blog. It is filled with absolute gold from some of the most admired MSPs. The best part? They tell you how they are rising to the top and avoiding the pitiful bottom, free of charge!
Because we know you’re busy running your business and may not have time to spend hours mining for this information, we have compiled a list of the most common things that separate the Elite 150 from the pack. Here’s what we found:
Grow Your Subscription Revenue: If you still have less than 70% subscription-based revenue, you’re doing it wrong. Those at the top of the list have all focused on the power of recurring revenue with good reason: It is the single most important thing you can do to protect the health of your business. Tigerpaw Software is over 95% subscription based but that hasn’t always been the case. Ask us how we did it.
Add a Customer Success Team: Helping your customers to succeed and grow could be the biggest differentiator you need. Prove to your customers that you are not just providing great services but that you are there to help them succeed. People love winning, and if you help them to do more of it, they’ll reward you.
Get into The Cloud: The floppy disk is dead and servers behind customer firewalls aren’t far behind. Most of the Elite 150 have some kind of cloud focus, be it as an actual service for cloud computing or simply providing consulting and security for cloud services provided directly. Don’t be cloudy about the importance of the cloud!
Hire the Right Team: Do you really know if your team is A, B, or C-grade players? The New England Patriots (whether you like them or not) have a lot of Superbowl rings because of the people they allowed to wear the jersey. Top Managed Services Providers know the importance of this and constantly ensure they have top talent.
Set Measurable Targets: Many MSP businesses have awesome toolsets but few have aggressive sales targets. Not so with the Elite 150. They spend as much time, if not more, focusing on their sales targets, margins, and growth targets, as they do on honing their technical skills. There’s an expression I love which says “Everybody in in sales, only successful people know it”. And knowing is only half the battle.
Cybersecurity is King: If you or your customers are at risk of ransomware or malware, you’re in big trouble. No, REALLY. The number of news stories about MSPs being used as gateways for ransomware is on the rise and you need to be prepared not to be in one of them. Do your homework, reach out to your favorite security provider, and do it soon.
Build Transformation Business Outcomes: When you understand your customers’ business objectives and help them to realize them faster and more economically, you will see growth like never before. When you think of a company like PWC (Price Waterhouse Cooper), is there any particular service that comes to mind? No, because their solutions aren’t evident to a customer until they’ve studied the business needs to see if they can create mutually beneficial outcomes. Top MSPs are the same. They provide business outcomes that include a variety of services to make them real.
Automate Everything: Automated business management systems are the key to give you the time you need to get good at everything else in this blog! The good news: Tigerpaw Software has helped elite MSPs for more than 30 years to automate their businesses so they can have more time to focus on growth. Every Elite 150 MSP has a top-notch business automation platform, make sure you do to!
Hopefully this list of elite strategies will help you to grow in 2020 like never before. Becoming an elite provider doesn’t happen by accident but there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Good business practices and paying attention to customer needs are as old as time and there are good partners out there ready to help. At Tigerpaw Software, we have conversations and sessions with our customers about these kinds of important business topics all the time. Reach out to us and let’s talk about more than software, let’s talk about how you can thrive and grow.