Are you proactively leveraging all of the tools at your disposal to increase the total number of leads available to your business, or do you employ a reactive, word-of-mouth referral technique to identify new revenue opportunities?
If you rely on the latter, you will have difficulty in forecasting revenue and business growth, as you will never be able to predict how many leads you will receive via word-of-mouth referrals at any given time or if they align with your target market, are qualified for your services and the revenue you can expect to receive from them on a monthly basis.
If you focus on the former, you have a much better opportunity at developing a consistent marketing strategy that, over time, will allow you to forecast revenue. Sound impossible? Let's break it down.
Let’s say that our average Managed Services Agreement is worth $1,000, and we’ve set a goal for our sales team to increase our managed services revenue by $5,000 per quarter for the next 3 quarters, and by $10,000 per quarter by the end of the 4th quarter. What would we do, and in what order; to insure that we reach our goal the first quarter, and how do we repeat that achievement over the next two quarters, and then double our previous successes in the last quarter?
Our marketing plan will include a specific number of activities, which may encompass direct mail, email and newsletter marketing, as well as presentations at a couple of networking events a month, followed by some call-downs to schedule appointments with prospects. In our initial marketing plan, we will decide how much of each of these activities we are going to execute. Since our goal basically boils down to selling 5 new Managed Services Agreements in the existing quarter, we need to carefully track the results of each activity in our marketing campaign. Let’s say that we know from past experience that we close about 50% of the prospects that we present a managed services solution to. This means that we’ll need to present our solution to at least 10 prospects. So our charge is to figure out what it takes for us to sit down in front of 10 prospects. We’re going to need to experiment with our marketing plan in order to guarantee a repeatable outcome based upon the activity generated.
So our first stab at a marketing campaign designed to garner 10 appointments might include 100 HTML email messages sent to a targeted list of prospects, followed closely by 100 postcards. Our appointment setter will then follow up with 100 call-downs to attempt to gauge interest at that point and set some appointments. A few days later, our monthly newsletter will go out, further reinforcing our featured solution and message. While this activity is in motion, our sales professional will conduct presentations at 2 networking functions, feeding leads back to our appointment setter for follow up, and adding them to our email, newsletter and postcard campaign. If necessary, our appointment setter will then make a second call-down the following week to prospects that have not yet responded, to attempt to secure an appointment. With any luck, we’ll set our 10 appointments. If not, we’ll modify our marketing plan in any number of ways, including increasing the size of the initial prospect list. We continue tweaking and tuning the plan until we achieve our desired result.
During this entire process, we are documenting, quantifying and tracking each and every activity, so when we do achieve our goal of setting 10 appointments and closing 5 new managed services opportunities, we will have a blueprint on how we did it. Then we repeat the process the next quarter, and if we’ve done our job correctly, we will be able to duplicate our results with minimal modification. So how do we double our results in the last quarter? That’s easy – we simply double our activity! While no marketing plan is absolutely perfect, and will not always yield the exact same results, at least we’ll be “in the ballpark”, and be more successful than not, by tracking and quantifying our results through each and every marketing campaign.
These concepts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to acquiring the education and training your organization needs in order to develop and manage a successful, effective marketing program that will continue to deliver month over month.
The good news is that MSP University is here to help you. We have developed the best live IT Solution and Managed Services Marketing training available in the Channel with absolutely no strings attached. That's right – we do not charge for our Marketing training, and you and your team can learn what you need to know by attending our next Boot Camp Marketing Track on July 20th-22nd, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Our Marketing Track Agenda Includes:
- Marketing Core Concepts and Effective Marketing Strategies
- Identifying Your Target Vertical Market
- Developing Compelling Marketing Messages
- Using Networking Best Practices
- Designing and Implementing an Effective Corporate Website and SEO Strategy
- Defining Your Social Media Presence
- The 51 Step Marketing and Sales Process
- Launching a Powerful Email Marketing Campaign
- Establishing, Researching and Measuring Website and Campaign Analytics
- Leveraging the Media to Generate Leads
- Marketing Workshop
“During the three-day boot camp it was obvious to me that I was learning cutting-edge information that would make me successful. I know my business will be successful and I owe a large part of that success to the training and mentoring provided by the MSPU staff. Keep up the great work” – William Davis, President, Technology Consulting Services
“I wanted to take a moment to heartily thank…the MSP University staff for the wonderful Boot Camp experience. It was very educational, interesting and energizing. I look forward to implementing the valuable lessons I learned and anticipate positive changes in my company this coming year. I look forward to future events and hope my staff can take part as well. Thank you very much and best wishes!” - Alan Martiny, Ion Business Solutions
“The MSPU Boot Camp was excellent! I have attended and presented at many seminars, user groups and events in the past. This MSPU Boot Camp had TRUE value, rather than just pushing vendors’ wares, MSPU created value by creating a gathering place for Small Business technology providers.” – John Costa, South Bay Computer Solutions
I hope to see you in Charlotte, NC!