How to sell more managed services (Part 3 of 3)

Three proven strategies for reaching the right prospects

By Tan Ansari, Inside Sales Manager, N-able by SolarWinds

No matter how good you are as a MSP there is always customer ‘churn.’ Some customers will be lured by a lower price provider. Others merge with another business. Or they internalize their IT needs. Some go out of business.

Change is the only constant.

That’s why you have to be constantly generating leads and filling the top end of the funnel. What’s your strategy?

Surprisingly some MSPs rely almost exclusively on referrals. There’s nothing wrong with that. Referrals usually have a high incidence of closing. However, most of the time, leveraging referrals will only take you so far.

You have to go beyond referrals to keep your sales engine going.   

And if you’re a new MSP trying to get your business off the ground, you don’t have a referral network to tap. You need a proactive lead-generating strategy for going to market.

Who do you call?

The number one key success factor for any lead gen program is reaching a decision maker.

If you are targeting dental offices, you want the head of the clinic. If it’s a law firm, you want the managing partner.

If your Inside Reps are making 50 calls a day to the wrong decision makers, you’re spinning your wheels.

How do you reach them?

This is one of the top questions we get from our partners.

“Great, you’ve told me about cold calling and using social media. How do I do this to? Where do I go to get the names of potential customers?”

There are three key sources we recommend to support high-conversion lead-gen activities: lists, directories, and LinkedIn. These sources enable you to identify qualified targets using segmenting criteria such as title, profession, industry, size, geography, and others.

Lists – old school and still effective

Generally lists are divided into two camps – compiled lists and responder lists. Responder lists are based on individuals or businesses that have taken some kind of action – subscribing, buying a publication or downloading a paper.

Complied lists are based on various sources of information and don’t give you any buying information. Generally responder lists are better indicators of success and convert better because you’re getting the name of someone who has responded.

The advantage of lists is that you can get leads very quickly and affordably. Reliable sources used by our partners include Hoovers and infoUSA. The downside is that compiled and responder lists can get stale very quickly.

Online business directories are more dynamic

Our partners cite business directories as one of the most effective lead generation tools. They’re like lists except they’re based on local proactive businesses that want to be found online. As a result, directories are generally more up-to-date and always changing.

Top business directories include Manta, ZoomInfo, ThinkLocal, Biznik, JustClicLocal, and many others.

The directory we recommend most to our partners is Manta ( Manta offers highly qualified B2B sales leads. Once you’ve developed your target profile and established filters, Manta can provide finely segmented and highly accurate lists of decision making contacts.

LinkedIn Lead Builder

Most if not all of our top tier partners use Lead Builder in their sales process. Here’s why.

It’s easy to quickly identify local prospects using advanced search filters. And you can easily narrow a list by adding contacts with a mutual connection. This enables you to quickly zero in on qualified opportunities who fit your target customer profile and with whom you have some type of personal connection. It’s fast, easy and effective.

These are the three top, high-conversion lead-generation strategies that we recommend to partners. This is how you bring action to the top end of your sales funnel and keep the sales engine revved.