A great sale is a combination of art and science. At least it can be with the right tools to give you the visibility you need into the entire sales process. In this two part video blog series, Joe Rourke, Director of Product Management at Autotask, talks about the art and science side of sales. In Part I, he’ll explain how a sales organization can master the artful side of a sale using the Opportunity Assessment tool to manage both the technical and cultural fit.
For many technology solution providers (TSPs), giving clients the best service offering possible is a key focus, and they have the best intentions for how to make that happen. They work hard, log long hours and yet they find themselves in a position to ask, “Where are the profits? What about customer loyalty? Why isn’t it happening?” To find the real answers, highly successful TSPs look in their database. Instead of making educated guesses they use data to help make fact-based decisions about what’s best for the business.
Backup appliances, sometimes referred to as PBBAs (Purpose Built Backup Appliances) are big business nowadays. Essentially, a backup appliance is a device designed specifically to manage and store system backups. Client backups are an area to which every MSP should devote significant time and attention. For a start, MSPs have to ensure that customers backup their data effectively. It’s arguably the most important part of IT service provision. After all, a failed backup plus an office disaster can equal total loss of data and catastrophic business failure. That is fact, and not pure melodrama.
Smaller IT resellers support and service one of the largest and most diverse sections of the business world, namely small and medium sized businesses. The client base encompasses micro businesses – for whom IT is simply a means to an end – all the way up to companies that retain their own in-house IT person or even a team of support staff. From the coffee shop that needs the till to be always on and protected from viruses to the school with a remit to keep children protected while using the Internet as an education tool all the way up to the local branch of a major bank that needs to stay connected to HQ client service needs vary tremendously.
The hurricane seasons in both the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific are now both underway, and both end on November 30th. If you work in areas likely to be affected by a hurricane, or support clients who do, now is definitely the time to make sure you’re ready for the potential aftermath. This means getting your house in order when it comes to disaster recovery. There are loads of figures and statistics relating to disaster recovery and the fact that many businesses struggle to survive after experiencing a real-life disaster.
One of the most common questions I’m asked by IT Consultants I work with is “How do I raise my prices without losing existing clients?” Whether you’re a solo “IT Guy” or an experienced IT Consultant, a business providing IT Solutions or a Managed Service Provider, if you’ve not raised your prices lately then it’s highly likely you’re undercharging for your services. Let’s be clear, no-one likes price increases, but everyone expects them.
In my last blog post, I wrote about some IT Solution Providers making the move from Break/Fix to Managed Services by using the Block-Time billing method, in which clients are billed up front for a block of time which is then decreased each time you do work for them. The benefit of block-time billing to your IT business is reduced administration, no more waiting around for unpaid invoices from your clients, and the ability to capture and bill for those small queries that clients are always asking of you, yet you’d never bill for individually.