The changing MSP

November 16, 2022

How MSPs operate has been changing for years. We used to talk about delivering office automation; now, the term is  MSP (Managed Service Provider). Where we used to sell and provide installation and delivery of items based on time and materials, now the online workplace proposition is quickly becoming the standard, delivered for a fixed amount per month, including support.

These changes arise from new technology, a shift in customers' expectations, and suppliers offering SaaS services instead of pure software like Microsoft.

Delivering domain-specific solutions
The MSP is evolving into a complete IT service provider with a portfolio of standardised services. Our previous blog provided insight into current topics and which opportunities MSPs are leaving on the table.

By designing your portfolio so that it delivers business outcomes, you increase both the relevance and value for your ideal customer. By offering services and solutions that target a specific niche, you set yourself apart from your competitors while increasing your intellectual property.

Suppose your target customers are knowledge workers in the legal industry. What would attract the attention of that target group faster? "The modern workplace" or "The modern workplace for legal knowledge workers in"? If you can grab the attention of your target audience, you will be perceived as a specialist strategic advisor because the reader feels heard and seen.

Continuous change is part of what you do as an MSP. How does that affect results, both in terms of costs and income? You secure your future by continuously aligning what you offer to what the market - and, more specifically, your ideal customer profile needs. If you do this well, revenue and margins will follow.  Managing what you sell is precisely where we, as Salesbuildr, can help.

More turnover with lower costs
Most companies are looking for ways to do more with less while at the same time improving performance and customer satisfaction. Due to the increasing possibilities of digitalization, more and more opportunities are emerging.

Over time, we have gotten used to increasingly more tasks using an online interface. Think about your banking app. When was the last time you went to a counter to request information to make a transaction? When an online option is available, we prefer that over having to call or mail someone to get what we want. We are looking for more autonomy in our discovery, decision-making, and ordering process - when and where it suits us.

Technology has made this possible. The combination of autonomy and independence, combined with smart automation, leads to more turnover at lower costs. When properly executed, this also leads to higher customer and employee satisfaction.

Acceleration of revenue and effectiveness
By combining cutting-edge technology with a modern user experience, a solution like Salesbuildr enables MSPs to realise revenue growth. MSPs often have a broad product and services portfolio that includes laptops and other IT systems, often presented as line items in quotes and proposals. Transitioning to a standardised portfolio that consists of abstracted solutions that include hardware, software, and services is of added value, but how do you offer that? And how can customers be empowered to place orders without the need for sales interventions?

Herein lies a significant opportunity to improve and prevent your sales team from spending hours each time they have to prepare and send out proposals and processing customer approvals. Do you recognise the issues below?

- The sales team doesn't have access to an up-to-date and centrally maintained product and service catalog.
- There is no audit trail that shows which price changes have been made to products
- Potential revenue is not being realised because up- and cross-sell items cannot be bundled and offered easily.
- Templates for proposals and quotes are not maintained, contain too much jargon, are not customer-oriented, or are not used.
- When drafting quotes, product information, pricing and availability must be manually pulled from multiple supplier portals, and when sending the quote, additional checks have to be performed.
- There is no visibility of the status of the sent quote, when and how often it is viewed and whether the processing of the approved quote is carried out according to the internal procedures

By using a customer portal, filled with a customer-oriented offering of solutions that are composed of hardware, software and services, customers of an MSP can order services or products themselves.

Because Salesbuildr is integrated with distributors, the product and service catalog is automatically updated with product information, prices and availability. Standard business rules take care of markups and customer specific arrangements. This process is fully automated. The result is more turnover at lower costs and less chance of errors.

Customers don't change?
That is the misconception in the market. Customers are constantly changing, and customers are mainly looking for a party that can help them well, quickly and easily with their IT basis. This also includes a simple and fast method of taking IT resources.

Customers are now used to carrying out their own purchase process online. If we help them with that, it contributes to the professionalisation of the MSP - the step towards the modern Managed Service Provider.

And to dispel another misconception: implementing such a system and customer portal is not a big, time-consuming and complex project. How do we do that? Feel free to contact us.