Despite widespread levels of optimism among MSPs according to recent industry surveys, there appears to be an increasing gap between high-growth MSPs who are capitalising wholeheartedly on the new business opportunities – and their lower-growth counterparts who are not taking full advantage.
High-growth MSPs apparently share a number of common characteristics that differentiate them from lower growth peers, according to a recent survey.
Where do you sit on the growth scale? Do you share the high-growth characteristics?
High-growth MSPs offer more choice, more services
Today’s SMBs are seeking more complex services (managed security, cloud services, high-end network monitoring…) alongside the more traditional bread and butter lines offered by MSPs.
High-growth MSPs are responding to this demand by consistently offering a wider range of services and more options within each service than their lower-growth peers. They don’t just provide the bare minimum needed to tick the box.
Here are some examples from Kaseya’s Global MSP Pricing Survey.
|47%||high-growth MSPs offer a 24/7 service, compared with|
|27%||lower growth MSPs|
Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR)
|45%||more likely that higher-growth MSPs offer three variants of backup options out of a possible four (cloud to cloud, onsite to onsite, cloud to onsite and onsite to cloud)|
|42%||more likely that lower-growth MSPs offer only one.|
|8||discrete security-related services offered by high-growth MSPs (mean value)|
|6||discrete security-related services offered by lower growth MSPs (mean value)|
|5||network monitoring-related discrete services offered by high-growth MSPs (mean value)|
|3||network monitoring-related discrete services offered by lower-growth MSPs (mean value)|
High-growth MSPs know what their customers want and commit to delivering it
High-growth MSPs focus strongly on identifying areas of growth and competitive value – and they make the necessary investment to execute it successfully. This may mean embracing new technologies, investing in new skills and extending service level options to deliver what their customers really value.
To quote the survey:
“Why offer NOC services during business hours when clients really value 24×7 service? Why stop at offering antivirus services when clients are looking for a more comprehensive, layered approach to security to protect them from breaches, malware attacks and ordinary human error?”.
High-growth MSPs are not afraid to bring on board larger, more complex clients
They can therefore benefit from higher monthly recurring revenues, plus greater economies of scale.
High-growth MSPs believe in the value of the services they deliver
And they reflect this value in higher pricing and by not shying away from increasing prices where necessary.:
- 50% or more of high-growth MSPs reported pricing increases for 16 of 20 potential service offerings over the previous twelve months.
- Lower-growth MSPs only reported pricing increases for 2 of the 20 offerings.
- Higher-growth MSPs anticipated more price growth by service level in 2017 than their lower growth peers.
The above are some of the characteristics shared by high-growth MSPs that differentiate them from their lower-growth peers. But there are other factors to consider too.
Sales success: essential to drive growth
Whether you are high-growth, low-growth or somewhere in between, the managed services recurring revenue model depends on continually adding new customers and on retaining existing accounts.
For example, the average North American MSP adds 9.6 new customers per month., but this will only contribute to growth if current accounts are retained. MSPs lose on average 2.23 accounts per month.
To achieve growth, MSPs need to up their game when it comes to sales and marketing. CompTIA. found that many are doing just that:
|33%||creating incentives to drive new business sales|
|31%||increasing their marketing budget|
|28%||trying to be more creative with marketing methods|
Growth is good – but volume growth is not for every MSP
Every MSP I have spoken to says they want growth. But what do they mean by this? Do they mean scaling up for volume growth or do they just want to take on a couple of new clients every month?
Increasing customer volumes for existing services or taking on more complex clients can be challenging: service levels for existing customers must be maintained while onboarding the new, who often bring new service requirements too.
Achieving growth by introducing new services is even more difficult, typically involving retraining existing staff, recruiting new skills and developing a raft of new marketing strategies. Many MSPs feel they lack the time and resources to execute this successfully.
And some MSPs don’t find it easy to delegate responsibilities to give them the time they need to focus on transforming the business for growth.
If this sounds familiar, don’t despair!
Partnering can help you to grow
With the right partner, you can free up time to develop the customer relationships so essential to selling in new services.
You can redeploy your technicians to higher-value areas, while ensuring that high standards are maintained for ‘bread and butter’ services such as NOC and Service Desk – because if your own resources are too occupied in the ‘here and now’ of routine maintenance and troubleshooting you could be missing valuable new growth opportunities.
If you want to grow by taking on bigger clients with more complex requirements, partnering can enable you to make that transition. Providing OOH or 24/7 support is often a requirement of larger or international clients – but it’s not easy to cover this in-house. A partner can deliver this service for you.
Your own resources may be stretched by scaling up the number of clients – or they may not have the skills required. Working with a partner gives you access to additional resources and the skills you need, as and when you need them, at a predictable cost.
And if you want to offer one of the new in-demand services, but lack the skills and experience in-house, partnering can help you to deliver that capability. Take BDR for example. Partnering with the right business continuity specialist can give you access to the latest technology products and the expertise you need to bring an out-of-the-box BDR solution to your customers more quickly and profitably – without having to hire in a raft of new resources.
, , ,  Source: Kaseya® 2017 GLOBAL MSP PRICING SURVEY
 Source: Special Report by Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda and The 2112 Group, July 2017
 Source: CompTIA 6th Annual State of the Channel Report