If you are consistently proactive in monitoring how your customers are using their IT systems, you can put yourself in a good position to identify new revenue opportunities.
Keeping an eye on things like data volumes, system logons and license usage should be something you do anyway, but it’s wise to study this information with a sales mindset, aside from being aware of it as part of regular system maintenance.
What to Look For
Here are a number of examples of how easily attainable system usage information can be turned into a sales opportunity for your MSP business:
Awareness of fast-growing user mailboxes could mean an opportunity exists to sell an email archiving product or service – or perhaps even to offer a training session on email housekeeping!
A sudden increase in disk usage as part of a data volume or SQL database could mean that a client has experienced an uplift in business, or started managing a process differently. For example, they may have begun to scan documents into a database, resulting in increased disk usage. Now could be the time to suggest changes to disk arrays or the introduction of some new Network Attached Storage.
Companies beginning to hit or exceed maximum license counts could well be recruiting more staff or experiencing a heavier workload. In this situation, there’s no harm in suggesting to the customer that you work together to fulfill the larger team’s IT requirements in a managed, rather than ad-hoc way, which could eventually prove more cost-effective for them.
An increase in logins outside of normal working hours could indicate that a client is going through a busy period, or that they are changing their working practices. Maybe they may soon need an out-of-hours support service that you could offer them?
If you implement a new system but find that nobody is logging onto it or storing data within it, perhaps there’s a lack of understanding within the company about how it works or should be best utilized. This could mean an opportunity for chargeable training sessions.
Don't Think of It as a Hard Sell
The great thing about identifying new opportunities in this way is that your customers are unlikely to view your suggestions as “hard sell.” Their reaction is in fact likely to be quite the contrary.
When a managing director gets a call saying, for example, that “we’ve noticed that the data within your corporate database is growing 85% faster than it was this time last year,” their most likely reaction is to be impressed. They’ll probably express some surprise that you really do offer a genuinely proactive service, and be resultantly open to your suggestions.
Often, clients aren’t as reluctant to invest in their IT provision as you might assume, but nobody likes nasty surprises. By being truly proactive in monitoring system usage, you can act as an early warning system, giving customers an early alert that “x” months along the line, they’ll need to spend some money. Handle it right, and they’ll both spend the money with your business, AND thank you for it.
What could be better than that?
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