Last year I laid out a blueprint to help IT Managed Service Providers acquire customers via website conversions. The approach was well-received, and I heard from many MSPs that were eager to begin this journey. It has been over 9 months since that post, perfect timing to schedule a virtual follow-up appointment for those who have been hesitant to take the plunge.
First, a little context on where this is coming from. It took me about a decade in “sales” at TSL to realize that I was not a salesperson. Sure, I am the one who eventually sends a contract, but I have never convinced a customer to work with us if they were not ready. I am more like the sales guy at a gym: my aim is to lock the right people into a membership, and my customers must want to improve. I am not out prospecting at Taco Bell.
It took me another couple of years to realize that I was not a “strategist” either. TSL has incredible strategists — SMEs focused on SEO, website UX, and digital advertising — but that is not my role. My job is to ask questions, to listen, to diagnose and to customize. I’m more of a therapist.
“If your business is truly ready to grow, there are steps that can be taken TODAY to set you on the right path.”
The idea of my first article was to reframe the purpose of a B2B Tech website. I asked you to calculate Return on Marketing Investment, an assignment aimed at establishing customer acquisition goals. In hindsight that may have been too complex for some MSPs based on where they were starting from. My recommendations came from experience and best practices, but they ignored the challenges many businesses face when trying to launch growth initiatives.
Instead of proposing another multi-step process, this post is going to take us back to the basics. Today I want to ask three questions and suggest three exercises. That’s it.
Question #1: What do you want?
Too often in business (and in life) we prescribe goals for ourselves or our company. In any given year, you might set a personal goal of losing 20 pounds, and a professional goal of increasing sales revenue by 20%. But are either of those targets really “goals”? No, those are the outcomes you might achieve thanks to the execution of a series of actionable goals. Waking up at 5 AM to exercise on a given day is a goal. Dedicating a block of time each week to account for research and sales prospecting is a goal.
With that caveat I ask, What are the desired outcomes for your business? It is crucial that everyone at your company (leadership, operations, sales, marketing and even that agency you work with 😊) is on the same page when it comes to the destination you’re targeting.
Question #2: What is preventing you from achieving that outcome?
Without divulging into a SWOT analysis, it is helpful to be honest about anything blocking your way. Don’t keep those frustrations bottled up. Write them down and say them out loud. It could be a lack of budget, the wrong personnel, or even that disappointing agency you work with 🙁!
Question #3: Are you ready to change?
There is no shame in being satisfied with where your business is today. You probably worked hard to get it there, and perhaps you don’t see any room for improvement. If that’s the case, then I’m a little surprised you made it this far through the article, but maybe you’re just a fan of my writing style. (Editor’s Note: By “style” he means one blog every 9-10 months…if we’re lucky).
Seriously though, if your business is truly ready to grow, there are steps that can be taken TODAY to set you on the right path.
Here are three micro-goals that can be completed within a week:
1) Have an expert audit your website.
Whether you ask TSL to do it or go elsewhere, it is crucial that you establish a baseline for where your site is today. This data will act as a starting point and allow you to measure and critique the progress you make (or don’t make) moving forward.
2) Determine what you want to be found for.
IT Managed Service Providers solve problems. Ask your sales leadership, “What problem was our best customer having when they came to us?” Write down a few search terms that they might have plugged into Google during that buying process.
3) Determine what you want them to find.
When a serious buyer visits your website, they are looking for a clear conversion path. They want to find a compelling offer, not a piece of content. They want an assertive call-to-action, not "Learn More" or "Contact Us."
As soon as you have achieved these goals, you will be
ready for another session.