MSP Lead Generation

In a lot of the conversations I have with MSP business owners, I find pretty immediately that two things are usually true when it comes to the prevailing thoughts on MSP lead generation:

In a lot of the conversations I have with MSP business owners, I find pretty immediately that two things are usually true when it comes to the prevailing thoughts on MSP lead generation:

  1. People understand why MSP lead generation is so important. They can see the long-term benefits as an opportunity to grow and scale their business in particular, and they know why it’s a concept so deserving of their attention.
  2. At the same time, they just aren’t really sure how to get started with their MSP lead generation efforts… which is typically where many of their problems begin.

People understand why MSP lead generation is so important. They can see the long-term benefits as an opportunity to grow and scale their business in particular, and they know why it’s a concept so deserving of their attention.
At the same time, they just aren’t really sure how to get started with their MSP lead generation efforts… which is typically where many of their problems begin

At its core, MSP lead generation is a term used to describe exactly what you think it does: the process of bringing in as many qualified leads as possible directly to your managed services provider.

So in a way, MSP lead generation isn’t about casting the widest net possible in terms of your larger marketing efforts. It’s about casting the most precise net that you can – making sure that your marketing efforts are always geared towards A) those people who are the most likely to become your customers in the first place, and B) those who also line up with whatever your definition of an ideal customer happens to be.

The Art of MSP Lead Generation

The right MSP lead generation technique can be a great way to cut through all the noise, getting your message in front of the people who matter as fast as you possibly can. This leads to two unique benefits:

  1. Not only does this ultimately help improve the return on investment for your marketing efforts, but
  2. It also unlocks the most important benefit of all: you always have a steady stream of new customers coming straight to your (virtual) door.

MSP Lead Generation: The Two Types of Qualified Leads

Generally speaking, there are two types of qualified leads that your MSP lead generation efforts need to be focused on: marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads.

  • A marketing qualified lead, otherwise known as an MQL, is someone who has been identified as a fit prospect. This is a prospective customer that has been thoroughly researched and has been officially deemed “ready” to be marketed to, although has expressed no explicit interest in your company.
  • A sales qualified lead, also known as an SQL, is something different. This is a prospect who has already indicated interest in what your business has to offer – either based on your existing marketing efforts or through some other point of contact with your company.

The major difference here between an MQL and an SQL ultimately comes down to their readiness to buy. The former is still likely at the point where they’re slowly building interest in your services. They may or may not understand managed services, and may still need convincing as to how one would fit into their business. The latter, on the other hand, is likely ready to make that jump – now, you just need to make sure they do it with YOU.

Getting Started With MSP Lead Generation: Breaking Things Down

If you truly want to get started with MSP lead generation in the strongest way possible, you MUST begin by properly identifying both your target audience and your target market.

  • If you’re a managed services provider that focuses on providing co-managed services in a 25 mile geographic area, for example, you’ll want to begin by learning everything you can about CIOs and CTOs within that precise distance of your office.
  • If you’re a niche-specific managed services provider who works exclusively with dentist offices – and you can work with offices all over the country because you can support them remotely – then your target audience begins to take a different shape. Here, you might be targeting dental office administrators or even the dentists themselves if you specialize in helping private practices.

The key thing to understand is that if you want to make sure your MSP lead generation soars, you need to make sure that your message is dialed into the people who you actually want to become your customers in the first place. You can’t hope to get to that point without first knowing as much about these people as you possibly can.

Making Contact in All the Right Ways

Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can then move onto not only building your contact list, but also trying to engage with that list.

To speak to the former, there are a number of different ways that you can build a quality contact list – all of which are worth exploring to some degree:

  1. Think local. If your MSP lead generation efforts are focused on reaching out to small businesses in your area and you happen to be located in a large office park with 50 other businesses, it makes sense that your list building efforts would begin by researching those business right there at home.
  2. Explore your online network. At Tech Pro Marketing, a lot of our clients are using LinkedIn as a way to build their lists – just make sure you’re using your personal profile to do so, as a company page doesn’t actually allow you to reach out and initiate conversations with other people.
  3. Purchase a list. There are many data vendors and internet research firms who can help you build your list. Just one word of caution: make sure you work with a reputable vendor, as marketing to an outdated or irrelevant list can hurt your reputation along with just being ineffective.

From there, you should next make sure that your MSP lead generation efforts are stable by deciding on and creating your workflows for getting your message across. Again, there are a lot of different ways to do this. You could:

  • Send a mailing
  • Try cold calling or cold emailing
  • You could even send an aforementioned LinkedIn connection

Most likely, you’re going to want to do a combination of many of these things to make sure you’re connecting with people in exactly the right way, regardless of what that way happens to be.

MSP Lead Generation is About More Than Just Sales

But critically, you MUST understand that in order to get your MSP lead generation efforts started in the right way, you NEED to look at this as more than just another sales opportunity. Because the fact of the matter is, it isn’t. Not by a long shot.

MSP lead generation isn’t just about reaching out to someone and asking them for their business. What you need to do is A) provide value to them that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to, and B) offer yourself as an invaluable resource they can lean on in the future.

Indeed, this is where a lot of people run into trouble in terms of MSP lead generation. At Tech Pro Marketing, we know from our own experience that you can have up to 80 different touch points before you even get a single new customer. A salesperson might make seven attempts before they even get into contact with someone to begin with.

All of that hard work and effort is worth it… provided that you don’t then give up on the opportunity by turning it into yet another generic attempt to sell to someone.

Once you do have someone’s attention, don’t waste it. If you overwhelm someone via one channel – like if you just keep calling them over and over again – the chances are high that you might bother them and at that point, the chances of them actually wanting to do business with you are slim.

But if you send them their newsletter filled with valuable, relevant content that they can learn something from, and if you call them up and ask to take them to coffee, and then try to meet them at a network event, suddenly you’re talking about something entirely different. Right there, you have three different touch points that not only help establish your presence in an authentic and genuine way, but that also allow you to start positioning yourself as their go-to person on the topic of managed services.

MSP Lead Generation is About the Long Game

In the end, MSP lead generation is all about bringing new people to your business. But in a larger sense, it’s also about something more important. It’s a way to grow and scale your business so that, eventually, you don’t actually have to worry about generating leads anymore.

This is why it’s so important to make sure that your MSP lead generation efforts get off on the right foot. Because if they do, eventually they’ll start to build their own momentum. One happy customer becomes two, who then become five, who then become ten.

Rather than shelling out $200,000 per year for a dedicated salesperson who can generate and close their own deals, you can instead learn to do it yourself. You can set up a system and a process that works well because it was built from the top down with your specific managed services provider in mind.

At that point, you can eventually step away from the sales side of your organization and focus on what you always wanted to do in the first place: helping people get the most out of their technology.

That was always your ultimate goal, and MSP lead generation is absolutely a big part of how you do it. If you’d like to talk to someone in a bit more detail about your own MSP lead generation efforts, terrific – we’re here to help. Schedule a strategy call with us at Tech Pro Marketing or connect with me on LinkedIn so that we can get started coming up with new and innovative ways to help empower your MSP lead generation process for the next decade and beyond.

About Nate Freedman

As the founder of Tech Pro Marketing, Nate Freedman has more than two decades of web and IT experience and manages a team that has worked on more than 1,000 different projects. After launching his first website project in 1998, he's spent more than 10,000 hours working with IT businesses on new and innovative ways to guarantee the marketing results they need when they need them the most.

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