An MSP business grows organically through the acquisition and retention of new clients. However, in situations where the client engagement is based on a single service, you can lose new business as fast as it arrives. In such situations, it is advisable to package your services in sets, all under the management of your firm. Upselling and cross-selling help you grow by increasing the services a client requests after a sale.
- Cross-selling – You approach your customer with a single service and then introduce complimentary offerings gradually.
- Upselling – It begins with offering clients a higher version of a service they use or even introducing complimentary offerings to improve on an existing service.
Relationship with Clients
Often, people in the industry will use the words interchangeably. Both systems work in different industries and can contribute significantly to the growth of your business as long as you maintain good client relations.
If your clients know and believe that you will provide them with solutions specific to their needs, it will work. Invest your time and resources in understanding their needs— hold regular meetings, review their usage of different services and their evolving challenges. Through continuous engagement, you can start discussing long-term IT plans and solutions, and even introduce new offerings. For example, if you provide network security, you can offer to provide cloud hosting for some of their applications, and then make plans to back up and protect their data in 6 months or so.
Making it Work
- Package your services in bundles – Crete pre-set bundles for each client with pricing information that demonstrates value addition, especially from the additional services.
- Start with your loyal clients – Initially, focus your energies on your long-term clients, especially if they bring in a lot of business. They often have the budget and need for a wide range of services. Additionally, their share in the market gives them authority and they can serve as a good reference.
- Integrate cross and upselling into your strategy – Use your quarterly and annual review meetings to learn more about your clients and their plans for the future, so you can introduce your services as part of their long-term strategy. Make the addition of new services or upgrading feel like an organic part of their growth strategy, with your MSP business as their strategic partner.
- Offer deals – Offer free trials and service testing to your clients— it could pay-off in the long-term. Build up on the trial with other deals such as discounts on a certain set of services, free additional features or free support services after a long-term commitment.
- Focus on value addition – Everyone hates a pushy salesperson; focus your energy on making value propositions as opposed to sales pitches. Your upselling and cross-selling efforts should benefit both you and your clients in the long-term. If there is no mutual benefit, rethink your strategy.
Upselling and cross-selling works best if you can anticipate your client’s needs and intervene in a timely fashion before they start hunting for solutions. This requires research on your end— and a significant investment in your clients. Listen attentively and always make sure your clients view your MSP business as a partner integral to their growth.