For your MSP, B2B lead generation is an integral piece of the puzzle to grow your business. When you serve the technology sector, it’s even more important that you’re precise in your targeting. While inbound marketing tactics can serve to increase traffic and visibility, gaining a larger audience isn’t the objective that will push your conversions higher.
To make your marketing investment pay the ROI you need, it’s essential that you’re using strategies that will amplify your message to the right people. Using both inbound and outbound lead generation might be the optimal solution, depending on your customer persona and marketing position.
For some Managed Service Providers (MSPs), it’s exceptionally location-based. For other MSPs, there’s no geographic barrier, but there are set industries. If you’re focusing on serving tech companies, narrowing that down further to the type of industries those tech companies serve will help you nail the lead generation tactics that work best for your team and business growth.
Lead Generation vs ABM
Lead generation is the traditional approach to marketing and sales. Where lead generation often works with inbound marketing techniques and starts with a wider target audience, ABM is all about targeting individual companies and prospects.
Lead generation is how your marketing team qualifies leads that they funnel to your sales team. For some MSPs that includes cold calling. For others, inbound marketing tactics might be more advantageous.
Account-based marketing is when you target individual businesses. Often, you’re using parts of your lead generation data to define who these prospects are. Once you’ve determined the companies you want to target, you’ll research individual people at those companies to determine the best ways to reach those prospects.
An ABM approach is often a better technique for MSPs because you’re selling a very specific service to a niche market. It’s very personalized and often uses outbound approaches more than inbound marketing efforts. That does not mean you don’t need to use lead generation at all. Your lead generation data and efforts can propel success with ABM and generate leads you wouldn’t find on your own.
B2B Lead Generation Strategies for MSPs
B2B lead generation for MSPs can mean casting a wider net. You’re going to fine-tune the techniques that work for your business based on your market positioning and analytics. For MSPs, the goal is often to set appointments. If your lead generation strategies work well, you’ll see an uptick in appointments for your sales team, which leads to a higher conversion rate.
Your end goal may not be a complimentary sales call, though. The type of lead generation strategy you use should be customized to your internal goals. This might be to upsell current customers, increase visibility, or nurture leads through your funnel. Remember, too, that the sales funnel is often longer for MSPs because companies that invest in your service need to see your brand as an industry leader and a trusted partner. That can take more time than other funnels for less costly (and important) products and services.
MSPs are not difficult to market, but the sales funnel is longer than other types of products. This means that you need to look at your lead generation as a long-term investment.
- Marketing Efforts Need to Be Consistent. With a longer sales funnel, most of your conversion can’t be attributed to the most recent campaign. It’s difficult to pinpoint how each new client came in because it’s a cumulative process that wins their trust over time. For MSPs, this means that the marketing wheel should never stop. Even if you have enough current clients. Reducing or eliminating marketing can mean that you’ll find client growth abruptly stops, and it can take months of a new campaign effort to get that forward movement back.
- Messaging Needs to Be Honest. We can say this about any type of marketing, but your MSP clients expect that what you say in a sales meeting will be backed up by your performance and their ROI. You can’t fall into the habit of overselling here because it will backfire. If your client will experience downtime in implementation, make sure they know it and how you’ll help them overcome it. Whatever you’re offering, make sure you’re transparent.
Best Practices for B2B Lead Generation
There are many techniques you can employ in your B2B lead generation strategy. The question is, what are the best tactics for an MSP? There are some fantastic tactics that work in other industries that won’t reap the same results for yours.
Here are some best practice techniques that work well for MSPs specifically:
- Referrals: These are the holy grail of sales, and they offer a much higher than average ROI. For MSPs, referrals can be a game-changer because you’re much more likely to close deals through trusted referrals in this market specifically. Go through your list of current customers to see who you interact with most and with whom you’ve built a solid relationship.
- Events/Speaking Engagements: This has been curbed in recent years but will be a viable option again soon, if not already. Having one of your staff members or executives on a panel at the right event can be an excellent way to leverage your authority. These events provide you with a great opportunity to network and increase leads while making personal connections for your business.
- LinkedIn: We can recommend many social media channels for MSPs, but LinkedIn is still one of the most advantageous to cultivate. We suggest not only maintaining a company profile but also personal profiles of owners, sales, and marketing employees. This gives you an unobtrusive way to connect with your current clients and prospects so that you can maintain relationships without being overly sales-oriented.
- Testimonials: If you can’t get a lot of referrals, testimonials and other social proofs are the next best thing. Many of your clients would be willing to give you good reviews and testimonials that you can include on your website.
Lead Generation to the IT Persona
Marketing your MSP to the technology sector doesn’t need to be as difficult as it sounds. There are often cross-overs in networking between your MSP and any end client because both companies exist in the same industry umbrella. Personal connections can be an exceptionally powerful way to build your lead generation strategy.
Outside personal connections, the IT persona is often looking for proof of quality and service. Social proofs and testimonials are helpful, but so is educational content. Thought leadership pieces can be an essential part of your inbound lead generation strategy, along with guest posting or publishing through industry publications. These posts serve a dual purpose. They bring visitors to your site via links in your profile, but they also improve your website ranking, making you easier to find through organic search.
The final piece of the puzzle in your lead generation strategy is in the analytics. It’s important that you set goals for your campaigns and measure your progress. You may find that some avenues of lead generation are not offering engagement or improving your growth. Given enough time, you might pivot to other areas that are more advantageous to improve your marketing ROI.
Need Help Developing a Successful B2B lead generation strategy that specifically speaks to the needs of other technology companies?
Selling technology solutions into technology is an intricate vertical to master. Emissary’s advisor network can help you gain valuable insights into your target accounts and develop the right strategy. Contact us today to get started or call us at (646) 776-0510 to discuss your business needs