The MSP Difference Maker Series explores how best-in-class managed service providers (MSPs) create differentiation in the market. MSP best practices related to sales, technical support, marketing, operations and leadership are brought to life through workshops, exercises, tools and resources.
In today’s fast-paced market, it’s not the big that eats the small; it’s the fast that eats the slow. Speed is arguably the most valued competitive advantage. As managed service providers (MSPs) start to look similar in go-to-market strategy, vendor line card, support offerings and pricing, speed can help widen the gap between service providers and their closest competitors. If executed correctly, speed changes how IT solutions are implemented, which positively impacts MSPs in a major way.
So what does “fast” mean, exactly? It isn’t simply a shorter response, service level or hardware delivery that is shipped next-day rather than two-day. It’s not picking up the phone on the first ring instead of the third. Fast solutions occur when an MSP develops innovative solutions at a faster rate than its competitors. Speed is development and execution of innovation—both incremental innovation and game-changing innovation. It’s easy to say “go faster,” but it’s simply not enough—an MSP has to create its own “way” fast. Here are several tips to finding your own speed:
Champion the One: Great ideas often come from individuals, not teams. Encourage and incentivize your team members to bring innovative ideas they are passionate about forward for consideration by your organization. Brand your organization as fertile ground for innovation and ensure employees are aware.
Assembly Required: Great ideas and solutions, especially big innovation that is truly different than the competition, take teams to build and implement. Make it easy for the idea champion to engage others for support during the development of the solution.
Get Things Done Fund: The team is going to need support and funding to build their innovation, and teams should have clarity around funds available to implement ideas.
Eliminate Perfectionism: Since speed is often a differentiator in projects and solutions, it is necessary to strive for good work that is developed quickly—rather than perceived perfection that could take six months to develop. Encourage the prototyping of a new service offering that allows the idea team to get to market.
By the Numbers: Just because you are moving fast doesn’t mean you can afford to get sloppy. Measure everything—it’s how you can gauge success.
Celebrate Learning: If organizations are committed to creating an environment that is grounds for innovation, teams must be comfortable with the concept of failure or an opportunity learn, and then make assessments and adjustments. The culture should support learning early to understand what is creating differentiation in the market and what isn’t working.
There is a common formula: embrace innovation in the organization, build out a process that allows team members to realize that innovation quickly, and measure real results in the marketplace and learn quickly.
It’s time to create some separation from the competition.