Part 2: Sink, Swim Or Steer The Course Of The Cloud

This is part 2 of a blog series in response to a recent Redmond Channel Partners article. You can read part 1 here!

It’s no secret that just about all MSPs were technologists first—before they started their business. Most MSPs are IT providers at heart whose strength is not in sales and marketing. Even worse, the opportunities from “v1” of the cloud are drying up—not immediately, but we can see that shift happening soon. So having a sales force that’s prepared for those deeper “v2” cloud conversations is essential.

Floaty-Money

Start thinking about MRR.

In terms of compensation for the next wave of the cloud, it’s essential to incentivize your sales team to not only sell the one-off projects but also to drive monthly recurring revenue (MRR) through upsell of managed services. Do that by creating incentives to help them sell things that may at first feel harder to do. Those managed services often have a higher margin over time, and provide a stable base upon which to grow your business. (Think: put an end to chasing projects and the peaks and valleys in income that go along with that.)

Drive user productivity.

The article’s discussion of billing is a great example of where they’re on point: for a very long time, we and our partners saw customers struggling with coming to terms with per-user billing. We’ve turned the corner on that, now seeing fewer and fewer cases of device-based billing. Of course there’s an occasional objection when a partner starts talking user-based billing, but in general people now understand why it makes sense to pay for what is needed to keep every worker productive—regardless of whether those systems reside on-prem or in the cloud. Even better, new sales opportunities continue to crop up in the face of a bigger conversation about productivity.

Leverage experts to cash in on the cloud.

Toolbox

Now you’re sold on selling the cloud, but the problem remains that like many small MSPs, your company only knows a few technologies like email, and lacks depth in knowledge about other cloud technologies and platforms. Newsflash: deep technological expertise in the many and varied cloud platforms is not required anymore to sell them! Success can be had by leveraging third-party tools and solutions, as well as simply empowering your sales team.

HealthCheck for Office 365 and HealthCheck for Azure are two tools to leverage for profitable IT assessments that reveal the lay of the land and help you determine next steps to define a full migration project, complete with ongoing managed services to add to the sale.

Let’s reflect: maybe the big question isn’t whether or not the cloud dooms MSPs, but rather: how are MSPs dooming themselves by not reacting to the shifting industry? The direction they need to go is evident, but what MSPs need now is the right compass—like BitTitan—to help them navigate the shift in their business strategy.

In case you missed part 1, you can read it here.

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