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The year’s buzz-worthy performers? The award (and path to profitability) goes to MSPs.

By Heather Harlos on Oct 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
  • Channel resellers keep everyone connected and productive in our new work-from-anywhere world
  • Managed Service Providers are closing sales when nobody else can
  • The show must go on. If you’re ready to see how becoming an MSP can help you thrive in today’s uncertain market, register for our free OnDemand webinar!

No matter what market sector we serve, our collective need to adapt to changing circumstances continues to drive the 2020 narrative for most, if not all, of us. Technology makes these quick scene changes possible and serves as a central theme in our stories. To that end, channel resellers can not only play the leading role -- but also write, direct, and produce the show -- or better yet, the entire series and all the sequels. Okay, we’re getting a bit carried away (we can’t help it). But the truth is that channel resellers keep everyone connected and productive in our new work-from-anywhere world.

For some traditional VARs, this year’s challenges created immediate opportunities to support customers, and we applaud them for it. They were able to help customers positioned to make quick decisions and invest in the technology solutions that kept their businesses running without missing a cue, especially if they had available inventory.

We also know there are many VARs who have not been so lucky. We see you. And, we’re anxious to get our award-winning script into your hands. One that helps organizations in any market regain their optimism and maybe even create peace-of-mind for themselves and their team. In our industry, the strength of monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is a deciding factor for many technology resellers’ stability, predictability, and scalability.

What makes an MSP?

More than a business model or accounting practice, it’s a mindset! It may seem like the transition from VAR to Managed Service Provider is a simple shift in go-to-market strategy or maybe even just semantics. You’ll become their CTO-on-demand for many of your customers, with many encore performances.

The decision to become an MSP:

● Shifts your business from chasing the sales cycle to driving technology adoption

● Realigns your revenue stream from annual licensing to monthly recurring revenue

● Strategically repositions you as a business partner rather than a sales-driven commodity

● Create stickiness in your customer relationships that drives net-new business

Want more data on how MSPs stack up against the competition in 2020? Download this infographic comparing the different channel business models!

MRR-Infographic-7.7.20

MSPs are closing sales when nobody else can.

For channel resellers who already have established customer relationships, this next part is easy. For those who’ve traditionally been more transactional, now’s the time to strengthen your connections, because the critical advantage of moving from VAR to MSP is that you are on-demand and closing sales all the time ... and with every customer. There are no multi-year gaps in the conversation.

Once you’ve worked out how you can serve your customers in a way that makes sense, you can get tactical about the changes you will navigate within your business and how you will scale your team to adapt to a monthly recurring revenue model. Whether it’s how you pay your sales reps or how you service customers in a much more service-minded relationship, you will need to adapt, adjust, and remain flexible. Ultimately, you’ll find yourself leveraging your resources more efficiently, understanding your assets and exposures, and creating a culture of innovation that positions you for repeat business in the era of digital transformation.

Keep the customer dialogue going.

Where you previously asked customers what updates or tech refreshes they needed, you’ll instead ask them how they’re doing business. From these more in-depth conversations, you’ll glean insights on how you can help them advance, solve problems, and grow.

Who’s using which tools, and how is that working out for them?

What are their connectivity challenges?

Are their systems secure?

By talking to them about their business instead of your products, you’ve already made a fundamental shift in your relationship. When it’s time to discuss how they’re handling security in a work-from-home dominant environment, you’re already prepared to lead them toward additional, recurring sales.

If you consider the traditional VAR approach of getting a lead, making the sale, doing a one-time install, and then not engaging that customer again until it’s time for renewal in a year or more, the difference in touchpoints is a staggering advantage.

Transforming your business into an MSP model isn’t a tech trend (or short-lived performance). It’s making a revolutionary adjustment to your customer relationships to cultivate a consistent revenue stream. And it is the most important decision you’ll make for your business.

The show must go on. If you’re ready to see how becoming an MSP can help you thrive in today’s uncertain market, register for our free webinar!

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Author: Heather Harlos

Heather has been helping companies optimize their business operations and go-to-market strategies for over 15 years. Prior to joining Bitdefender, she served in multiple global roles for Fortune 500 companies, helping them create live experiences, leverage modern digital platforms, and empower their customers to thrive. In her free time, she trains hunter/jumper horses and actually could ride before she could walk.