Episode 121: Bond with a new client when you onboard them

Episode 121: Bond with a new client when you onboard them

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Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 121: Bond with a new client when you onboard them
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In this week’s episode

  • It’s the ultimate goal for every MSP: Another ‘bonded client’ who will stay for 10 years or more. This week on the show Paul explores how best to start the long bonding process with brand new clients, to practically guarantee long and profitable relationships
  • Also on the show, the next phase of creating your one page marketing plan. This week it’s all about your niche – find out what it is, why you need one and how to focus on it
  • Plus listen as Paul’s featured guest talks about why your MSP should add Microsoft Dynamics to the portfolio
  • And find out more about our new “show about the show” Another Byte, that goes live on YouTube on Thursday

Featured guest

Rob Jolliffe is a featured guest on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

Thank you to Rob Jolliffe, President of Sabre Limited and MicroAge Kitchener, for joining Paul to talk about why MSPs should add Microsoft Dynamics to their portfolio.

Rob is a graduate of University of Toronto and an expert in ERP and manufacturing. He blends a knowledge of supply chain, six-sigma, information technology, manufacturing information systems / enterprise resource planning and entrepreneurship.   He also owns MicroAge-Kitchener, a local MSP focused on the industrial sector.  He is an expert in the small and medium manufacturing market and technology. He is also president of Sabre Limited, a Microsoft Dynamics Business Central manufacturing reseller and training centre selling throughout North America. He enjoys cooking and is an avid music collector (especially classic rock).

Show notes

  • Out every Tuesday on your favourite podcast platform
  • Presented by Paul Green, an MSP marketing expert
  • To dig deeper into this episode, join Paul, Sophie and special guests on YouTube for the complimentary show ‘Another Byte
  • You can join Paul in the MSP Marketing group on Facebook
  • Thank you to recruitment specialist Jimmy Armitage from Wavelength for recommending the book Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • In next week’s episode on March 15th, Paul will be joined by Rob Hamilton to talk about how he successfully grew and exited his MSP
  • Got a question from the show? Email Paul directly: hello@paulgreensmspmarketing.com

Episode transcription

Voiceover:
Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world, this is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
Hi. Hello, and welcome back to the show. This is episode 121, and here’s what we got coming up today.

Rob Jolliffe:
I know from my own MSP practice, if a client of mine buys an ERP from somebody, I have a very high likelihood that that client’s going to churn.

Paul Green:
That’s Rob Jolliffe. He’s going to be here later on in the show talking about Microsoft dynamics and how you can use it to create a new revenue stream within your MSP. We’re also going to be picking up something that we’ve been working on over the last couple of episodes of the podcast. It’s pulling together a one page marketing plan for your business.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP marketing podcast.

Paul Green:
Big question for you. What kind of onboarding program do you have for your clients? Now you might listen to that and think, “Oh, come on. It’s obvious Paul. When someone joins us, we just sort out the product, sort out their problems, and they just become part of the family.” But here’s the thing. What happens to a client in their first day, their first week, their first month, their first 90 days? What happens in all of those things directly affect how long that they will stay with your MSP.

Paul Green:
Because sure, you’ve got to the service levels high and you’ve got to keep doing the work. But it’s absolutely about first impressions last. When someone has picked you and they’ve decided to leave their incumbent, or they’ve picked you as their first MSP, at that point they are the happiest that they’ll ever be with you. Of course they are, they’ve decided to go all in. They’re going to trust you and give you every thing that you need to succeed with their technology and to help them succeed.

Paul Green:
And as time goes by, inevitably that relationship will change. And I think what you do in the first day, week, month, and the first 90 days is you lay out the foundations for how you want that relationship to change. Because the relationship can either start to deteriorate and you might still keep them for three to four years, even with a deteriorating relationship. Or the relationship will strengthen. In fact, they go from being a client to being a bonded client.

Paul Green:
And a bonded client is someone who is essentially a partner. Lots of MSPs talk about having partners. Oh, we don’t want clients. We want partners.” But the reality is, a partnership is formed when your client is utterly engaged with you. And in fact, that buys you a huge amount of goodwill cause they know you’ve got their back. They know that you’re looking out for them, but they are there for you. They are there for the relationship for both of you together. And that’s the goal to work towards.

Paul Green:
See, I believe this cannot happen haphazardly. Well actually that’s wrong. It can happen haphazardly if you, the owner, does all the onboarding. So if you think about your first, I don’t know, one, two, three, five, 10 clients, you probably onboarded them yourself. You ran through a process that probably wasn’t documented, but it’s very clear in your head, “Oh, I must do these things and we should do this. And this is a nice thing to do.” And then what happens is, as the business gets bigger and you take on more clients, you move just a little bit further away from the onboarding with every single client because you’ve got other things to do. And someone would argue, you’ve got better things to do. Anytime there’s a task in the business that can be systemised and standardised, someone else should really be doing it.

Paul Green:
So you are moving away from the onboarding, but if you’ve never actually put in place a decent system, a set of standards for onboarding for their first day, their first week, their first month, then you are in the hands of the people that you have employed. And I’m sure there’s a lot of very good people who work for you. But it’s not about you. One of the reasons I started my business is to have control. I wanted to know exactly what was happening within my business. I wanted that complete control over them. Call me a control freak if you want, I don’t mind because I am a control freak. And do you know what? To certain extent, so are you.

Paul Green:
So what I recommend you do, there’s an easy way to do this. You can build a system while you are operating that system. That’s the easiest time to do it. So for example, the next time you win a client, that’s the best time to document what you have been doing. Literally, you would ask yourself, “Right, what do we do on day one to make them feel good? What do we do in their first week, their first month? What do you do in the first 90 days?” Take all of those things and document them. Turn it into a standard operating procedure.

Paul Green:
Their onboarding is as much about their emotions and their goodwill and their engagement, as much as it is about their technology. So sure, you want to do some quick wins on day one and you want them to immediately think, I mean, everyone in the business is to think, “Wow, these guys are so much more proactive than the last guys.” But you can systemise that. You can absolutely have that written down as a thing. “This is what happens on day one. This is how we communicate with them. This is how we engage with them. This is how we do it.” And it becomes a plan. It’s an onboarding plan.

Paul Green:
So if you don’t have this, if you don’t have a plan, which actually from day one, you are aiming to turn these into 10 to 15 year clients, just do that. The next time you onboard someone, anyone, just document that onboarding. You can then almost, the time after that, when you onboard your following clients, you can run that off the process and look at it and say, “Hey, is there anything we’ve missed? How do we improve this? How do we get more engagement from them on day one so that they go on to become one of our 15 year clients?”

Voiceover:
Here’s this week’s clever idea.

Paul Green:
We’re trying a new thing in the podcast doing a recurring series around a theme. And what I’m trying to help you to do is to build a one page marketing plan for your MSP. So two weeks ago in episode 119, if you haven’t heard that yet, that was where we started this. And we talked about understanding your market and your competitors. Last week in episode 120, we talked about understanding your customer. This week, the thing I want you to work on for your one page marketing plan is, what’s your niche?

Paul Green:
Now a niche is often confused with a vertical. In fact, I do it myself. If you listen to this podcast long enough, you’ll hear me talking about verticals and niches as the same thing, but actually they’re different. See, a niche is something small, something palatable that allows you to target a subset of people in a much easier way. A vertical is an entire industry.

Paul Green:
So your vertical could be CPAs or accountants or something. Dentists, something like that. But a niche could be, you could actually have a niche within this local area. So your niche could be local business owners around here who have at least 50 staff. I mean, there might not be that many of them, but you get the idea. That could be your niche. Or it could be high net worth individuals who run businesses or own businesses. Or it could be entrepreneurs, people who consider themselves to be entrepreneurs. We only deal with entrepreneurs because we want the high energy, high change kind of businesses. I mean, your niche can also be vertically based as well. So you might say dentists, but it might be dentists in this area or this county or state or whatever area you are in.

Paul Green:
But you need to pick a niche. And in your one page marketing plan, you need to be able to write a sentence to yourself to remind yourself why you picked that niche. And picking a niche is a hard thing to do anyway. When you are asking yourself, “Why would I work with a vertical? Why do I only want to work with accountants or dentists or lawyers? Why would anyone want to work with lawyers?” But I’m sure there’s good money to be made if you can handle lawyers. This is the question to ask yourself is, “Why? Why? Why am I doing that?” And you’ve got to get it down to one line to write it into your marketing plan.

Paul Green:
In fact, this is my go. It might say in your marketing plan, “We will work with any business that meets our minimum spend requirements, but we specialise in looking after CPA’s, accountants in the wider area. We do this because we are experts at looking after their software and their unique business demands.” Now I’m not telling you the words to put on your marketing plan, because the whole point of this is that you develop your own words to put onto the marketing plan. It’s your marketing plan.

Paul Green:
But the point of this is to force you to think about it. Take it for a walk. If you got a dog, go and borrow a dog if you haven’t got a dog. Take a dog for a walk, just go for a long hike. Go for a nice one hour walk on your own and roll this around in your head. I’ve done some amazing walks in my time with an idea in my head and rolled it around and put it away and come back to it and taken notes. And you kind of flesh out an idea like that, just in the same way that sleeping on it does the same thing. But going for a walk can be a pretty good way of doing it as well.

Paul Green:
Have a look at your existing client base, who are the clients that you most enjoy working with? Who would you want more of? Who would you want less of? Which of them make you excited? Those are the ones. No one wants to deal with boring clients. Who are the exciting clients, the ones you love working with that can make you some good net profit margin as well? Those are the ones to have a look at, and your niche might be sitting within them.

Paul Green:
So that’s our third part of our one day marketing plan. In next week’s podcast, we’ve got a big one. We’re going to start to look at how you develop your marketing message. It’s the one that all MSPs are most interested in. “What should my message be?”

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green:
I’ve got this Facebook group. It’s only for MSPs. In fact, if you’re not a member, you really should come and join it because it’s all about MSP marketing. It kind of sits hand in hand with this podcast. Just go onto Facebook and go into your app and have a look up at the top in the search field. Type in “MSP marketing.” You’ll see my little face, click on that. And if you are an MSP, we’ll let you in. It’s a vendor free zone, so we won’t just let anyone in.

Paul Green:
But I’m just scrolling through some of the recent posts. I did something here a few days ago about why are so many MSPs scared of the phone? That’s had 27 comments, people talking about what they do to get people picking up the phone, whether they’ve got staff doing it, whether they’ve got themselves doing it. Someone asked me for a script, so we went through sort of a basic thing on that. I was asking here about what’s your big goal for your MSP this year? And that’s had 33 comments from MSPs. This is a good one from Colin Durant. ” On my gravestone killed by Microsoft licensing.” Oh, here we go. So we don’t always get strict marketing comments in here. It’s for marketing and business growth, but will we’ll have any relevant conversation. And Tony’s asked, “This may have been asked before and if so, shoot me.” He asking about a rebuild of a laptop using reset option. I don’t understand that. It’s all technical. I don’t get involved in the technical ones. Then we’ve got a new dark web scanner in here.

Paul Green:
There’s loads of stuff in here, so this is a really, really good resource. So come on. If you’re not a member, just come and join us. It’s completely free, but only for MSPs. Go onto facebook.com on your laptop. It’s facebook.com/groups/mspmarketing, or just get your app. That’s easier. Type in “MSP marketing” at the top, but make sure you go to groups. And I look forward to saying hi to you when you’re a member.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

Rob Jolliffe:
Hi, I’m Rob Jolliffe. I’m an MSP owner and a Microsoft Dynamics expert from Canada. And I’m looking forward to talking to Paul.

Paul Green:
And I’ve been looking forward for a long time to getting this interview done. We only scheduled it a few days ago, Robert, but you’ve got so much to talk about, which I think our audience will find of interest.

Paul Green:
We’re going to talk about three things in this interview. So first of all, you’ve got a fairly chunky sized MSP over there in Canada. So I want to talk about your story, how you got started, how you grew the business, and some of the things that you’ve learned along the way. Or maybe the mistakes that you’ve made along the way. I think sometimes we learn more from other people’s mistakes than we do from what they’ve done well.

Paul Green:
Then I wanted to talk about Dynamics. You just explained it to me in the simplest way I’ve ever heard it. I said to you, “I didn’t understand Dynamics.” And then you explained it to me with a six word sentence and I get it now. So I want to talk about Dynamics and the opportunity for MSPs to make money with Microsoft Dynamics.

Paul Green:
And I also want to look at the marketing of it, because I know you’ve got two sides to your business. You’ve got your traditional MSP and you’ve got your Dynamic side. And the way that you market those two are completely different. So it’d be really interesting to look at the marketing differences between the two, but let’s get started with your story. So start at the beginning. How did you get into this? And how did you get the business started?

Rob Jolliffe:
My family are entrepreneurial. My father and two of my uncles owned businesses. They were industrial in nature. I went to university to become a mechanical engineer so that I could work as a production engineer within the family businesses, and then maybe strike out on my own. Little did I know that I really didn’t like production. It wasn’t really my thing. And once I got into it and realised that you get your hands dirty, I was doing product design and helping out in the shop and manufacturing with small companies. I discovered that I was really good with computers, like so many engineering graduates did back in the nineties giving up on my, my family businesses, and going out and getting a “real job”.

Rob Jolliffe:
I worked for a company that had just put in new system. They called it ERP, which I had no idea what that was. They had a mishmash of computers. They had about 50 computers at the time. We were using what’s called ThinaX coax cable. The listeners, the MSPs will know what that is. And it was just a bit of a nightmare. So I got in there, I worked with them for a few years. And I really learned this ERP software, became the IT manager. After about four years of working for this company, I decided I’m going to hang my shingle and I’m going to start a business. And that was how I started what is now called Sabre Limited.

Paul Green:
And so how long ago was that?

Rob Jolliffe:
Nineties, so I think 1994 was when I started the company. I was just a sole proprietor. I didn’t have any staff until about 2003, 2004.

Paul Green:
And to give us some context, where are you now?

Rob Jolliffe:
Between the two companies, I now have two businesses, but they’re really one original organisation with a common headquarters and administrative staff. We have about 24 people, including some contractors. And we’re doing about $4 million in revenue.

Rob Jolliffe:
The early days, I was doing two things. I have an old Certified Novell Engineer designation and an MCSE, a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. So starting out my basement, I was going to clients and I was installing servers and I was helping them with their desktop computers. But I also had this experience with this ERP system. And ERP systems are inventory control. They’re financial software. They are production control software. They’re CRM systems. And I was going into clients who used this particular ERP and they were paying me a bit more so I could get $75 an hour doing the IT services or $125 an hour doing the ERP services. It became pretty obvious which one I was going to focus on.

Rob Jolliffe:
I never let go of those IT customers, and the first hire I made so that I would have a tech who I could allocate the IT work to. And I would say by 2005, I think was the first time I did what would be considered close to a modern managed service contract with a monthly retainer where we were going in and we were servicing customers every month for a fixed amount that they would agree to pay in advance.

Paul Green:
So what are some of the things you’ve tried over the years? Tell us about some of the things that have worked and some of the mistakes you’ve made.

Rob Jolliffe:
Again, getting back to that challenge with having two businesses, one of which could bill half, again, as much as the other one. One of the challenges I’ve always had is paying more attention or enough attention to the real managed services. The monthly recurring revenue side of the business is great and it keeps the wheels on the car, so to speak. But the project element of ERP projects, they’re so big that they become a little bit attractive. You kind of get fixated on those.

Rob Jolliffe:
I guess one of the biggest challenges that I’ve had as a business owner was keeping my eye on both of those businesses simultaneously, because they’re different. They appear sort of the same. They’re both technology businesses. Sometimes there’s a programmer required for either/or, or a tech required for either/or. But the reality is that they’re very, very different styles of business and the deliverables are very different to the customer.

Paul Green:
So let me ask you quite a revealing question. Well, it could be revealing depending on the answer. If you could go back in time and do it all again, would you still have two businesses or would you just stick with the ERP?

Rob Jolliffe:
I can’t answer that question. First of all, I don’t want my staff to hear if I decided to do one or the other.

Paul Green:
Who’s daddy’s favourite?

Rob Jolliffe:
Yeah, exactly. I like the fact that I’ve diversified the business. Now until a few years ago, it was one company. But it became so difficult to market that I ended up choosing to split them off into two different businesses. And you do a lot of podcasts, Paul, about acquisitions and sales. So to make it easier at some point in time to sell either business independently of the other, I incorporated a new business and moved the managed service practice into the second business, which is called MicroAge Kitchener.

Rob Jolliffe:
So Sabre Limited, which is the ERP reseller, we’re north America wide. We market throughout the entire continent. And we have clients as far away from each other as California and Montreal, for instance. In the managed service space, we try and stay within 35 miles, 55 kilometres, of our office spaces so that we can manage those clients and be on site with them when needed. So it’s really two completely different businesses, but I kind of love both of them.

Paul Green:
It’s interesting what you say about your mind having to split between two. This is something I’ve always struggled with over the years. And I say that with some irony, because I’m in the process of buying some security alarm companies, which is completely different to what I’m doing here. And one of my fears is splitting my attention too much across the two businesses. I guess the difference is I’m not trying to grow either one from scratch. I’m taking an existing business which is what we’re doing here, which runs very well and it’s highly systemised and we’ve got a great team. And then we’re sort of acquiring good businesses, good but tired businesses. So it’s a different kind of skillset.

Paul Green:
What do you find are the main differences between marketing your MSP and your ERM business? Because you were saying to me before the interview that the way that people search for these services is completely different.

Rob Jolliffe:
Your marketing podcast has been fantastic for me.

Paul Green:
Thank you.

Rob Jolliffe:
Because it’s highlighted some of the differences. I knew that there was a challenge between the two, which is part of the reason why I split off the managed services business and I separated it from the main business. So Sabre Limited’s website is the primary source of our inbound leads. And we’re looking for clients who have a very well defined problem, which we’ve created an enormous amount of content, whether that’s video content, we have a large video library on YouTube. And we have a lot of blogs, I write quite a bit for the site, that try answer questions. So they ask your answer style of information that’s on the website.

Rob Jolliffe:
And we don’t have to be extremely high in SEO rankings, for instance, to be able to bring in a few really good leads every week. And I’m literally getting one to three, let’s say, good sales prequalified leads every week because the website essentially talks the customer out of contacting us if they’re not a qualified lead.

Rob Jolliffe:
And that is relatively easily done with Sabre. I say relatively, because it took three or four years to get it to the point where it is today. But that website is very attractive to clients who are looking as they know what they want. They understand what they’re looking for, the knowledge within the ERP space of those customers. They’re self aware because it is now considered a competitive disadvantage within their industries not to have that.

Rob Jolliffe:
When you come to the managed services side, and you are eloquent in explaining this, the customers don’t know what they don’t know, and they don’t know what to search for. They want to, “Someone fix my computer.” So they don’t have the specific needs that are going to add value to their business. From their point of view, in a lot of cases, the computer systems are just an expense. And trying to figure out how to market that, especially within a small local region, is being very challenging for me. And that’s part of why I love your podcast because you’ve given so many good directions on why the approach that we were taking with the broader website is not working locally. Because I think, as you’ve said many times, the clients, they just don’t know what they don’t know. And we need to get in front of them constantly.

Rob Jolliffe:
And the other issue I’d say is they only buy when they’re ready to buy, as you’ve said. And with ERP companies, when you’re ready to buy, you’re going to 100% do a lot of research. Every company buying an ERP spends a lot of time trying to figure out, “What is the right system? Who should I buy it from?” And so I want to be there while they’re educating themselves. I want to be in their marketing feed prior to them ever reaching out to me because they’re getting the answers to their questions from me the month or six months or year before they buy their ERPs system. I’ve had customers contact me and say, “I booked marked your site two years ago.” But with the MSP space, I don’t think that works that way.

Paul Green:
Yeah.

Rob Jolliffe:
I think clients, they’re much more transient. And trying to make sure you’re in front of them all the time is about those touch points, I think, that you’ve been talking about.

Paul Green:
Yeah, absolutely. And they’re much more transient until you lock them into a relationship and they become a bonded client. And that’s when you keep them for 10, 15 years. But of course, that process of keeping them for 10, 15 years, it stops them moving on to someone else.

Paul Green:
And when I first started working with MSPs in 2016 and I started to get this inkling that the sales cycle was seven years long. I couldn’t quite believe it. I thought perhaps I’d made some kind a mistake because the B2B marketing that I’d done previously was more what you’d experienced, Robert, in your other business where people turned up with a certain level of education. They were ready, willing and able to buy. It was almost a case of managing their expectations and slowing them down to a certain extent because of the delivery.

Paul Green:
So I think that’s a really interesting to hear that backed up, that in these two different businesses, you’re having a completely different sales experience. This is why I say all the time, and it’s so important, that in any marketplace, as the owner of your MSP, the opportunity to you is huge. You don’t have to be world class at marketing. You’ve just got to be slightly better than your competitors. And being slightly better just means having a better website, a better LinkedIn, actually having a marketing system to build audiences and build a relationship with those audiences and then hit those phones and commercialise that relationship.

Paul Green:
Now Robert, you’ve telling us a lot there about ERP. Let’s back up a step, will you? And tell us a little bit more about what ERP is. Explain what Dynamics is. Let’s not assume that anyone listening knows exactly what it is.

Rob Jolliffe:
I said to you, if you know what Salesforce is, you essentially know what Dynamics is because they’re competitors. That’s a bit of an oversimplification, but it is a pretty good starting point.

Rob Jolliffe:
An ERP system is an accounting software package like QuickBooks or Sage or any of those, but with additional capabilities to track inventory control, CRM capabilities, production scheduling, whatever the need is of that industry type. So there’s a whole bunch of them on the market. SAP is by far the largest, but small businesses can’t afford something like SAP. So Microsoft and many, many other competitors have developed ERP systems that are focused on the small business. And that’s the one that we specifically focus on, which is Microsoft Dynamics Business Central.

Rob Jolliffe:
I think there’s a missing opportunity amongst MSPs. Microsoft’s done some research into this and if you are a managed service provider and you’re holding the customer’s Dynamics licenses, and you are providing even a third party outsourced service to that client, your churn rate drops by 75%. So if you have an average churn of 25% and you are selling Dynamics, Microsoft’s analysis has said that your churn drops to about 8%. And apparently, if you add Azure to that, and so you’re selling the customer. They have Dynamics, they have your managed services and they have Azure. Your churn goes to 2%.

Rob Jolliffe:
I don’t know how they measure that because 50 years would require Azure to have been around that long, which it obviously hasn’t. But they’re determining that the churn rate is that good. So what we’re finding is the synergy between the two businesses is really helpful.

Rob Jolliffe:
I’m just going to throw one extra little comment out there, Paul, about one of the things you said earlier with respect to the duration of a client staying with an MSP. With an MSP, the clients stay with the provider themselves for that long duration. With an ERP system, they stay with the publisher of the ERP for the long duration.

Rob Jolliffe:
So we have a similar kind of trouble in timing the buying pattern of the buyer, but they’re not going from Acme MSP to Zebra MSP. They’re staying with Microsoft Dynamics, but they’ll go to another Microsoft Dynamics partner perhaps, but they generally don’t want to change from what they have to something new. It’s like catching lightning in a bottle to catch them at the right time. When they say, “I’m giving up on X ERP, the old ERP system that I used to have.” And I want a new one.” And that’s what we’re trying to do. So it’s very similar, but the problem is that stickiness doesn’t always apply to the MSP. So we’ve been doing quite a bit of trying to blend MSP like behaviours services into our ERP practice. And I’m actually beginning to kind of look at some of the things that are working really well in the ERP practice to help customers be sticky and blend them into my managed service practice.

Paul Green:
So what do you think stops most to MSPs from selling some kind of ERP? Is it lack of confidence of knowing what to do with it?

Rob Jolliffe:
An ERP sale is not a technology sale. A lot of people think it is because it is a technology platform, but it’s a business change sale. You are taking the business and you’re introducing a whole set of new processes that they’re going to use throughout their entire company. So they’re going to change. It’s going to change the way they do accounting. It’s going to change the way they manage their inventory. It’s going to change the way that they schedule their staff. And I think most MSPs don’t have the business skills to be able to deliver that.

Rob Jolliffe:
The nice thing is a lot of the Microsoft Dynamics partners, and Sabre is one of them, are looking for MSPs to partner with because the MSPs have the line to the client. They’re the trusted business advisor. And the ERP partners are looking to make the sale of the services, the training services, to get the client up and running. But especially with Microsoft Dynamics, the MSPs can sell the licenses. And now they have a monthly recurring revenue from the licenses. The ERP reseller might have a monthly recurring revenue from a support contract that the MSP is kind of piggybacking with. And both of them are winning.

Rob Jolliffe:
And I think another thing is, I know from my own MSP practice that if a client of mine and buys an ERP from somebody, I have a very high likelihood that that client’s going to churn because the new ERP vendors are often offering MSP or they partner with an MSP that they maybe get a kickback from. And so when the client buys the ERP system, because it’s a business transformation choice that they’re making, they’re willing to take the advice of the ERP vendor over the advice of their MSP. They see that as being, “I’m investing $250,000 in putting in a new system. And this money, if they’re telling me I need new servers from another company and I need to revamp my desktops from another company, I’m going to do that because this investment is so big. I don’t want to run the risk of doing something wrong.”

Paul Green:
Yeah. From a psychological point of view, you can absolutely see why that’s the case. And you’re right. It’s down to, you invest that kind of big bucks into something like that, you’re going to listen to those people with a greater intensity than the MSP. So this is my final question, Robert. Do you think that MSPs should be partnering up with organizations like yours? Or should they try and develop that skillset internally?

Rob Jolliffe:
It’s a lot of work to develop internally and it would be incredibly painful. It was for us. And I had a background in ERP providing services. So once I flipped to starting to sell it, it was nightmares. Honestly, the first five years, I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I would say partner with an organization that can do it. Microsoft is working very hard to create what they call the partner to partner motion, to get the customers who have the Office 365 clients who they’re very engaged with to look at Dynamics and they will help you find a match maker with a Microsoft Dynamics partner. And I’m not paid by Microsoft to say this, but sometimes they actually do some things useful. And one of the things that they can do that’s useful is try and do that partnering.

Paul Green:
Brilliant. Robert, thank you so much for your time here. You’ve been incredibly generous with your time and insights into how to add, not just another revenue stream, but actually how to protect your existing business as well. Just tell us how we can get in touch with you and find out more about your ERP business.

Rob Jolliffe:
Absolutely. I’m Rob Jolliffe, F like Frank. On LinkedIn, I am at robert@sabrelimited.com. You can email me if you have any questions. And our MSP practice is . So I’m Robert MicroAge-Kitchener.ca. So I’m robert@MicroAge-Kitchener.ca.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast. This week’s recommended book.

Jimmy Armitage:
Hi, I’m Jimmy Armitage from Wavelength, the talent and recruitment advisors. Today I’m pleased to give my book recommendation, which is Good to Great by Jim Collins. It’s an absolute classic. And if you haven’t read it, you’re in for an absolute treat. And I know if you are listening to Paul’s podcast, you want to take your MSP from good to great. I think my favourite concept in there, I think the hedgehog concept. I think it’s really relevant for MSPs, which is effectively about sticking to the key concept that makes your business great. Not diversifying too much, not getting seduced by all the other things that you can offer and just remembering why your business is great or how it can be great, what you can be brilliant at.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Rob Hamilton:
Hi there. My name’s Rob Hamilton. I was founder and CEO of an MSP that I built up over 13 years and exited to Zen Zero in October, 2021. Next week, I’ll be here on the show to tell you how I did it and how you can do the same.

Paul Green:
We’re also going to be talking about leadership. Every MSP needs a leader, someone driving the business forward, someone who paints a picture of how it’s going to be, sets out a vision for the future. The thing is that most MSP owners tend to be more managers than they do leaders. They’re two completely different roles. The manager makes things happen that the leader paints the picture of what could happen. Let’s, next week, look at what kind of leadership you’ve got within your business. And if you do find yourself needing more leadership, we’ll talk about how you can improve that as well.

Paul Green:
Plus, we’re going to pick up on the one page marketing plan, build on the work that we’ve done in today to podcast. And next week, we’re going to talk about creating your marketing message.

Paul Green:
Now, if you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, we have a new show about the show. It’s called Another Bite, and I’ll be joining the host, Sophie Bruce, on YouTube. If you go to youtube.com/mspmarketing, that’s where you’ll find Another Bite. And please do subscribe to us on YouTube, or indeed, any platform where you listen to this podcast. Join me next Tuesday, and have a very profitable week in your MSP.

Voiceover:
Made in the UK for MSPs around the world, Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

 

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