What is the #1 reason growing your MSP business is so difficult? Well, this 5-letter word is the secret to your business success!
Some say growing your business takes:
- Better marketing
- Better sales processes/pipelines
- Being someone who they are not
But does that work? Not really. For the most part, what frees you up to focus on Sales and not worrying about Service Delivery is TRUST. As the Company matures, there are three stages of growth where Trusting the Service Delivery Team becomes critical and is the bottleneck holding back Sales.
After being in business and using the Autotask PSA to run the Company for 1-2 Years…
For most nimble MSPs, the Owner started the Company because they wanted to do a better job at providing Service to the Customer. That was great in the beginning. He and his partner had plenty of time to provide all the TLC the Customer needed, as well as the expertise to “Fix their Stuff.” As their business grew, it required hiring a few more Techs. Now, in order to cover payroll, the Owner needs to focus on Sales. But how do they transition out of the Lead Tech role?
3 steps to get past this bottleneck:
1. Resolve the Autotask issues so the Tool keeps the Service Delivery Team organized and on task automatically (Autotask).
2. Use the three levels of Autotask automation to streamline the Service Delivery Operations:
- Workflow Rules
- Contract Exclusions
3. Hold the Team accountable:
- Real-Time Time Entries and completed weekly Timesheets
- Meeting SLA expectations
These three things will build Trust in the Service Delivery Team by the Owner, so they will be mentally free to focus on Sales…knowing that everything is fine back at the Ranch.
After being in Business and using the Autotask PSA software for 2-5 Years:
This is the era in maturity where a typical MSP starts taking on more project work. As long as 90% of the Customer Requests do not have a significant amount of labor required, they seem to fit in a queue.
I say “seem to” because the level of Chaos in an MSP Service Delivery Team numbs the MSP operations on how inefficiently the Team is working. However, when projects come along, they are so disruptive that out of desperation, the MSP realizes something needs to be done.
3 three steps to get past this bottleneck:
1. Develop a Sales–to–Sales Engineering to Project Management workflow.
2. Balance the Workload across the Team:
- Level 1 – 80% reactive work, 20% proactive work
- Level 2 – 50/50 mix between reactive and proactive work
- Level 3 – 80% proactive work, 20% reactive work
3. Develop project portfolio management and tracking techniques:
- Project Portfolio Tracking Spreadsheet
- Project Availability Forecasting
- Disruption/Escalation Forecasting
In Business and using the Autotask PSA software for more than 5 years:
At this stage of maturity, the Owner finds it harder and harder to know what is going on. Sure, it’s great that the Service Coordinator is managing all open tickets. And it’s also great that the Service Manager has his finger on the pulse of the Service Delivery performance –as a Company, Support Team, and Individual Team Members.
But there’s something else…there is still a significant amount of information missing. Information that an Owner’s gut says they should know, but don’t. Information their Peers are talking about, but they can’t.
Information such as:
- Profitability by Customer, Contract and Service.
- Right-sizing staffing levels and knowing when to hire more Techs.
- How does today’s Sales Pipeline impact Service Delivery – or how many more Managed Service Customers can we take on before needing to buy more Tools or Hire more Techs?
- What is our Mean Time to resolve Customer issues?
- What is our cost to support our Managed Service Customers?
– By Customer
– By Agreement
3 steps to get past this bottleneck:
- Bring Live Reporting expertise in-house.
- Collaborate with direct reports to determine what information is missing, and how to get it.
- Join a Peer Group and listen to what the Peers know (or wish they knew).
In summary, Building Trust, Breaking Trust and rebuilding Trust is a never-ending battle when owning an MSP.
As in any Management situation it takes:
- Getting in front of the problem.
- Equipping the Team to do the job, both in Education and Tools.
- Holding them accountable.
- Getting out of their way.
- And finding that perfect balance between all the above 🙂
If you have done the first three and not #4, then YOU are the bottleneck keeping the Company from growing!