How MSPs Can Generate More Leads with Referrals

Be Different. Deliver Excellence.

Aug 20, 2019

Video Above: Taylor Business Group shares how MSPs can get more leads and close better sales with a business referral process.

Implement a business referral process with your existing MSP clients to close more sales

Did you know the typical MSP only gets 4-6 referrals a year? If qualified, these referrals have proven to provide a higher close rate of 80%+. So, what if MSPs started getting 24-36 highly qualified referrals a year? Read on and watch our presentation with Taylor Business Group to learn how you can generate more leads and close more sales with referrals.

Taylor Business Group MSP Close Rates with Referrals

The average MSP sales process results in a 3.3% close rate and requires A LOT of work and time! We find that MSPs wear several hats and don’t have the luxury of investing this type of time for such small results. So would you rather have a 3.3% close rate following the typical sales process, OR an 80% close rate using referrals? I am going to vote the referral route!

Why don’t MSPs get referrals?

Did those few referrals you get in a year come by chance, or a direct effort? We find that it comes down to six simple excuses of why MSPs aren’t getting a regular flow of referrals from existing MSP clients today:

  1. Don’t ask
  2. Don’t ask the right people
  3. Don’t ask for introductions rather than referrals
  4. Don’t specify the precise people you want to be introduced to
  5. Don’t create occasions to refer
  6. Don’t reciprocate

Now we know there referrals from existing MSP clients are more qualified and can close faster. So we can either keep doing what we are doing OR make a change to capture more qualified leads and sales with referrals!

Taylor Business Group’s 7 Step Client Referral Business Process for MSPs

Good customers are typically going to have relationships with other customers who have the same traits and value the same things. So follow this referral process by asking the your ideal clients for an introduction.

  1. Focus on a short, very specific list of targets: Once you find your ideal managed services customers, the goal would be to “clone” them and find more! Identify your qualifying criteria of what type of customers are the best fit for your managed services offering. One place you could start is on LinkedIn. Join groups and connect with your customers and see if they have any connections you could ask them to refer to you.
  2. Ask the right clients: Ask customers who are able to introduce you to the right clients and you have the best relationships! These clients will have great things to say about your managed services business and turn out to be your best sales force. Individual referrals are great, but another way to capture their recommendation is through marketing efforts like a case study, video testimonial and/or online reviews!
  3. Ask for introductions: What you don’t want is a referral to be generic. Instead think of every introduction as an individual interaction that is mutually beneficial for both parties. These should be consultative trading ideas and sharing best practices.
  4. Learn how to ask professionally: Use some of our recommended talk tracks to reach out...
    • “One of the reasons I wanted to get together with you was to ask for your help in growing our business.”
    • “Getting more law firm clients is a prime goal of ours right now.”
    • “The way we have always grown is through introductions from clients like you who see the value that we deliver in the legal industry.”
    • “Would you be open to introduce us to practice administrators at law firms with more than 15 attorneys? For example, (name a couple of targets where we know they have a relationship if possible)”
    • “We wouldn’t be trying to sell them. Instead, we just want to share our best practices and some other solutions that we provide our other law firm clients.”
    • “We are wanting to build our connections in the industry. Would you be open to making this introduction?”
    • “When would it be comfortable for you to make the introduction?”
    • If no, “I understand. Maybe you’d be open to it in the future?”
  1. Follow through diligently: Follow up immediately in a timely manner and be sure to communicate next steps. One way to stand out would be to include a personalized thank you video.
  2. Create occasions for introductions: A lunch meeting or QBR are both great options to connect in person.
  3. Make this a business process: This can’t be a one and done occasion. This referral process has to be ingrained in your sales process for it to work.

And for those who do not show interest from the start, continue to educate them through marketing campaigns and education so that when an event does happen, you are the first person that they will call.

MSP Marketing & Lead Generation Best Practices

Watch our presentation with Taylor Business Group "How to Use Existing MSP Clients for Lead Generation" for more ideas on how you can generate more qualified leads with referrals. If you’re interested in other ways you can enhance your marketing efforts, join our MSSP Accelerator: Sales & Marketing Summit to learn how you can capture more leads and close more sales with your managed security services offering!


Category: Sales

About The Author

Hannah O'Donnell

Hannah O'Donnell, Director of Sales, is responsible for building the strategic vision for sales and marketing while providing business planning, education, training, and sales assistance to partners. She is also responsible for originating new partnerships for Collabrance. She was recognized as one of 2019's Women of the Channel by CRN, a brand of The Channel Company. Hannah started at Collabrance in 2013 as a Strategic Business Advisor. In 2014, Hannah was nominated by her peers and won Rookie of the Year, and in 2015 became a member of the 100% Sales Achievement Club at GreatAmerica. Hannah earned her business degree in Marketing and Management Information Systems from the University of Iowa.