Why is MSP Lead Generation So Broken?

“We had a marketing vendor for six months and we didn’t get a single qualified lead!”

“We hired a sales guy but he didn’t last long...”

“Our PPC gets leads but most are just emergency buyers...”

MSPs are understandably frustrated with all aspects of lead generation. Tired of no results. Frustrated with the people involved. Upset they’ve spent time and money and seem to have little to show for it. 

Why is this so darn hard?

I mean, MSPs want to help companies but these prospects apparently have zero desire to listen or even reply.

Wait, aren’t there literally hundreds of good companies within a 50 mile radius? 

Why aren’t at least a handful filling out the “Contact Us” form each month?

Okay, breathe, let’s figure this out. 

Cyber security is understandably complex but this shouldn’t be so hard. 

The Real Challenge behind MSP lead generation

The heart of the issue is that great prospects aren't small 8 person companies. Smaller companies are, by and large, getting by just fine alone or with the occasional break and fix.

And we know that as their headcount increases, they don’t wake up one day and just divorce from their existing provider, instead they assume “IT is just IT”, they blindly accept that “all IT providers are good enough at cybersecurity” and they genuinely believe “technology is just another expense.”

Need proof that qualified prospects don’t switch overnight?

Below is a Sales Report for an MSP we partner with. Take a look at the column that says “Days to Close”. 

Those companies are new managed services clients. And the report shows how many days it took from the first interaction until the day the company signed up for managed or co-managed services.


days to close


The data isn’t lying here, it’s highlighting the fact that prospects don’t change providers overnight.

And so, if we’re going to really fix lead generation, we need to see what the main challenge actually is first.

How Most MSPs Approach Lead Generation

The reason so many MSPs are disgusted with sales and marketing is because most strategies are focused on the wrong problems.

For example, some assume it’s a low volume problem.

“We need more blogs.”

“Salespeople should be dialing more.”

“We need more budget for PPC.”

And while more resources are certainly helpful and there does need to be enough invested to get somewhere, clearly, more is not the answer to the real challenge at hand.

The other problem MSPs seem to obsess over is blaming the people who are trying. 

“I can’t find good salespeople.”

“The marketing agency stunk.”

Of course, incompetent people will ruin lead generation, that is true. And some people are not cut out for sales, that is also a fact. 

However, most people working out there aren’t lazy, dumb or ill-equipped. They can’t all be that bad, right? They showed up, completed the deliverables for months, or even a year. Maybe it wasn’t perfect but no one is perfect.

And still nada, zilch, nothing came through and so the problem must be “bad people.”

Look, I know it’s frustrating and I do apologize that lead generation hasn’t panned out for many awesome MSPs, but the answer is in the data. 

Reverse engineer the close-won contracts and arrive at a strategy that isn’t solely based on investing more or that assumes people are “good” or “bad.” 

Arrive at a process that makes sense and then find good people and good technology to get it done.


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