News Feature | November 16, 2016

How MSPs Can Expand Their Opportunities

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

VAR consultant advisor

e-book offers four proven approaches to winning business for SMPs.

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

According to MarketsandMarkets research, the managed services market is projected to be worth $242.45 billion by 2021 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.8 percent during the forecast period. The growth is being driven by flexibility to match custom requirements, a continuous upsurge in dependency over heterogeneous networks, and a persistent rise in the complexity of technological solutions.

Meanwhile, MSPs must be prepared to offer both public and private cloud solutions to their clients in order to stay relevant as the hosted private cloud market is estimated to grow to $40 billion by 2019, according to the MSP Alliance.

Expand Your Opportunities: Four Proven Approaches to Winning Business in the Mid-market, written by David Weeks of Solarwinds, offers four proven approaches for MSPs willing to dive deeper and explore the mid-market to uncover a treasure trove of opportunities. Using the right strategy and plan MSPs can reap the benefits of higher-value and longer-term contracts, but it will require a different way of selling to, working with, and winning over prospective clients, as well as marketing strategies that speak to the diversified and specialized needs of mid-market companies.

MSPs should broaden their scope beyond mid-sized businesses to include larger business, because larger budgets mean bigger contracts. Weeks writes, “As more and more services move to the cloud, the value of device-level management — the most common form of work within the SMB market — is waning.” That means MSPs need to find new sources of revenue to maintain their bottom line.

But the shift away from device-level management is also opening doors to new opportunities for MSPs who can differentiate themselves through specialized services and expertise, including the cloud. “As the internal IT teams of most mid-market companies tend to be generalists,” Weeks explained, “many businesses will need outside help making a smooth transition to the cloud. With the right approach, you could become their ‘virtual CIO,’ leveraging your skills and experience to help with all aspects of cloud application planning, implementation, and management — an opportunity that simply does not exist in the SMB market.”

Weeks presents four possible paths to entering the new market, including that of reseller, supplemental services provider, managed monitoring and reporting as a service provider, and mid-market managed services provider.

Changing or expanding audiences also requires a shift in marketing strategy to suit the new one. Be sure to do the research to assess the needs of the clients you are targeting and the capabilities of their internal IT teams. It is also crucial to win over the internal team by demonstrating how you can help automate or streamline their daily tasks.

Knowing your audience is also imperative, which means setting aside the marketing strategies you use to sell to SMBs. Focus your pitch to highlight how your services and solutions will best meet their needs. Specialization, flexing your unique skillset, can also be a huge asset in the mid-market where larger budgets and workloads result in greater willingness to pay for services that SMBs cannot, particularly cloud services. And ultimately, your approach should be complementary, underscoring that you are there to help support the internal IT team, not supplant it.