Why "Sales or Marketing?" is the Wrong Question for MSPs

Unfortunately, far too many MSPs perceive their options as though it were the intersection of Sales Street and Marketing Avenue.  

"Which way should I turn?"

Our answer is "Neither, there is a better way." But the "better path" is not what this post is about.

This is about why "left or right?", "black or white?", "sales or marketing?" are the wrong questions.

Imagine your life on Sales Street...


In your first 3 months down Sales Street you interview lots of candidates and eventually land on the person who believes in your mission and can work with your base and commission structure.

He's energetic, has a proven track record and he seems like someone your team would enjoy working with. Let's assume you pay average of $47K per year in base salary.


Screenshot 2021-06-14 7.46.21 PM

Hiring a good person feels good; however, as you know from hiring engineers, choosing wisely is far easier said than done. But let's assume you chose wisely in this story.

Okay, a few months later and there is traction! You've had appointments with companies with IT pain. It took some time, no surprise there, but there is momentum.

Okay, what's the problem with Sales Street?

95%, nearly all of the game, is totally wasted. That's a major problem.

Even with a remarkable sales person who can convince 5% to talk, the rest will forget about him and your MSP when it counts; simply put, if the prospect does not have pain now they hang up or politely say "No, thanks."




Should we blame the salesperson? Absolutely not. Commission drives him. He ought to focus on his quota of meetings booked. His paycheck depends on connecting with people who want something today (or soon).

Meanwhile, the 95% left behind continue receiving cold-calls, cold-emails, LinkedIn messages from competitors, IT vendors, start-ups, clients, bill collectors, partners, etc. And the SMB prospect forgets about your remarkable sales person.

95% of your market leaks and dries out this way.


Imagine walking down Marketing Ave...


Marketing Avenue looks beautiful at first. It makes sense when we look around.

Websites, blogs, social media, marketing newsletters, all of these are what all modern companies have and rave about.

Okay, so then why does Marketing Avenue usually stink for MSPs?

Results. It takes forever and most rarely get any results to brag about.

If you ask [INSERT NUMBER HERE] MSPs "what went wrong with marketing?" you'll get the same number of reasons. However, here are two elephants in the room I see.

First, most SMBs in your metropolitan area are doing fine without you. It's 2021 and managed services are not the new hot thing. Mature SMBs are already in a decent relationship.

And the second problem we often see is that most marketing content in the MSP space lack the right focal point. They focus on top-of-the-funnel IT challenges instead of bottom-of-the-funnel topics that are closer to pain and dollars for prospects. 

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