Channel Transitions Midwest Panel: Find The Pain

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson

Channel Transitions Midwest Panel: Find The Pain

The advice from the Channel Transitions Midwest VAR/MSP panel on how to make a managed services sale: find the pain.

The panel at Channel Transitions Midwest, powered by Business Solutions on October 7 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago-Oak Brook, featured Dale Walls, president of Corsica Technologies, a VAR providing managed services; Chris Rumpf, owner of Rumpf Computer Solutions, a point of sale (POS) VAR that now offers managed services; and David Wilkeson, owner of Tech Advisor and a former managed services provider (MSP).

Wilkeson reminds MSPs, “Not every client is a good fit for managed services … They aren’t spending money, they aren’t investing in IT, they don’t care about employee downtime. Their objection is always money, and there’s no way to make those numbers work.”

“The best managed services sales are pain-based sales,” he says. “So you’re looking for a potential client that is in pain … If they aren’t happy with IT, if they can’t have downtime, those are the kinds of pains you are looking for.”

He says your sales people have to approach those clients with the conviction that what they have to sell is a solution that represents best practices and supports that client’s goals.

Rumpf says solutions should include everything necessary to make them work efficiently for that customer — combinations of hardware, software, and service — priced on a monthly basis to provide recurring revenue for you. “Make sure you show the value of the parts of the bundle separately and put together,” he advises. Rumpf, whose company provides solutions to the hospitality vertical, says the approach works well to address customers’ pain points if they need a new system or when their industry is facing new regulations.

Encouraging VARs facing their own pain related to transitioning from break-fix to the as-a-Service business model, Walls says, “Hardware-as-a-Service is just another project sale, but you’re making yourself more engrained. You pay yourself back in six or seven months. Don’t be afraid to do it. Don’t be afraid to change.”

Wilkeson asks, “Do you want to slaughter the cow or do you want to milk the cow?  If you slaughter the cow every month, you have to try to find a cow to replace it.”

Rumpf agrees, “I look at every service model as a three-year commitment. So, do I make a $10,000 deal today, or I do make $25,000 over three years?”

For more information on Channel Transitions VAR/MSP Executive Conferences that focus on helping VARs transitioning from break-fix to the as-a-Service business model, visit www.BSMinfo.com/go/ChannelTransitions.

Channel Transitions is sponsored by: Platinum Sponsors MAXfocus, Mercury, and Worldpay, Gold Sponsors F-Secure, RapidFire Tools, and CloudFounders, and Networking Sponsor Autotask, along with industry association partners CompTIA, The ASCII Group, and the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA).