As someone who has spent the last 20 years helping pioneer the MSP model with channel partners and vendors, I appreciate the value and challenge of recruiting managed service providers to your channel programs and helping them succeed.
On the one hand, you have a pressing need to broaden your partner ecosystems and may see MSPs as an ideal route to drive revenues, tap into diverse market segments, and deliver strategically relevant services to loyal, growing customer bases. On the other, attracting MSPs can feel like an uphill battle.
In my experience helping vendors recruit thousands of MSPs, success hinges not only on expressing in simple terms how you can help them sell more services and solutions but also on conveying the long-term opportunity to continue growing sales with you. To gain an MSP’s mindshare, interest, and commitment to investing time and energy in training, marketing, and selling your product or service, positioning its features and benefits and revenue and profit potential in a way that aligns well with their unique operational, financial, sales, and service delivery processes and business goals is key.
Compelling attributes that make incorporating new products, services, and solutions into their portfolio attractive to MSPs include lowering their labor and licensing costs, having a high resale markup or margin potential, offering recurring revenue opportunities, increasing service delivery performance or efficiencies, and being easy to sell and deliver.
Have all of that and still need help landing MSP partners? Here are 10 proven strategies for overcoming channel partner recruitment challenges:
- Build Out a Targeted Recruitment Plan: A valuable partnership with MSPs should build a thorough understanding of their unique business model, pains, and needs into a detailed recruitment plan designed to identify the right potential partners, engage with them effectively, and integrate them seamlessly into your business vision.
- Offer Attractive Incentives: Incentivize your partners by providing competitive margins, performance-based rewards, and other valuable benefits that will set you apart from your competition.
- Empower Partners with Robust Training and Enablement: MSPs need to be well-versed in your products and services so invest in comprehensive product information, tools, and hands-on training programs. This will empower partners to market your products and services effectively.
- Mobilize Support Infrastructure: Establish dedicated support teams and infrastructure to provide timely, personalized assistance to your partners. This will strengthen the relationship and demonstrate your commitment to their success.
- Maintain Transparent Communication: Unclear expectations can fog a partnership so maintain open lines of communication with your MSP partners. Clearly outline business expectations, goals, and metrics to help build a healthy and productive relationship.
- Leverage Technology to Support Your MSP Partners: Leverage PRM platforms to optimize partner support and enablement processes, enhance collaboration, and enable data-informed decisions.
- Track Achievements and Measure Success: Regularly monitor and measure the performance of your MSP partners against established KPIs. This strategy will help you recognize and reward high performers while also identifying areas that may need additional support.
- Promote and Support Networking and Collaboration: Creating forums for your MSP partners to share insights and opportunities will foster a sense of community and boost loyalty to your brand.
- Adapt to Market Shifts: Keep abreast of industry changes and incorporate new strategies and tactics into your channel sales and marketing efforts. This will help you maintain a competitive advantage and create adaptability within your partner ecosystem.
- Cultivate Long-Term Relationships: Build long-lasting relationships with your MSP partners. Invest in their success and continue to offer resources and support even as markets shift and new challenges arise. This ongoing effort will pay off as partners remain loyal and contribute to your channel growth.
Overcoming the challenge of recruiting the ideal MSP partners for your products and services starts with defining a comprehensive recruitment plan that incorporates a deep understanding of their unique business challenges and needs and then proceeds through a series of measures aimed at building strong relationships and offering competitive incentives. While it takes time and investment, leveraging the strategies above is integral to growing and scaling your business.
I originally wrote this article for Channel Mastered: https://channelmastered.com/the-msp-partner-recruitment-playbook-for-channel-vendors-an-experts-perspective/.
Channel Mastered specializes in overcoming the unique vendor challenges of building successful MSP channel programs, recruiting and enabling MSP channel partners, and driving growth and revenue for their clients. If you’re a vendor seeking to improve your channel performance, book a 100% free strategy session here.