In the fast-paced world of managed services, full of heightened demands and competitors, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) continually navigate a plethora of obstacles when trying to deliver seamless IT solutions to their clients. Many MSPs face a recurring set of challenges that, if not addressed proactively, can undermine their efficiency and profitability. Avoid these prevalent roadblocks that impact MSPs nationwide. Continue reading to discover the common pain points as well as established approaches to effectively tackle them.

Talent Shortage

The Problem: Talent shortage poses a significant challenge for MSPs due to the diverse and evolving skillset required within the IT industry. The rapidly changing threat landscape requires a level of expertise that isn’t easy to find. Coupled with the competitive nature of the MSP space, this becomes a key pain point.

The Solution:

  • Train Internally: Create a company culture that inspires loyalty, training your high performers to scale their careers within your organization.
  • Leverage Vendor Partnerships: Utilize your premiere vendor partnerships to leverage the resources that come with the relationship, such as cybersecurity training, technical support, marketing resources, and threat research.
  • Consider Small Acquisitions: If you’re in the position to acquire another MSP, be sure to factor in the value of their existing talent pool.

Go-To-Market Strategy

The Problem: The majority of MSPs come from a technical background, leading to a lackluster sales and marketing department. The lack of sales experience among technical founders can lead to difficulties in lead generation, customer engagement, and building differentiated value propositions. Moreover, the constantly evolving technology landscape requires adaptive marketing strategies to support a scaling business.

The Solution:

  • Identify Your Target: Know your audience and what drives them, then develop a pitch that caters to their specific desires and pain points.
  • Pricing and Packaging: Focusing on pricing strategies like subscription-based, fixed fee, and per-user pricing revitalizes revenue, enhances customers satisfaction, and provides cost savings and convenience for your clients.
  • Keep it Simple: Your value proposition must differentiate you from your customers but must be simple enough for your employees to articulate effectively.

Vendor Sprawl

The Problem: With the threat landscape constantly changing, your offering must too. That often leads to bringing on additional vendors with varying solutions to cover all your bases. This can lead to alert fatigue, numerous channels for communication, and potential issues for managing all of the individual billing.

The Solution:

  • Identify Your Business Goals: Choose one or two vendors to form full-fledged partnerships with, being sure to consider their offering and roadmap. This will ensure their evolution supports your mission to scale.
  • Consider Resources Needed to Manage: Less vendors mean less staffing to manage each relationship. This saves time on training your internal resources on various systems and solutions.
  • Increased Security: With consolidated vendors, your business will be more secure with less people. This makes it easier to track and isolate potential breaches. Consolidating your vendors, in turn, minimizes your possible attack surfaces.

Customer Retention

The Problem: The threat landscape isn’t stagnant, and neither should your offering. Your security stack must evolve and adapt to continually meet your clients’ growing needs and expectations. MSPs need to increase their level of quality, adapt to new technologies, and remain responsive. Coupled with fierce competition, customer retention poses a significant threat to MSPs.

The Solution:

  • Understand Your Clients’ Needs: Each client is different but understanding their top priorities and requirements is critical. Doing so enables you to tailor your engagement with them, positioning yourself as their trusted advisor.
  • Manage Expectations: Set a cadence in which your interact with your clients to ensure they’re up to date on the latest enhancements and potential issues. This will give your clients a level of stability. Trust will be built when they know what to expect from your partnership.
  • Showcase Value Consistently: Showcase the value you’re bringing to your clients through reports, metrics, success stories, and more. These deliverables will highlight how your solution has positively impacted their business operations.

In Conclusion

Navigating MSPs’ challenges requires a combination of insight, adaptability, and strategic action. From addressing the talent gap and refining go-to-market strategies, to streamlining vendor relations and bolstering customer retention, the path to success is multifaceted. As we’ve explored the predominant pain points and their actionable solutions, it becomes evident that proactive management and a focus on delivering consistent value are instrumental. By understanding these challenges and implementing the recommended approaches, MSPs can not only survive but thrive in the demanding landscape of managed services, ensuring sustained profitability and robust client relationships.

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