Lead generation is crucial for any business, but especially for managed service providers (MSPs) that want to expand their client base. In today’s competitive market, it’s not enough to rely on referrals and other traditional business growth methods. To stay ahead of competitors, MSPs must adopt effective B2B lead generation strategies that help them reach potential customers, cultivate relationships, and ultimately drive sales.
If you want to build a predictable and sustainable sales pipeline for your IT business, it’s essential that you do the following:
- Determine Your Target Audience
- Select a Lead Generation Solution for Your Managed Services
- Implement an Outbound Lead Generation Strategy
- Generate Leads for Your IT Company With Inbound Marketing
- Create Sales-Focused Marketing Collateral to Pique the Interest of Prospects
- Collaborate With an Outsourced Lead Generation Company
Determine Your Target Audience
If you want a lead generation solution that yields long-term results, determine your target market and craft messaging to align with the wants, needs, and pain points of potential buyers. Without a firm understanding of your target market, you risk generating low-quality leads and wasting precious time preparing sales meetings that are unlikely to convert into customers.
Here are some things to consider when determining your target audience:
- Service region: More often than not, IT companies choose to service businesses within a smaller radius so they can get to their customer’s location in case something were to happen to their network. Serving a small region gives you the opportunity to get to customers quicker, providing them great customer service. But it’s also important to remember that the smaller the region you want to serve, the less potential sales opportunities you have in your sales pipeline.
- Customer size: Many MSPs base their target market on the size of their ideal prospect’s business. This can include the amount of annual revenue generated, number of full-time employees, number of company workstations, and more. Selecting a target market based on company size makes sure you get the sales opportunities you want for a positive ROI. It also means you don’t get sales appointments that are too large for your team to handle.
- Industry served: While one IT company may only want to work with nonprofits, another may want to only work with for-profit companies. If you’re an MSP that only wants to close business with nonprofit companies, your sales development reps (SDRs) can structure their pitch to highlight their impact with nonprofit businesses. Additionally, marketing specialists can use this to craft messaging to align with the needs of decision-makers in that industry.
Select a Lead Generation Solution for Your Managed Services
Once you’ve pinpointed your target market and have figured out your ideal client profile (ICP) based on the predetermined criteria above, it’s time to choose a lead generation solution that aligns with the buyer personas of your audience.
Let’s be honest, some lead generation strategies provide better results for some businesses than others. After you gain a better understanding of your target market, you can choose a business growth solution that yields the biggest ROI.
However, no matter the approach your target market prefers, implementing a streamlined combination of outbound and inbound lead generation practices can help introduce you to new prospects and bring potential buyers to your business. Whichever way decision-makers like to approach making purchasing decisions, practicing both strategies can help you meet them where they are in the sales cycle.
Implement an Outbound Lead Generation Strategy
Outbound lead generation is a great business growth solution for MSPs that want to expand their book of business. While the MSP appointment setting process may be simple, it doesn’t come easy. It requires a lot of time, money, resources, and sales expertise to be predictable and generate sustainable results.
If you’re looking to grow your IT company through B2B appointment setting efforts, your SDR team should follow each of these steps:
- Build your prospect list: After you gather all the needed info about your target market, it’s time to build your prospect list through sales tools and any referrals you have from current, satisfied clients.
- Create a conversational talk track: Crafting a talk track for cold calls and sales emails is essential for starting the conversation with a decision-maker on the right foot. While it shouldn’t always be used word-for-word, you should use it to guide the initial conversation.
- Set goals: Determine what you want to achieve with each campaign, such as the number of new leads generated on a monthly basis, number of sales meetings set by SDRs, or amount of sales generated from your MSP appointment setting efforts.
- Choose your most impactful outreach channels: Some business growth approaches are more effective than others—and the same reigns true for outbound lead gen. If it’s cold calling, cold emailing, LinkedIn outreach, or a combination of all three, it’s important to meet your prospect where they engage most.
- Plan your timing: Timing is everything when it comes to appointment setting, so you must determine the best time of day and week to reach your prospects. It may take some time to gather data and explore when you see the best results, but it’s well worth it.
- Follow up: Following up with qualified prospects in the sales pipeline shows where they currently stand in the buying process, giving your SDRs the opportunity to make follow up phone calls and emails when the timing is right for them.
- Track your progress: Whether you use a lead management software or a CRM to keep track of your lead generation efforts, keep track of your progress. This allows you to see if and when prospects respond to inquiries and what their reactions are to your sales pitches.
- Test and refine: It’s essential that your SDR teams consistently test and refine your outbound lead generation approach. Every sales pipeline and target market is different, so it’s important to explore what works best for you.
Generate Leads for Your IT Company With Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing efforts are lead generation tactics that bring customers to you instead of you going out and initiating the first conversation with them. Since a lot of companies are already looking for additional IT support, inbound tactics are essential if you want to grow your business. These efforts help you push your message out there and bring leads directly to you.
Here are a few inbound lead generation tactics that help:
Build a Website That Drives Conversions
One of the smartest things you can do as an MSP is to build a conversion-focused website. If you optimize web pages for search engines, you drive more traffic to your website and generate website leads. A ton of digital strategy goes into building a website that generates leads, but here are few tips to help you get started:
- Plan your page structure and menu structure/navigation
- Perform keyword research for all pages
- Write content that helps users find you for every service page
- Design and develop an SEO-optimized website
- Incorporate plenty of calls to action (CTAs)
Website development is definitely the first step in generating more inbound leads, because all other efforts (social media, paid ads, etc.) will aim to drive potential customers to your website. From there, they can contact you and hopefully become a customer.
Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
Once you have a fully optimized website that drives organic traffic, you need to create a killer content marketing strategy. The best way to stay at the top of search engine results pages and continue driving traffic is by continuously pushing out new content. Make sure your service pages rank high for commonly searched terms and refresh them frequently as you see fit. Also, publish several keyword-rich, thought-provoking blogs every week. By continuing to publish content that helps your target customers solve their problems, you’ll drive more traffic and convert more of those visitors into leads.
Implement a Social Media Marketing Strategy
An IT company doesn’t need to have the most attractive Instagram page, but that doesn’t mean social media marketing isn’t important. There are various ways that MSPs should be using different social media platforms:
- Communicate with potential customers. Social media is great for lead generation because it gives businesses a place to have an open discussion with potential customers. If you’re posting frequently on social media and interacting with followers, it may make one of them more inclined to want to work with you. For MSPs specifically, it also gives people a place to ask questions or get help with technical problems.
- Establish your credibility with reviews. Encourage your current, happy customers to leave reviews on your social media accounts to boost credibility. Most consumers consider referrals from friends and strangers when making purchase decisions.
- Use paid ads. With the targeting capabilities on paid ads, you can target your ideal customer and retarget people who are already researching services like the ones you offer. Catch people who are already considering buying outsourced IT services using paid ads.
Of course, social media can also drive a user right back to your website where they can contact you, learn more about a service, and eventually contact you.
Create Sales-Focused Marketing Collateral to Pique the Interest of Prospects
Sometimes phone calls and email pitches aren’t enough to sway IT decision-makers. If you’re struggling to get the MSP leads you want from your appointment setting and lead generation efforts, it’s worth creating sales-focused marketing collateral to pique their interest and guide them through their sales journey.
MSP sales collateral includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Company brochures
- Statistical infographics
- Sell sheets/whitepapers
- Client case studies
These are great assets to share across your website, social media platforms, and email marketing assets, and they can also be tremendous lead magnets for your IT company.
Let’s say that a user reads a blog on your website about the importance of having a secure network. While the blog itself may educate the users on why it’s important, the end of the blog could have a call to action (CTA) that suggests the user downloads an exclusive checklist to ensure your network security measures are up to date. If they see the value your IT company has to offer from the blog, they can submit their information to download the free network security checklist, converting them from a user into a lead in your sales pipeline.
Collaborate With an Outsourced Lead Generation Company
There are several reasons why a managed service provider (MSP) might choose to outsource their lead generation efforts:
- Lack of resources: MSPs may not have the internal resources, including time and expertise, to effectively execute a lead generation campaign.
- Expertise: Lead generation companies have specialized knowledge and experience in generating leads, which can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the campaign.
- Scalability: Outsourcing allows MSPs to scale up or down their lead generation efforts as needed, without the need to hire additional staff.
- Cost savings: Outsourcing lead generation can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house team, as the MSP only pays for the leads generated.
- Focus on core business: By outsourcing lead generation, MSPs can focus on delivering their core services and growing their business, rather than dedicating time and resources to lead generation.
- Access to new tools and technology: Lead generation companies often have access to the latest tools and technologies that can help MSPs reach their target audience and increase their chances of success.
- Improved results: With the expertise and resources of a lead generation company, MSPs can expect to see improved results and higher-quality leads.
MSPs have so much to offer small to medium-sized businesses. As you continue to expand your clientele, you need an MSP lead generation solution that scales along with the growth of your business. At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we give you the opportunity to do just that.
Our SDR and marketing teams are knowledgeable about the IT industry and are always looking for new ways to engage potential buyers for our MSP clients. From cold calling and email marketing to SEO content services, we provide growing IT companies the opportunity to grow their book of business without negatively impacting their bottom line.
When you’re ready to maximize your approach to MSP lead generation, contact the business growth experts at Abstrakt!
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