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​Channel Coaching - Building a managed services business

Managed services represents a monumental shift in the IT service industry - Holly Morgan outlines the key steps for transitioning partners to take along the way.
Moheb Moses - Director (Channel Dynamics) and Community Director (CompTIA A/NZ)

Moheb Moses - Director (Channel Dynamics) and Community Director (CompTIA A/NZ)

Managed services represents a monumental shift in the IT service industry.

Providing managed services provides an opportunity for higher margins and stable monthly income through recurring revenue.

However, the shift has not been smooth for all companies, as it requires a shift in the sales approach.

To build an effective managed services organisation, businesses must first understand the target customers and what their employees need to meet their objectives.

When their portfolio offers what businesses truly want, or their services can be tailored to meet their specific needs, sales will be more plentiful.

“Successful managed services providers (MSPs) provide the types of unique support their customers really need, and the cost-effective nature of managed and cloud services creates a win-win for all involved,” Channel Dynamics director and CompTIA A/NZ community director, Moheb Moses, said.

“Before a MSP can improve sales performance, its leaders must have a concrete understanding of the business’s unique value proposition.

“The key to understanding an organisations unique value proposition is understanding its position within the current market.”

Three steps to understanding market position

1 - Assess current service capabilities

The first step to understanding market position is to analyse capabilities in the service end of the operation. Take an honest assessment of the existing client base and project portfolio including client size, industries served, geographic reach, technical skills and reputation.

2 - Assess current sales and marketing capabilities

Assess the company’s marketing sophistication and tools to see if it has the skills necessary to target a specific industry or company size, then drill down to see whether it can target a particular type of client.

Consider how the company measures up when it comes to sales professionals’ experience and maturity, marketing collateral and process, marketing automation tools and sales force automation.

3 - Compare results with the company vision

The final step is to compare those current realities to the company vision. Are the skills and experience needed to successfully target the desired market available? If so, the skills, resources and knowledge are aligned to rev up sales performance. If not, determine where gaps exist and decide how to fill them.

“Success in any business is never guaranteed,” Moses added.

“However, building a high-achieving managed services sales organisation is attainable with dedication to targeting the right market; creating a sales process that differentiates the business.

“In addition, choosing the right sales team and keeping them grounded and motivated is key, alongside employing the right technology, as well as enabling sales through professional, aligned sales collateral and robust marketing.”

This article originally appeared in the December issue of ARN magazine - to subscribe, please click here