One of the most important elements of managed services profitability is ensuring that you continually have a pipeline full of leads. Some managed service providers rely solely on referrals and word-of-mouth to keep new leads in their pipeline. While this can be effective way to add customers, it isn’t a reliable way to grow your business.
To help you get started on the right foot when it comes to lead generation, we spoke to Richard Delahaye, the senior director of marketing at Barracuda MSP. Richard has experimented with multiple processes to maximize a lead’s potential. This is the advice that he had to share:
“Lead generation doesn’t end when the lead is generated. Follow/track that lead to make sure a salesperson knows where the lead came from and is following up with urgency. If nothing comes of a lead the first time around, don’t discard it! Keep communicating and nurturing that lead so that next time they are looking to buy, they consider you first.”
3 Lead generation musts
When you assess the source of your business leads, you should see them come from a variety of different sources, such as form fills, webinars, referrals, blog subscribers, email newsletter recipients, and more. If you’re seeing your leads come from only one medium, look at the process and see what changes can be implemented to produce different results.
For example, if you’re only seeing leads from people asking about services on your website, try a new approach by offering a monthly webinar, adding forms to your downloadable content, or hosting an event. Your options are limitless. Once new leads come in, there are three things every managed service provider should do to maximize the potential of those leads:
- Always follow up. Whether it’s a direct mail campaign, a form-fill on the website, or a registration for an event, always reach out and follow up. In a recent article, marketing guru Robin Robins said 80 percent to 90 percent of leads never get followed up on—that’s a lot of sales that you could be making for your managed services business. To read Robin Robin’s advice on how you can close two to three times the amount of leads you are now, check out the post on Smarter MSP.
- Always include a call of action. While your sales and marketing team might be making a tremendous effort to contact SMBs that are in your target segment, nothing is worse than launching a campaign without defining a clear next step. What action do you want your SMB prospect to take? Do you want them to read your email and fill out a form, join you for a webinar, or check out a new blog post? Define what the next logical step would be in the process.
- Share helpful industry insight with them. To get your message to resonate with your target audience and to nurture your existing leads, it’s essential to understand what matters to them and what verticals their business serves. For example, if you’re an MSP that provides IT services to the medical industry, you need to communicate your message and how it applies to their channel—using terms they understand. If you’re an MSP that provides services broader mix of organizations, consider tweaking your message to appeal to different audiences. To help you see how your marketing stacks up against your peers, check out our e-book: 11 Habits of Highly Effective MSP Marketers.
Lead generation should be an ongoing activity for your MSP business. By utilizing these three marketing musts, we hope that your lead generation continues to be fruitful as the new year progresses. And, as with any marketing activity, adjustments can be made along the way to improve your results.
Photo: Olivier Le Moal / Shutterstock.