How MSPs are Continuing Activity During COVID-19

Be Different. Deliver Excellence.

Apr 21, 2020

Video Above: Hannah O'Donnell, Director of Sales at Collabrance, talks with Americom Imaging and Pantheon Computers to ask questions around their sales activity during COVID-19, and best practices they can share with other MSP peers.

MSP Sales Q&A with Americom & Pantheon Computers

How are you continuing to reach audiences?

Americom: We’re really focusing on our social media presence. Mainly through written articles, and more recently starting to use video on LinkedIn. Our marketing team producing relevant content, as well as using/repurposing and breaking down larger campaigns to develop smaller informational pieces that can be used for more targeted messaging. We’re trying to make it easier for our users by providing them a link to information rather than attaching several documents since so many people are working from home online.

Pantheon: Overall we are reaching our audience the same way we did before the pandemic. We’re still…

  • Working with lead generation tools for drip campaigns, and target marketing.
  • Sending video emails to all our prospects to differentiate from the competition.
  • Picking up the phone every day and talking to people.
The change isn't HOW we’re reaching our audience but instead the change is WHAT type of message we’re delivering to our audience.

Your message must feel meaningful and sincere and not another sales call. Customers must feel like you're invested in their business, their staff, and their family. Once they feel like you're reaching out to help, then they let their guard down and open you into their “new normal” and all the challenges they face in this transitional period of their business. Adjusting your message stops the “why are you calling me and trying to sell me something right now,” or the traditional hang-ups. A lot of tactics are still the same, but personalizing the message to what customers need now.

How are you keeping your pipeline full?

Americom: We’re setting up virtual meetings and it’s becoming the new normal. Calls are more receptive to meeting virtually. We’re also taking the time to figure out what more our current customers need to improve their environment. We’re finding ways to stay busy whether it is working with existing clients or prospecting new opportunities. After businesses return onsite, we anticipate prospects will realize their work from home situation could have been better and we look forward to helping them implement the technology they need to remain efficient.

Pantheon: Sales can still happen today and are happening. We are fortunate to have activity with continuous need from our community. With the world changing by the minute, it’s now more important than ever to stay top of mind. Businesses are witnessing the vulnerabilities and daily challenges with working remotely, response times are critical, and they are mindful of the security of their data with their current support whether that’s internal or outsourced. Start those conversations with prospects now so when we get through this, you have that presentation ready. Little secret, prospects are ready for those conversations now. In fact, we closed a big deal the same day we did this interview.

How are you continuing to drive sales virtually?

Americom: We are eating what we cook. Being able to leverage the Microsoft tools for web meetings that include audio/video and the ability to do virtual presentations has been very successful. Although different is offers more opportunity to share the vision about how we teach clients how to use the same tools.

Pantheon: First, by using virtual video tools like Soapbox, Thankview, FaceTime, Zoom Meetings, Microsoft Teams, and so much more. Don’t let your sales process halt because you can’t be in person. Be in front of them virtually. Second, social media is huge right now. The key with social media is to open yourself up to them personally. Not everything has to be techy and business. Show fun things your team is doing while working from home or at the office, show personal things that your staff is doing to support the communities, make some funny videos to make your prospects and clients laugh and forget the world around them for a second.

What needs are you hearing from you customers? How are you helping your customers with these needs?

Americom: Clients are looking to us for help connecting their team back to office systems. Thankfully we have a large team to spread this workload and multiple ways to make sure this can happen and it is most importantly secure. We’ve been proactively working with clients on continuity plans without knowing what the future held. These became critical in ensuring customers were ready to work remote in a short timeframe. It hit home that they made the right move, they are spending the right money and reassured us as providers that what we’re providing is beneficial and can pay dividends long term.

Pantheon: I think more than anything today our clients need to know that we are here for them. The reality is that we’re in the business of helping people. To one person that might be making sure that they are setup to work from home securely and efficiently. To someone else it may be just listening to how difficult working from home may be and sharing tips and tricks. To many of our business owners and operators it often looks like sharing knowledge about what to do in the “new normal” of their business both operationally and financially.

Ultimately our clients need to know that we are here for them, and we’re willing to do whatever it takes to get them through the pandemic.

Our entire team is looking for any way we can help our clients, whether that be a technological solution or a virtual shoulder to cry on (because we are practicing good social distancing!). Simply put, we’re showing up every day with an open mind and an open heart, looking for any little way we can help people. We’re not thinking about what we do as technology solutions, instead we’re spending the time connecting with our clients.

Need ideas to keep your pipeline full?

Attend our next marketing webinar on April 23rd at Noon CDT to gain ideas on ways you can continue to generate leads with digital marketing tactics.

Register for Marketing Webinar

About the Presenters:

Sean Dahlman, Pantheon Computers

Most people don’t know I started my career as a bartender. Sales and Marketing came into my life later, after I realized my success wasn’t from making a stiff drink, but from building relationships and growing the brand from behind the bar. From then on, I was fascinated with building relationships from the ground up, finding ways to better their lives, and the positive change it brings out for people/organizations. I’m so lucky that I’ve been in Sales/Marketing and now business development for the past 20+ years, including Pantheon Computers over the last 2 years. When I work with small businesses, they tell me how appreciative and trustworthy I am and the peace of mind Pantheon Computers brings to their business. That’s my favorite part of what I do!

Darrin Denney, Americom Imaging

Darrin Denney has been working in the technology industry for over 25 years. His diverse background has been instrumental in helping clients to ensure their technology meets today’s complex needs. Darrin was named an ENX Magazine 2019 Difference Maker for his commitment to industry excellence and steadfast work with local community colleges to ensure their technology programs are producing and employable workforce.

DJ Dillenberer, Americom Imaging

After finishing up college studies and baseball, I quickly shifted my focus to helping my Dad grow Americom. I have been involved in Business Development for Americom for four years now. Starting out in our Office Equipment side selling multi-function printers and managed print services, the last 12 months my needs have shifted to focus on our Managed Network Services (MNS). Darrin and I have been tasked with refreshing our current clients tech stack and the future growth of our MNS division.

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.