By Justin Crotty, Senior Vice President and General Manager, NetEnrich, Inc.
In the business world, there are always those that are able to rise above the fray and differentiate themselves as best-in-class organizations. The same holds true for solutions providers and managed services providers (MSPs) who really focus to keep business centered on customer service and stay accountable.
Here are five strategies that channel partners can leverage to become world-class organizations:
Focus on what you do best. Many MSPs will spread themselves far too thin trying to be all things to all of their customers. Resist the temptation to offer services that aren’t within your core competencies, and leverage partnerships to fill the gaps in your service offerings.
Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad deal. When you are presented with a deal that is either unprofitable, or doesn’t make sense based on your core competencies, it is a bad deal. Walk away and avoid the headache and strain that it will undoubtedly place on you, your employees and your partners.
Price on value, not cost. Solutions providers and MSPs should never set pricing based on how much it costs to deliver their services. Pricing should always take into consideration the benefits received by the end-user. For example, it must be articulated that by increasing the cost of the service they are providing, the customer will benefit from a quantifiable savings in time or money that offsets the price increase over the long term.
Don’t discount your services. At the same time you articulating to customers how increasing the cost of a service can provide more value, you should also provide them with options that are offered at a lower cost, without discounting. Be sure to let them know what they will have to give up in order to achieve that lower price point.
Don’t sell yourself short during the onboarding process. A best-in-class MSP understands the amount of work that goes into stabilizing IT environments and tuning systems for optimum performance. These activities are both critical and necessary, and ones for which MSPs should receive payment. Don’t cut corners by providing this service at a discounted rate, or even for free. You will end up setting a bad precedent with the customer, and placing undue strain on your team and your partners to deliver services at a loss that may never be recouped.
The bottom line is that solutions providers and MSPs that remain focused on customer satisfaction, setting the right expectations in terms of pricing and service delivery, and understand the needs of their customers day in and day out, will undoubtedly become the best at what they do — and that speaks volumes.
Justin Crotty serves as senior vice president and general manager for NetEnrich Inc. He’s responsible for driving growth and scale for NetEnrich and its partners and customers. Prior to joining NetEnrich, Crotty conceived and launched the services division at Ingram Micro, where his team built and grew the first and most innovative managed and cloud services business in IT distribution. Widely recognized as an IT channel champion, Crotty has held management positions in IT sales and marketing, and began his career as an IT network engineer with IBM.