GUEST BLOG: Why Your Sales/Marketing Automation Investment Won’t Bear Results

salesfunnel

There’s so much more to MSP Marketing & Sales Enablement than just software implementation

MSP sales and marketing enablement has gained a lot of popularity. More and more MSPs are looking to leverage sales and marketing automation platforms in a bid to improve their overall sales figures. The truth is, purchasing a sales or marketing automation platform alone will never help.

This blog talks about the groundwork you need to build for your sales and marketing enablement program to work for you.

Understanding your business

The first step for any MSP is to develop a solid understanding of its business. Sure, you know all about the IT services you are offering, but what about your business? As a MSP Sales and Marketing Enablement consultant, I am amazed at the number of MSPs who don’t have a formal business plan. Most MSPs know they NEED to have a solid game-plan in place for marketing and sales, but they are just not able to prepare one owing to one or more of the following:

  • Lack of sales and marketing experience
  • Lack of sales and marketing resources
  • The MSPs are too busy working in the business rather than on the business

However, it is very important to step back and invest some time and resources in generating a business plan. If you feel you lack the expertise, then you could bring a MSP sales or marketing consultant on board to help you with the process. But, under no circumstances can you skip this.

Market Analysis

The next step is to analyze your market, your customer base. You need to identify your key customer segments, the market size of each of them and answer questions like—

  • Which generates the most revenue?
  • Which is the easiest to close?
  • Which is the easiest to service?
  • Who are the most satisfied customers?
  • What’s your positioning that separates you from your competitors in these markets?

Analyze your sales & marketing funnel

The next step is to analyze your marketing and sales funnel. You need to understand the conversion rates at every level of your sales funnel. This is important so you know at which stage you are losing your leads. You need to closely examine the conversion rates from MQLs to SQLs to customers. Then, based on the conversion rates, you need to align your marketing and sales strategies to match your revenue goals. For example, if you are converting 25 leads out of the 100 you get every quarter, then in order to sign 50 SLAs a quarter, you need to generate 200 leads—and tweak your marketing plan to deliver that.

Track your prospect flow

Once your sales and marketing funnel has been analyzed, the next step is to determine where the leads are coming from into your funnel and how are they being treated. You need to understand the source of each lead and the cost per lead. This helps you determine which lead sources are most effective and plan your marketing strategies accordingly. At this stage you also need to understand how your prospect’s journey with you progresses throughout the sales cycle and chart out the key milestones in the journey. For instance, what do you do once a lead gets in touch with you, how do you deal with leads that are not ready to close immediately and how do you treat existing leads. These are some questions that need to be answered at this stage.

Identify your key challenges

Most MSPs cite lead generation, poor marketing support and poor lead insight and engagement levels as their key challenges. You need to identify your key marketing and sales challenges. Only then you will be able to pick the marketing and sales enablement solution that’s right for you.

Picking the right solution

Finally, you arrive at the last step, picking the right Sales & Marketing enablement solution. You will find that you have a lot of options when it comes to sales and marketing automation. But, you need to pick the one that specifically addresses your core challenges and works to add value to your sales funnel at every step—right from the time a lead flows in until they close.

I also notice that often MSPs need much more than just a marketing and sales enablement software system. They are so busy managing their client’s IT infrastructure that they need support to help manage their business’s marketing and sales tasks. However, they realize this after having invested in an automation solution when they see the ROI is not what they’d expected. Of course, it wouldn’t because, even though they have all the tools they need, they lack the expertise or the time to put them to right use.

Bottom-line: Do your homework before investing in that MSP Marketing & Sales Enablement program. Find out where you are and what is it that you really need and then…just go for it!

matthewconnolly

Matthew Connolly is a MSP Sales Enablement Consultant with Mindmatrix. Matt has worked with a couple hundred MSPs helping them grow their business.
Speaking from experience, Matt tells us that 80% of MSPs don’t have a plan to grow their business. You need to be able to plan, track, and adjust your growth goals; but this is very hard to do when you’re working on a server until 2am. This is where Mindmatrix steps in. Through its MSP Advantage Program, Mindmatrix works with hundreds of MSPs helping them market and sell their offerings better.

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