msp sales and marketing strategies

Effective Sales and Marketing Strategies for MSPs: Achieving Harmony and Success

Carrie Richardson, Partner, Fox and Crow Group

Sales and marketing for MSPs should work hand-in-hand, but often, these two essential business units find themselves at odds. This discord leaves MSP business owners questioning the validity of each team’s claims.

“Marketing is sending us garbage leads!”

“Sales reps want everything handed to them and won’t put in the work to close deals!”

Creating effective sales and marketing strategies for MSPs is challenging when both teams seek credit for the same successes.

The solution lies in transforming your sales and marketing processes to foster harmony.

If you don’t want to read a lengthy blog post, scroll down for our TL;DR cheat sheet!

Marketing Goals

Marketing metrics are often dismissed as vanity scores.

While likes and shares don’t directly translate to revenue, they play a crucial role in brand storytelling.

Your marketing team’s primary responsibility is to disseminate your story across various platforms to the most responsive audience.

Aligning marketing strategies with the business owner’s goals is essential, as marketing for MSPs typically does not yield immediate results. Clear communication of your strategic vision to the marketing team is paramount.

If your vision is not well-defined, refer to Ian Richardson’s article on Vision Building for MSPs

Marketing efforts for MSPs often get abandoned due to unrealistic expectations.

Clear, realistic expectations must be communicated to avoid frustration.

Marketing requires time to produce consistent results. The adage “I know half of my marketing is working, I just don’t know which half” highlights the importance of tracking and measuring marketing efforts to identify successful investments.

At Managed Sales Pros, we’re very upfront with our clients:  our system takes time. If you’re not prepared to work with us for a year, you likely shouldn’t be investing in lead generation yet.

Sales Goals

Sales directly impact revenue, making their metrics straightforward.

Setting realistic sales goals based on historical data allows for clear performance evaluation. However, sales achievements are rarely isolated from marketing efforts. When the sales team succeeds, it often results from effective marketing.

Sales teams get frustrated with poor-quality leads, as they waste valuable time that could be spent on more promising prospects. Ensuring the quality of leads is crucial for maintaining sales team motivation and effectiveness.

Creating Balanced Sales and Marketing Strategies for MSPs

To foster collaboration between sales and marketing teams, business leaders need to implement strategies that promote harmony and shared goals. Here are key considerations:

  1. Incentivize Based on Meaningful Metrics:
    • Marketing teams should be incentivized not just on lead quantity but also on lead quality.
    • Sales teams should be rewarded for closing deals efficiently and for collaborating with marketing to refine lead generation processes.
  2. Business Leader’s Role:
    • Clearly define what marketing should deliver to sales.
    • Guide the sales team on managing leads provided by marketing.
  3. Alternative Metrics for Compensation:
    • Implement compensation structures that reward collaboration over competition.
    • Encourage teamwork to achieve common goals rather than focusing on individual accolades.
  4. Understanding Third-Party Roles:
    • Ensure your internal team understands the role of any third-party vendors involved in the sales and marketing process.
    • Align expectations between internal teams and external partners.
  5. Consistent Communication:
    • Ensure all team members understand key terminologies and definitions, such as the difference between Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs).
    • Promote ongoing dialogue to prevent misunderstandings and misaligned efforts.

The Importance of Communication in Sales and Marketing Strategies for MSPs

Effective communication is vital for achieving harmony between sales and marketing teams. Both teams must understand each other’s challenges and objectives. Introducing new processes, talent, or tools should always involve input from both groups to avoid confusion and misalignment.

Shadowing Programs:

Implement shadowing programs where new hires in any department spend time with other teams to understand their challenges and workflows. This promotes empathy and collaboration.

Preparing for New Sales or Marketing Hires

When expanding your team, start by defining the process you want followed. Don’t tailor a job to a person; find the right person for a well-defined job. This approach prevents hiring mismatches and ensures role clarity.

Hiring Best Practices:

Managed Sales Pros can assist in building your sales and marketing strategy.

With over ten years of experience helping over 1000 MSP clients, we offer insights on avoiding pitfalls, doubling down on effective strategies, and timing your hiring and third-party engagements for maximum impact.

Looking for help with your lead generation activities?  Email us at

TL;DR Cheat Sheet:  Effective Sales and Marketing Strategies for MSPs

  • Introduction
    • Sales and marketing should work hand-in-hand.
    • Common issues: Misalignment and blame game.
  • Marketing Goals
    • Importance of storytelling.
    • Align marketing strategies with business goals.
    • Realistic expectations and patience for results.
    • Track and measure marketing efforts.
  • Sales Goals
    • Direct impact on revenue.
    • Set realistic goals based on historical data.
    • Importance of lead quality for sales efficiency.
  • Creating Balanced Strategies
    • Incentivize meaningful metrics.
    • Define roles and expectations clearly.
    • Implement alternative compensation metrics.
    • Understand third-party roles.
  • Communication is Key
    • Promote effective communication and understanding.
    • Implement shadowing programs for empathy and collaboration.
  • Preparing for New Hires
    • Define job roles and processes clearly.
    • Hire based on attitude and train for skills.
    • Avoid mismatched hiring and role clarity issues.
  • Managed Sales Pros Assistance
    • Expertise in building sales and marketing strategies.
    • Experience with over 1000 MSP clients.

Ready to get focused on improving your sales and marketing?  Contact us using the form below!

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