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Empowering Your MSP Business to Grow and Prosper—One Post at a Time

5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Featured Post

5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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Frank Bauer

Frank Bauer is Sr Channel Development Manager for Continuum. Frank can talk, a lot, trust us, but doesn’t feel comfortable talking about himself, so we’ll do it for him. Frank has been serving the IT Channel since 1998 starting as a marketing assistant with a regional white box manufacturer. His career has spanned many positions in sales management with organizations such as Tandberg Data, Zenith Infotech and Artisan Infrastructure. Frank is also a proud, honorably discharged, veteran of the United States Navy, serving 2 years in Yokosuka, Japan and Everett, Washington. When we can get Frank out of the office, he enjoys tasting craft beers, spending time with his father and Pittsburgh sports.
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Recent Posts

How to Write an Elevator Pitch for Your MSP Business

Posted by Frank Bauer on March 14, 2017

How to Write an Elevator Pitch for Your MSP Business.png

If there is an Achilles Heel of MSPs, it’s the role of sales and marketing. MSPs, by their very nature, are technology driven. They are comfortable in the realm of tech and can do things that others simply can’t fathom – it’s exactly why they exist! Although sales and marketing are essential in sustaining a profitable business, many MSP owners are often so immersed in the day-to-day of their business that they don’t have the time to market or sell.

But let me tell you something that MSP owners often don’t realize: you’re actually selling at all times. Think about it, you’re in a front-facing role where you’re frequently networking with other business owners. The trouble is, though, that you’re not always in “sales mode.” So, how can you better incorporate sales into your day-to-day in a way that feels natural?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing

What Is the Sales Process for an MSP?

Posted by Frank Bauer on February 17, 2017

What is the Sales Process for an MSP?

You can spin up a server with your eyes closed, but one of the real challenges of being a managed services provider (MSP) is acquiring and retaining new business. Sales doesn't always come easily to people with technical backgrounds, and IT solutions providers often think you have to be born with sales skills to be successful. However, with the right strategies and training, all MSPs can master the art of the close.

One of the questions myself and my colleagues hear all the time is “how do I sell managed services?" So, to help you reach more competitive levels of revenue and profitability, we’ll go over the client acquisition process for an MSP and analyze the sales and marketing funnel from the moment a lead is generated to the customer onboarding period. Are you ready to get started?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing

5 Simple Ways to Break the $1M Revenue Barrier

Posted by Frank Bauer on February 8, 2017

Who Wants to be an MSP Millionaire

Who wants to be an MSP millionaire? OK, so we’re really talking about annual revenue for your business, but still impressive, no? Isn’t the dream of achieving those financial goals part of the reason you started your practice in the first place? Maybe you haven’t reached this important milestone yet. You used up all of your lifelines, and the pressure of the “hot seat” got to you. That’s OK! Chris Harrison might judge you, but we won’t. Instead, let’s put two minutes on the clock as we demonstrate five simple steps you can take to hit your $1 million revenue mark!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

I'm Not a Marketer, but I Play One on Social Media

Posted by Frank Bauer on August 30, 2016

Who else remembers that famous 1980s commercial for Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup in which General Hospital’s Chris Robinson states “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV”? Though the soap opera star was widely recognized for his role as Dr. Rick Webber on the show, the ad caught on because it featured the medical opinion of an actor pretending to be the real thing.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing

Whose Buy-in Counts When Selling Managed Services?

Posted by Frank Bauer on June 22, 2016


Within each managed IT services sale, there are usually multiple people, or stakeholders, involved who provide varying degrees of input. As an MSP, you must be able to identify these stakeholders within the companies you're prospecting. And not only that, you must also know how to position your solution accordingly with each. A 100 percent uniform strategy will yield zero success in selling managed IT services.

Welcome back to our MSP Sales Success blog series, a collection of posts that dive deep into the sales journey. Last time around, we looked at the do's and don'ts of an MSP sales discovery call. In this next post, we cover the three types of stakeholders whose trust you have to earn and how to do it!

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

How to Sell Managed IT Services in 2016

Posted by Frank Bauer on March 21, 2016

How to Sell Managed IT Services in 2016


About two years ago, I wrote a blog post called How to Sell Managed Services: Understanding the New Buyer Dynamic, a topic that's still top-of-mind for most MSPs today. In it I stressed that purchasing behavior has changed, rendering once popular sales strategies outdated and ineffective. Need proof on this? According to HubSpot and Leap Job, a mere two percent of cold calls result in an appointment. Clearly, there must be another way! 

So let's say you're still struggling to fill your sales pipeline. You know what NOT to do because you've done it, and it isn't working. What then is the solution, how has it changed over time and what's driving that change?

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

Who Filled Out My Form? Prospect Research 101

Posted by Frank Bauer on March 9, 2016

Who Filled Out My Form? Prospect Research 101

“I GOT AN INBOUND LEAD! I'm going to call them now!”

Whoa Nelly! Hold your horses for one moment. All of us in business get excited when that hot inbound lead comes in, but let’s take a step back and prepare before engaging. Much like I stress in our previous MSP Sales Success blog post, Understanding Your Managed IT Services Competitive Landscape, you’ll want to fully understand the end client before reaching out. That due diligence starts on the Internet.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

Understanding Your Managed IT Services Competitive Landscape

Posted by Frank Bauer on February 2, 2016

Understanding Your Managed IT Services Competitive Landscape

Welcome back to our MSP Sales Success blog series, a collection of posts that dive deep into the sales journey and answer what you've been asking for some time: "How do I sell managed services?"! When we last left you, you had just started to learn more about the managed IT services sales process and its individual stages. Next up, we review one of the steps you have to take when laying the groundwork for a successful sale. Do you know who you're up against? In the following post, we'll teach you how to understand the competitive landscape in your local area.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

Marketing Efforts Not Working Out? Keep Trying!

Posted by Frank Bauer on December 4, 2014

fall-off-horse
I’ve been in the industry serving MSPs for some time, and in my conversations, I typically hear the same two remarks: “I want to learn to market better”…and “I tried that, but it didn’t work.” Huh? Those are contradictory statements!

Think about your IT practice as a whole. You've largely built its success by improving technical and operational aspects through trial and error, over time. Why then do you, like so many other MSPs, give up when it comes to your marketing plan?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing

How to Sell Virtualization Services to SMBs

Posted by Frank Bauer on April 18, 2014

server-virtualizationAs many of you are already aware, virtualization is the next big thing for many SMBs. According to VMWare, the use of virtualized servers has jumped from 29% in 2009 up to 66% last year, representing an increase in use that’s doubled in only 3 years. Virtual servers drastically cut operating costs; the time and money that were once spent on physical server resources and their daily management can instead be funneled back into core operations to grow the business.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

RMM 101: Must-haves for Your IT Management Solution
MSP Guide to Managed Services SLAs  [white paper]
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