Episode 162: Can you beat my MSP productivity stack?

Episode 162: Can you beat my MSP productivity stack?

Paul Green

Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 162: Can you beat my MSP productivity stack?
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Episode 162

Welcome to the MSP Marketing Podcast with me, Paul Green. This is THE show if you want to grow your MSP. This week’s show includes:
  • THIS is your MSP’s 2023 goal
  • Can you beat my MSP productivity stack?
  • A $10m MSP owner’s 2023 forecast

Featured guest:

Jamie Warner is a featured guest on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

Thank you to Jamie Warner from E-Nerds and Invarosoft for joining me to share how he grew his MSP to $10m and predictions for 2023.

Jamie is passionate about the IT support industry and previously founded an award winning MSP business in 2000 which he grew and was honoured 7 times in the MSPmentor 501 list from 2011 to 2018. Jamie was also honoured twice in the MSPmentor 250 list recognising the world’s leading MSP entrepreneurs and executives.

Connect with Jamie on LinkedIn:
https://au.linkedin.com/in/jamie-warner-75769a16

Extra show notes:

Episode transcription

Voiceover:
Fresh every Tuesday.

Voiceover:
For MSPs around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing podcast.

Voiceover:
Podcast.

Paul Green:
Hello. It’s our last show before Christmas and we have a cracker for you today. Here’s what’s coming up.

Jamie Warner:
We’ve built our business with no acquisitions and you’ve got to do these tactical things to win in very competitive markets, which is pretty much all markets that have MSPs in them.

Paul Green:
That’s Jamie Warner from Invarosoft, literally the perfect guest to finish off our regular podcasts for 2022. He’s going to be joining me later to look at 2023. What do you think is going to happen next year? Now, Jamie has built up two businesses from scratch into multi million dollar enterprises, one of them being his own MSP. So he’s the perfect person to look at what could happen next year and what you can do with your business to make sure that next year is awesome, regardless of what happens with the economy and all of that kind of stuff. We’re also going to be talking this episode about productivity. I’m going to share with you my own productivity stack and see if we can make you a more productive person in 2023.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s

Voiceover:
MSP Marketing-

Voiceover:
Podcast.

Paul Green:
Let’s start this week’s show talking about what it is you want to achieve with your business next year. If we were to jump forward a year, get in a time machine and ask you, at the end of 2023, what would you like to look back and think, “Yeah, I achieved that with my business,” what would that thing be? I started to ask you this back in episode 156 at the beginning of November where I asked you, what’s your moonshot? What’s your big, hairy audacious goal? And the reason that I put these ideas in your head and talk about these things at this time of year is because we are all about to have a collective pause and a collective few days off. I think Christmas is pretty much the only time where virtually all of us get to have a few days and we get to stop.
You can’t really think about your business properly when you are busy, when you are rushing through things and trying to get things done. And I’m conscious that with just a few days until Christmas and having a break and hopefully spending some time with your family, I’m very conscious that you’re probably very busy right now. This week is probably the worst week to think about what you want to do with your business next year. Whereas this time next week, that’s exactly the right time to think about it because we are all busy people getting things done. That immovable deadline of Christmas is an epic productivity hack because it’s immovable. Christmas is going to happen on the 25th whether we like it or not. So we can leverage that to get things done because we’ve got to down tools by a certain time. But that fills our brain, that clutters us up with things that need to be done and task lists and that leaves very little space for big picture thinking.
So that’s why, let’s talk about that today, next week. I’m hoping you get some downtime. I’m hoping you don’t have this thing cluttering up your life. I’m hoping that your laptop is closed. I’m hoping that your PSA isn’t even open. I’m guessing your MSP will be closed for a few days. This is awesome because you can take the dog for a walk or the cat or the mongoose if you’ve got one. Hang out with your family, have a few beers, eat a little bit too much food, watch trashy TV. Go on long walks, just enjoy yourself and crucially not think about tickets, clients, computers, all the things that you think about because those things need to leave your head. You’ve got to start thinking about the big picture. What do we want next year? Now your temptation maybe to think, “Right, I want to get another technician next year and I want to get up to this turnover level and have this amount of net profit.”
What I suggest you do is that you and your other half spend a little bit of time talking about actually what do you two, if there is another half, what do you two want from the business next year? Because it could be that actually next year you want to pick up your kids from school every day because that’s an awesome thing to do. And believe me, that’s something that you will look back and be glad that you did. Maybe you want to take most Fridays off next year. Maybe you do want to double your income, you want to buy a bigger house or a better car or something like that. Maybe it’s material things, maybe it’s time things. But before you start thinking about what you want to do with your MSP next year, you’ve got to be very, very clear what you want for you next year.
Cause remember the whole point of the business, the sole purpose of the business in the bigger picture is it’s there to give you the lifestyle that you desire. Sure, you’ve got to keep the customers happy and you’ve got to keep all their technology things done. And from their point of view, that’s the purpose of the business, that business is there to service them. But the big picture is once you’ve got the business off the ground and you’re paying people’s salaries, the purpose of the business is to give you the lifestyle that you most desire. So you’ve got to be very clear on what that lifestyle is. There are very few MSPs that I’ve met who are in this to get rich, making good money is a nice side effect, side effect byproduct I guess, of doing a really, really good job. That’s got to be the goal for this.
But it starts with knowing exactly what you want. So please if you can take some time next week, chill out, relax. And you know what? Almost don’t think about this. Don’t think too much about what you want from the business. Once you’ve had two or three days off, what will happen is you’ll wake up one morning and it will just be there in your brain. Because what’s actually been happening is in the background, certainly when you sleep, when we sleep, a large proportion of our brain is reallocated during sleep time into problem solving. And essentially running a business is just a massive problem. So our brain immediately goes into that problem solving mode. And about two or three days into your break, you will wake up one morning and your brain will deliver to you some of the answers It’s been thinking about, some of the things it’s been thinking about and certainly particularly if you’ve listened to this before, thinking about it will deliver to you what you want next year.
And of course it’s worth having a chat with the other half to solidify that and make sure that you both want the same things. And as I said, they’re more likely to be about time than they are about cash. If you want to share these with me, I would love to have a one-on-one conversation with you. Now we do have thousands of listeners to this podcast, so I can’t have a video call conversation with everyone unfortunately, but I would love to have a brief email conversation with you or indeed on LinkedIn. You can find me on LinkedIn. Just go and look for Paul Green MSP Marketing connect with me or you can’t just drop me an email as well. And let’s have a chat about what you want to achieve with your business next year. My email address is hello@paulgreensmspmarketing.com.

Voiceover:
Here’s this week’s-

Voiceover:
Clever idea.

Paul Green:
So, once you’re clear on where you want to go and where you want to take your business next year, the next job is to remove any possible barrier, any obstacle to success along the way. And it’s possible that your greatest obstacle to success is your ability to get things done. I don’t mean technical things, I don’t mean client things, I mean business development things. The most successful people that I have ever known and ever met, they all have one thing in common. They have the ability to get things done, whether that’s through delegation, whether it’s through action taking, that’s their superpower. They don’t just talk about stuff, they get things done. So in that spirit, and because I know you’ll have a few days to think about this over Christmas, let me tell you about my productivity stack. So I don’t consider myself a productivity expert, but I have refined my productivity stack over the last 20 years or so.
And I do consider myself an incredibly productive person. So I don’t get everything done every day because who does. But I am aware what needs to be done and I’m aware what can be put off till another date and what needs to be done now. So when I talk about my productivity stack, I am going to mention software, but I don’t really mean software. I mean a stack of things. So the three things I’ve got in my stack is I’ve got tasks, now tasks is about doing the little things. I’ve got projects, that’s about doing the big things. And then I’ve got systems and systems just make life easy. I love systems. So let’s start with tasks. So for tasks, it’s all the little things that have to be done because they’re important or urgent, but they don’t move things forward. All of those things get shoved into tasks.
I’ll give you an example of a task that’s come up today for me just to show how random and boring my life can be as well. I had to dig out my digital tire monitor today because I’ve had my car for a year and I noticed at the weekend that my tires were getting quite low, how the tires wear out. And here in the UK if your tires are below 1.6 millimeters and you get stopped by the police, then you get an instant fine. But more important than the fine, you get three points on your license. And once you have 12 points on your license, you lose your license for six months. I think it’s six months anyway. So if you were stopped in your car, all four tires were under the legal limit, you’ve instantly lost your license, which is inconvenient. So one of my jobs for today is to go out and use my little digital thing here, which I got off Amazon and just measure my tires and then book myself into a tire replacement center if I need to.
Now that’s not moving the business forward, that’s not moving my life forward. But what it is doing, it’s important because it stops any kind of interruption and not being able to drive for six months is a pretty big interruption when you live in a village in the middle of nowhere like we do. So I use for my tasks, a piece of software called Todoist, please don’t get caught up on the specific software I use. You pick the software that’s right for you because they all more or less do the same thing. And I have refined Todoist down in all sorts of ways over the years. But primarily I use it in of three different ways. I’m going to tell you the three different things. I’ve got my inbox, I’ve got my timed tasks and I’ve got my priority hit list.
So my inbox is where every single thought in my head goes. The second I think, “Oh, I need to do that.” It goes in the inbox. If I’m driving I can send myself a voice note which is transcribed into the inbox and I use an app called Braintoss for that. I should get a Alexa set up for you as well, really. But the idea is that you never ever carry a task in your head, you get it out of your head as quickly as you can. You shove it in the inbox and you forget about it. So I review my inbox at the end of each day and there’ll be five to 10 items in there. The things that I can do, instantly I do those things and the rest of them, they get scheduled for the future if they’re not something that I can do quickly, but that inbox must be cleared every single day, otherwise it becomes your email inbox.
And when there’s 200 items in there, no one wants to tackle that, do they? It’s just too difficult. So once an item has come into my system, it either then becomes a timed task or it goes onto my priority hit list. So the timed tasks are things that have to happen on a routine basis. So for example, in fact, let me go into my Todoist now. I’m go into my times tasks. So I have a mixture. I have business to all work time tasks and personal time tasks. So here we go. This is so dull. The reality is the mundane things of people’s lives are dull when you get into them. So I have a task here to log into iCloud to check that photos are syncing from my phone okay. And the last time I did that was February. So that’s one of those tasks that if I’m going to skip something, I’ll skip that one because it’s normally quite fine.
I’ve got here another time task that my daughter is due an eye test in a month’s time so I need to book her in on the opticians. Can you see what I mean by timed tasks? They’re things that have to be done, they’re time specific. And then I’ve got my priority hit list is my other thing. I have a priority hit list for the business. I have one for personal. And the beauty thing of the priority hit list is it’s literally the list of things that you need to do now. So I will build my priority hit list at the end of each day. What are the tasks that I need to get done each day? And remember they’re the small things, these aren’t the big projects, these are the small tasks. So looking here at my priority hit list for the business today, I’ve got to sign off our monthly MSP marketing edge content because that’s just been delivered to me by my content manager.
I’ve got a couple of emails that I need to deal with. I’ve got to set up some Zooms for Monday, I’ve got to send some invoices off to my bookkeeper, it’s that kind of stuff. But all of those things go into my task list. And again, my goal is to empty my task list every day. Often I’ll pull things out of my timed tasks and put them into my priority hit list. And that’s how I fill each day. Some days I don’t get it finished, but I have to say, nothing beats getting to the end of the day. And you’ve got three tasks left and you have a productivity surge because you can see oh three tasks, I’m just going to do those things. And that can be the most productive 10 or 20 minutes of the day because you’re getting towards an empty list.
Crossing off everything on your list is incredibly motivating. So that’s what I do with tasks, but I increasingly am trying to spend less time on tasks and more time on projects. So projects are the big things, the things that drive your, well everything forward. And I use a piece of software for this called Basecamp. Again, use the project management software of your choice. I love Basecamp because it’s incredibly affordable, it’s very flexible, it’s not perfect in any way, but they’re constantly adding new features and it looks nice as well. So Basecamp is where within the business where we plan all of our projects, all the things that are moving us forward. I also use it for my private life as well because you can choose who sees projects. So I have my personal projects there in Basecamp and I know some of my team do exactly the same thing, which is fine.
We have unlimited projects in Basecamp. So I’m running my house refurb through Basecamp, but I’m also running the business through it as well. And the reason I want to spend more time in Basecamp is because that’s where the big jumps forward come from. And Basecamp allows us to break each project down into multiple lists and break each list down into specific tasks. And you can see progress, you can see what’s up next, you can see whose responsibility for something. It’s beautiful. So if I look at the three, I try to have no more than three big projects on that I’m responsible for at a time. I have a team of 10 in total. So everyone has projects that they’re responsible for. But me personally, I can only cope with about three big projects. And I’m looking at my, I’m not going to tell you what my projects are, but I’m looking at them now.
And for each of my projects in Basecamp, I can see what the next specific task is. So I get to my point of my day now where at the beginning of the day I check my emails, I check my Facebook groups, I check my tasks of things that need to be done and then as soon as I can into Basecamp and I’m looking at right, what’s a task, what’s a thing that I can do today that moves the projects forward? That’s where I’m trying to spend more of my time because that’s where the magic happens. So backs the stack, we’ve got tasks that get the small things done, we’ve got projects that get the big things done. And then the final thing is systems. So I’m just going into my systems here. I keep all of my systems within Todoist, but systems are again the magic that just keep regular things going.
So there are lots of different systems. You can have systems for your staff, I’m sure you have systems all over the place. I have productivity systems as well and they tend to be around things that need to be done each week. So for example, I’m recording this on a Thursday and in my Thursday system in my repeat system for Thursdays, record podcast is the very first thing. Then I need to do new client welcome videos. So every time we have a new member joining the MSP Marketing Edge, I film a personalised video for them. Then I’m ready to write my Friday email. So we have an email that goes out to our database every Friday. I need to set up our next split test because we’re constantly doing AB split tests on our emails. And then there’s a series of other things right down to, I need to pay the cleaner because the Cleaner comes on Thursday.
And I know that, again, this sort of minutiae sounds dull, but these are systemised things. They’re systemised because they happen on the same day each week. So I always talk to my team on Mondays. We have a series of calls every single Monday. I have specific jobs that I do every single Tuesday. And again, there’s no stress in these jobs because they always get done every week because they must happen. In fact, if for example we have a big social event and I lose a proportion of a day, I will often focus more on my systemized repeat tasks before we go off and do that social ahead of anything else. Because if I get to the end of the day and I haven’t completed my repeat tasks, my systemised tasks, then I don’t sleep well. It’s weird. But I feel I don’t have any peace of mind for the end of the day because I know that I’ve broken my system.
And the one thing I know more than anything else about systems is that actually the word system is an acronym. You may have heard me say this before. It’s an acronym for Saves You Stress, time, energy, money. System, it’s beautifully simple like that. So that is my productivity stack. As I say, it’s not necessarily the right productivity stack for you, but it works for me. And what has worked very well over the years is separating out the small things that need to be done from the very big things that move the business forward and maybe you could do the same in 2023.

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug.

Voiceover:
Blatant plug.

Paul Green:
One more suggested thing for you to help you in 2023. And that is to join my free Facebook group. It’s the MSP Marketing Facebook group. It’s the biggest free community on Facebook purely of MSPs, no vendors, it’s just MSPs who talk about growing their business through better marketing. And if I look just at some of the most recent posts, we’ve got something here about a big revenue opportunity in 2023 that’s to generate more monthly recurring revenue from existing clients. Got a website, quick win Wednesday on improving SEO, that’s a pretty good one.
We’ve got here. Where are we? Scroll down here. Scroll down here. We’ve got something about back to hiring, back to work moms to phone people to move your marketing forward. Then we’ve got something here about technicians and their attitude. So there’s loads of things in here, tons of things. It’s about marketing and anything to do with growing your business. Completely free. And if you are an MSP and not a vendor, then to apply to join is very simple. Go onto Facebook, type in MSP Marketing at the top. Just make sure you go to groups and then you can push your finger onto my face and fill in a few questions and that’s how you join. It’s the MSP Marketing Facebook group and I look forward to talking to you inside.

Voiceover:
The big-

Voiceover:
Big interview.

Jamie Warner:
Hi, this is Jamie Warner, CEO of eNerds and Invarosoft.

Paul Green:
And welcome back to the show, Jamie. I can’t believe it’s been so long. You were last on the show, it was July last year, episode 88. In fact, it was a special episode and if you are listening to this right now and you haven’t heard that special with Jamie, press pause, go back to episode 88 and go and listen to Jamie’s story because we’re not going to go back into it today. But it is an amazing story and Jamie will tell you how he built up a business from nothing. Jamie’s not even a tech and he built up an MSP from nothing to I think there’s around about nine million Australian dollars.
But that’s all back in episode 88. But thank you for joining me again today, Jamie, you are the final guest interview before Christmas, which makes you the most special interview of the year. What I want to talk about today is 2023. Now you are in a very unique position that you are both the owner and driver of an MSP and you are also a vendor of course as the owner of Invarosoft. I appreciate here, I’m asking you to look into the crystal ball, but what do you think 2023 is going to have in store for MSPs around the world?

Jamie Warner:
Well firstly, thanks for having me. And what do I think they have in store in 2023? Well, it’s just tremendous amount of opportunity. I think the great thing about the MSP model is that it’s very consistent, it is an annuity, monthly revenue type business. If you’re doing a managed approach, obviously there’ll be a lot of people listening that do break fix still. If you want to go annuity, it’s probably a little less stressful in terms of that model. But I think there’s just a great opportunity to continue to work with your clients, continue to provide that proactive advice. And really I think at the heart of it is that from a revenue and a growth perspective, there really is a great opportunity to nurture your existing client base and tactically help your MSP grow through looking at the current client pool that you have.

Paul Green:
Yeah. In fact, one of the things that stood out most for me listening back to our original interview from last year was you said a great sentence. So these aren’t your exact words, but this is your sentiment, which was, if you end the year with more recurring revenue and more recurring revenue clients than you started the year, then that’s a good year And the goal has to constantly be adding in new clients. But we then also reflected on part of that being that you’ve got to retain your existing clients as well. Do you see that selling more to existing clients is an easier growth opportunity for MSPs than adding new clients?

Jamie Warner:
Well let’s focus on that and do a bit of a recap. So the main thing that I see most MSPs not doing is that they don’t think about their sales target for the year because it is intrinsically two metrics, sign up more dollar revenue because it’s not about more clients, it’s more dollar revenue than you lose every year. And lo and behold, you will grow your business, it’s not rocket science, but ask probably eight out of 10 MSPs and they won’t actually have a sales target for their monthly support, their monthly revenue. So I don’t mean monthly internet and Office 365 and those sort of things because they’re very low margin. I’m talking about new clients and you really do need a target on that. So it is important, the stuff that you help them with Paul, is super important to get the clients in the door.
And you do need that because that creates pipeline. But one of the biggest observations I’ve made over the last 22 years of growing an MSP is that the area in which will grow the business in leaps and bounds is definitely procurement, it’s your advisory, it’s your VCIO process, it’s all of that where you go and actually speak to clients and proactively talk about the things they need to fix. But it’s about this concept of sales compression. If you put your clients down the left hand side of an Excel spreadsheet and you said, “Okay, I think you need this and you need this and you need this.” And you added it all up, you probably average maybe 10 to $15,000 per client. And what I’m seeing most MSPs do is that they don’t do that for one thing. They don’t do that exercise of looking at your clients as a pipeline to some degree, Paul, a lot of MSPs seem to think that that’s a dirty word.
I don’t want to sell things that they don’t need and these types of things. But it’s not about that. It’s about figuring out what is burning, what’s breaking in their environment, putting it in a list and understand that you do need to go and actually speak to them about it. So it’s about being proactive and it’s about this concept of sales compression. So whilst getting new businesses great, it’s this concept of looking at a large pipeline that you have, let’s say an MSP had a hundred clients and it was 10 grand each, that each client you could potentially sell them something, some new desktops, laptops or UPS a project to go to Office 365, whatever it happens to be, that’s a million dollar pipeline. And what I’m observing, putting my vendor hat on and now actually speaking to hundreds of MSPs around the world, is that the difference between the MSPs like my MSP that’s now 10 million and those that are a bit smaller is that they don’t see it as a pipeline and they don’t have those conversations.
They don’t do what I call sales compression, which is to squeeze that deal flow into a shorter period of time so that they can increase that revenue. So I’m not saying you’re not going to sell it, I’m just saying that those that are more efficient in their sales process have a better chance of increasing revenue because they’re going out and having conversations and getting people to convert. So a lot of people are going out and actually having the conversation, but what they’re doing is they’re doing this kind of old approach of a one option approach. And that’s where I start to talk about things like good, better, best and tactical things where you can get buyers to make buying decisions faster. So when you do these types of things, you compress deal flow in a shorter period of time and lo and behold, once again, you can increase that revenue just by being sales efficient.

Paul Green:
Yes, I love this. Absolutely love it. Now you mentioned their good, better, best, which is one of my favorite ways of selling. It’s where you offer people three choices. Talk us through how you do that in your MSP. So literally the practical steps of when you’re trying to sell something to an existing client, how do you offer them three different packages and what’s the difference between that good package, that better package and that best package?

Jamie Warner:
Right, bear with me. It’s a good question, I just need to give the listeners a bit of a background on this because in the MSP space, there’s a lot of conjecture, there’s a lot of pushback on good, better, best. And I have to say it does frustrate me a little bit because there is so much research about good, better, best, and why you need to do things like this. Ultimately in the market, think of any buyer, think of yourself personally. When you go to a supermarket and you look for toilet paper, you intrinsically have the choice between the rough as guts cheap toilet paper and the Cleopatra smooth, beautiful toilet paper. The same goes for petrol or gasoline, good, better, best. Shoes, grapes, yogurt, I don’t care what it is. As buyers, we are conditioned to have options. Starbucks, coffee all around the world, what do you want?
Good, better, best, small, medium and large. It’s the same thing over and over again. So there’s this conjecture out there going, “Oh, I don’t think good, better, best works.” But this is fundamentally researched by our behavior. And so to poo poo it without any thought and just poo poo it because someone said it doesn’t work, is really going against everything that’s been researched. So have a look at a book called Monetizing Innovation. Have a look at a Harvard Business Review article about good, better, best and you’ll see what I mean, have a good read of it and it’s important for you to understand because this is the journey the buyer goes through. So now let’s look at complex situations like whether it be your support plans or whether it be selling and coming back to them with recommendations about things. If buyers are intrinsically conditioned by an option, it works really well because if you give someone one option, it’s what they call a take it or leave it proposition, the buyer can fundamentally only say yes, no, or go dark.
And I bet you a million bucks, people listening to this have seen their clients go, “Oh, let me have a think about it. Oh I’ll come back to you on that.” And they don’t come back to you because they don’t know what to do because they can’t negotiate with you because essentially when you only have one option, the only thing they can negotiate on is price, because you’ve got everything included. So you can only say, “Oh well can you reduce the price a little bit?” Whereas when you have packages you go, “Well I could take this out and this out to meet your budget.” So with good, better, best, you are catering to what they call three buying personas. It’s the budget conscious, middle of the road and your premium buyer. Now the reality is there’s not many premium buyers in SMB, but having a premium package, if you have three packages, enables you to anchor the other two packages.
So for example, if the quote was 20 grand, you would ordinarily come back to them on a large recommendations. It makes more sense to go, “Well you could spend 10 grand with just a few upgrades, could be 20 or it could be 40 or 50.” The 40 or 50,000 anchors the other two prices, if you just said to someone of 20,000 pounds or dollars, they go, “Whoa, whoa, well hang on.” They have no context over that 20,000. Whereas if you give them context 10 or 40 or 50, suddenly the buyer goes to themselves, well yeah, in their mind they’ll be thinking, “I’m not spending 40.” So they think they’ve made a saving by not selecting the most expensive one. So this is how the buying process goes with a buyer and it’s why good, better, best works so well because they can now choose to buy as opposed to being sold to.
And there is an absolute difference between someone buying and saying yes or no with their arms crossed. You watch a buyer when it’s a yes or no proposition, they’ll have their arms crossed and they’ll be like, “Mm.” But if you give them options, their arms come open, they start rubbing their chin, leaning in, going, “Oh, what should I do there?” And this is the sort of thing that we’ve done in my MSP for a long, long time, and I think it’s why we do a great job. When we come back to a client with recommendations, we give them options, we build the solution, we actually call it solution builder for the recommendation side and it enables us to get them to buy something and we can circle back later to sell them other things they need. So let’s give an example where, for example, this is a good one.
We’re pitching for some new business just like all of you in our MSP right now. And the client, lots of clients will be saying to you, “Come back to me with your recommendations.” So MSPs are running around going, “Yes I will and I’ll audit it and I’ll give you the premium solution, the three to five year solution.” So they’ll slap a one number with their support plans, which is also probably one number to the client. And now the client’s looking at three MSPs, they’re like, “Oh well you were 30 grand, you were 20 and oh hang on, eNerds, you were three prices.”
So straight away we don’t get knocked out on price because they have to actually speak to us and go, “Hang on, you’re giving us three options. Well which one is it?” And you can go into that consultative discussion to talk about it with them. So there’s so many benefits of doing it, but what it really achieves you to do is to get a buyer to make a buying decision. You intrinsically end up selling more to them anyway through this structure. And it is a more aligned process to how buyers are used to buying in that sense in their general day to day-to-day life. So it’s fascinating and it works a treat.

Paul Green:
I love this. Absolutely love this Jamie. Right. I could spend hours talking about this, but I want to move on to another subject which is Invarosoft. So give us a 30 second recap of exactly what Invarosoft is. \Because I want to talk about how you are developing an entire new way of allowing MSPs to work with their clients long term.

Jamie Warner:
Absolutely. So what we’ve built is a unified customer experience platform. So it’s centered around our client portal experience with our apps, the actual client portal itself. And it’s all about giving the customer one pane of glass to show your value, improve your productivity around ticketing and improve communication, improve identity security, and the account management piece. And we are calling it a unified CX platform now because we do, do VCIO, QBR, TBR technology, we have CSAP, we’re doing engineer scheduling, we’re doing warranty look-ups, we’re doing Office 365 and device reports all bundled up in this one platform. You’ve got live chat, identity, security and all this sort of stuff. So we are really trying to help our MSPs with two things. One is the whole customer experience piece, but two, it’s about reducing your stat costs by getting all of the smaller tools you need under the one hood at the same quality as you normally would get from the shelf tools.

Paul Green:
Got it, got it. And apart from the fact that you threw so many acronyms there that you could have sneaked in an acronym, that was nothing to do with tech at all and you got away with that. But no, that makes complete sense. So you are building and I think what makes a vendor started by an MSP and a successful MSP, what makes that vendor special is that you aren’t just building stuff you think MSPs should be using. I know from the conversations we’ve had previously that you are literally building the tool set that you wish that you had had. And then obviously I can see you’ve developed Invarosoft massively compared to when we last spoke, what was it 18 months ago. And you’ve added in all of those extra tools. Give us an example of the retention and upselling impacts that a good unified CX platform customer experience platform can have on an MSP.

Jamie Warner:
Well, there’s two, I’ll give you two examples. Firstly, it’s winning new business. So one of the things I talk about a lot is where you will help MSPs actually get more leads and get these opportunities through the door. One of the things that doesn’t get spoken about is improving conversion. If you are converting say one out of four deals, and if you can improve that to a conversion of two out of four deals, you’ve literally doubled your growth just by improving conversion. And when you go and see a client, you’ve got to remember that they are looking for a partnership. They’re not looking for a technical solution. Everybody that thinks that, they’re not, they’re looking for a partnership. And when they’re looking for a partnership, they’re looking for a step up in that service experience. And so what you want to be able to show them is how you are going to deliver that step up.
And if they asked you, “Hey, how’s it going to look with this new relationship with you?” And you say, “Don’t worry, I’ll replace all the mouse pads and stickers you had before with new mouse pads and stickers and you can email and call me that way.” And then the next MSP comes in and goes, “You know what? We’ve invested in the customer experience piece. We know that we need to take away the darkness of the IT support experience. So we’ve given you this beautiful client portal experience. You can see your tickets, you can see Office 365 reports and you’ve got forms for onboarding and offboarding, all that sort of stuff. We just make the whole experience easy.” Which one do you think is going to have the best chance of winning that deal, the old school 1990s approach or the one that’s obviously investing in the customer experience?
So it’s going to help you improve your conversion and new business. And on the VCIO side, we’ve actually built our good, better, best methodology into that tool set. So essentially when you go and present these recommendations, you can go through and give them these options, help them select the right thing, and it actually adds it all up down the right hand side of this table so that when you get to the end of that VCIO, QBR, TBR discussion, you’re essentially getting that buyer to make a buying decision.
Now all you need to do when you send the quote is Chase for sign off rather than what almost nine out of 10 MSPs are doing, which is sending them a quote and trying to have that complicated discussion of what they think they need to do. So there’s a massive difference there. And these are the tactical things that we’ve been doing, both these things in my MSP to beat other MSPs time and time again to build the business. Because we’ve built that business with no acquisitions and you’ve got to do these tactical things to win in very competitive markets, which is pretty much all markets that have MSPs in it.

Paul Green:
I love this. It’s so smart. Thank you, Jamie. Can you give us a very brief glimpse at what you are going to be doing with Invarosoft next year? And obviously don’t give away any secret source that your competitors can steal from you, but where do you see it developing? What’s the big plan for you?

Jamie Warner:
Well look, next year at the start of Q1 we’ll be repackaging the platform so that you’ll be able to buy modular things from us. So if you just want to buy VCIO or CSAT or engineer scheduling and these sorts of things, you can do that. But we’ll also be bundling them into tech tool bundles so that you can start to help reduce the stat cost, et cetera. One of the surveys we did at the start of the year, we asked people, look, what tools do you use and would you want to reduce the stat costs? And actually it was interesting, 94.4% of MSPs said, “Yeah, I would love to do that because it’s just too hard it’s too complex managing all these different portals and tools.” And so that’s what we are looking at doing at the start of the next year and we’ll continue to invest in the platform in all the different areas that I’ve already mentioned to accelerate the feature set for our partners and new partners to come.

Paul Green:
Awesome. Thank you, Jamie, so much. Just briefly tell us what the website address is for Invarosoft, how can MSPs get in touch with you?

Jamie Warner:
Sure. If you go to ww.invarosoft I-N-V-A-R-O-S-O-F-T.com and you can contact us there, we’ve got a very simple process for investigating our software. It’s a three steps, you book in a demo, if you like what you see, we’ll help you set up a trial, it takes about 30 minutes just to connect your PSA and Azure and then we just book another quick meeting to find out what you’d like to do. So very easy investigating it and it’s all templatised. You don’t have to do anything. We’ve invested in it so that you can just plug and play, get this platform going. So for those listening and you’re thinking, “Oh yes, I’m thinking about doing CX or something like that in the future,” it’s very fast, it’s not a massive project. We know your time poor and we’ve invested to make sure that that’s an easy process for you.

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Alton Johnson:
Hey everyone, my name is Elton Johnson and the book that I recommend is The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone because it’s really all about taking action. The 10X Rule is really just about getting up and actually making a move rather than waiting for the competitors to take advantage of the opportunity.

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Anne Tasker:
Hi, I’m Anne from Zenzero and I’ve built an MSP from nothing to five million and I’ll be on next week’s podcast to show you how.

Paul Green:
Wherever you consume this podcast, please do hit the subscribe button so you never miss an episode, because next week it’s our Christmas special featuring that lady. On next week’s show, she’ll tell you her story, how she did it, the strategies she used, and I’m hoping to inspire you to jump into 2023 ready to build your business and achieve more than you ever thought you could achieve, because you really can do it. We then got a series of specials throughout January. In fact, I’m declaring it to be Authors Month, and I have a whole series of best selling authors joining me throughout January for a series of specials. I’ll tell you more about that next week. But join me next Tuesday. Have a very profitable week in your MSP. Oh and happy Christmas.

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