Invasive cold calling is the go-to sales tactic of most MSPs -- managed service providers -- and is one of the reasons why most companies can’t seem to grow beyond their limited pool of referrals and repeat customers. This isn’t limited to the phone-based practices either. It takes on other forms, including cold emailing or even in-person “pop-in” visits.
Regardless of what you do, this uninvited, unprecedented engagement, seller-first approach is no longer appreciated by modern buyers. Fewer than 0.3% of cold calls conducted by experienced sales executives resulted in a meeting. This can be a major waste of resources for your business if you routinely rely on cold calling only to attract new customers.
At the end of the day, you’re barging in with a sell without thinking about precedents like relationship building and offering value.
So how can your MSP find new clients when your cold calling attempts prove to be ineffective?
Inbound marketing strategies such as helpful content solutions or lead magnets can help you showcase your industry expertise. As you create relevant, educational, and value-adding content, people searching for solutions would be more inclined to trust your business and your service.
Once upon a time, cold calling actually worked and brought reliable results. All you had to do was show up and have a solution. The only thing that mattered was that you get on a phone call, send an email, or show up at your customer’s door faster than your competition.
Changes in the buyer-seller relationship have rendered cold calling a debatable tactic. Here’s why you should reconsider cold calling as your primary sales tactic:
Technology is one of the many ways cold calling has failed: caller ID helps you screen calls, voicemail serves as your call gatekeeper, and spam filters shield your eyes from unwanted emails.
Do you answer calls from an unknown number? Probably not. This culture of “stranger beware” and protecting yourself from picking up unknown calls or opening emails from unknown senders has contributed to our aversion towards cold calls.
Another reason why cold calling no longer works is that buyers simply don’t respond to them. Up to 88% of consumers don’t want anything to do with cold callers. The experience of someone unexpectedly demanding your time and your money has become thoroughly unappealing and annoying, when buyers prefer to be coaxed and engage in content before going through with the buying process.
Cold calling is not sustainable. Most MSPs outsource to cold calling companies thinking that casting a wider net will solve the lack of new leads. In reality, all this does is create a giant resource sink for your company. Cold calling costs at least 60% more per lead than other marketing tactics and less than 2% of phone calls made actually result in a meeting.
Other techniques like social media marketing, email automation, and content marketing are more engaging and less intrusive than cold calling. Inbound marketing is an especially effective tactic because it puts a focus on relationship and authority building.
By dedicating some time to creating content your audience will actually want to read, you’re giving them a chance to engage with your brand and be convinced that you’re the perfect service to help them, even without the help of a potentially intrusive sales call.
MSPs require a growth strategy beyond the referral base. In order to succeed in the long term, you have to continually find and convert new customers.
It takes a creative strategy and an adequate investment of resources to make customers aware of your services. This is where inbound marketing comes in. It’s an efficient online technique for lead generation. Rather than spending time and money trying to find clients, inbound marketing can help bring clients to you.
Through social media or content solutions, you would have a better shot at attracting prospects than placing an ad in an IT magazine or trying to perfect your sales call, because there is no perfect sales call if you’re neglecting to build relationships first.
When you create compelling content based on what your audience needs, they would be more inclined to trust you and the services you offer. Educational and valuable content such as blogs, eBooks, case studies, webinars, whitepapers, guides and other (free) resources are a great way to build a knowledge hub you can convince site visitors with.
Not only does this work for prospects, but you can share these materials to existing clients as well. Other benefits of implementing content marketing in your sales strategy include:
There is no point in calling someone who isn’t interested in what you have to offer. Most MSP audiences aren’t aware of a problem until they’re faced with a cybersecurity or compliance crisis.
The best way to bring these problems to light, and how you could possibly prevent it from happening, is by creating resources your audience can engage with. Share stories about ransomware nightmares, publish resources on why email encryption matters, talk about the importance of remote access software.
Inbound marketing is a method of attracting customers by creating valuable content or experiences tailored to them.
When they search a problem, your content can appear in search results, putting you on their radar without being intrusive. You help them form the connections they’re looking for and solve the problems they are currently facing. This makes you an authority leader not just for this one particular reader, but for all the other readers coming across your content.
Need help building your content strategy? Here’s a quick four-step cheat sheet on how to get started:
Cold calling is gone for good; it’s time to step-up your content game. As an MSP, content will bring you to the forefront of your industry and have clients running to you. By providing your target audience what they need, you show them that you’re leagues ahead of your competitors in experience and in expertise.