What passed for good managed services leads five or ten years ago today is garbage. Seriously, total junk and unworkable.

Why? Because the way in which evaluators and decision-makers research and make purchase decisions has changed more in the past five years than in the previous thirty years.

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What’s behind this massive disruption in managed services' marketing and sales playbook? Three factors:

  1. The rise of search, social, mobile, cloud, and selective consumption has made for a much more empowered buyer – armed with crazy amounts of information.
  2. This has led to massive disruption in the traditional marketing and sales playbook used by MSPs that hadn’t changed much since the 1980s and 1990s.
  3. Today your managed service leads are usually anywhere from 60% to 90% of the way through their decision-making process before they’re ready for a conversation with your sales team. This means that if your company doesn’t have a way to get found and be relevant as a trusted advisor during this first 60% to 90% of the sales cycle, you’re going to either lose by default or be forced to compete on price alone – which we all know sucks!

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How Can We Generate More of the Right Quality, Managed Services Leads?

Quality vs. quantity. That makes an enormous difference because it isn’t just about getting more strangers and more visitors to your website.

It isn’t just about generating more leads on your website.

Ultimately, we want marketing-qualified leads that match up on the geographic issues and match up on size issues. And we want marketing-qualified leads that are more receptive to your content, so they can become sales-ready to pass along to your sales team.

And we want those sales-ready leads where a significant percentage becomes opportunities and ultimately clients -- and not just clients, but profitable clients.

So there are many interim metrics to ensure that we’re focused on with regard to lead quality.

Start with Buyer Personas and High-Perceived-Value Premium Content

It really does all start with buyer personas, though.

Regarding lead quality, generally, the higher the perceived value of your premium content offer that’s advertised on your landing page, the more information you have the right to ask.

So, in other words, when we create a simple one-page checklist for ourselves or for a client, we can ask a couple of questions or capture a couple of fields of data on the landing page form.

A 30-page eBook or a 100-page eBook has much higher perceived value than a one-page planning checklist, and you earn the right to ask for more information.

If you invite people to a one-hour webinar, a lunch and learn, or something like that, you earn the right to ask for even more information.

If you’re doing something that’s highly personalized on a one-on-one basis, like a needs assessment, consultation, IT audit, or something like that, you earn the right to ask for more information – which allows you to qualify your leads better.

Generally, your ability to ask more qualifying questions increases as the offer's perceived value goes up.

Use Value to Drive More Effective Lead Qualification and Segmentation

Asking those kinds of questions is also hugely important to helping you properly segment your leads.

The first cut on the leads is usually, “Are they qualified or not?” And by asking the right kinds of questions, you can determine that without having to touch every single lead necessarily.

By the responses each lead gives, it can allow you to bucket your leads by buyer persona and where they are in the buyer’s journey.

So the right lead quality – starts with understanding your buyer personas. It starts with having valuable enough content behind those landing pages that you earn the right to ask certain questions and still have a decent conversion rate.

But it needs to be focused not just on lead quality but on quantity simultaneously.

Focus on Goals with Your Managed Services Leads

One other related issue we’re going to discuss in a moment is the idea of having goals. Having more leads isn’t enough. We need to be specific about how many more leads we want.

Do we want 10 marketing-qualified leads per month, 50 marketing-qualified leads per month, or 100 marketing-qualified leads per month?

And it’s not just about being specific. We have to have a way to measure it.

It has to be based on historical performance that we have a likelihood of being able to get to.

It has to be something that’s meaningful and relevant to the overall mission of your firm.

And it has to be tied to a deadline. It has to be something where we say, “OK, right now, we’re getting one lead per month. We want to get to the point where we’re getting 10 marketing-qualified monthly leads by 12 months from now. And you put that date in your platform, software, and calendar, and you hold yourself accountable to it.

Everyone can say that I want more leads. Everyone can say that I want 100 more qualified leads. But if you don’t give yourself a deadline, how do you know that you’re actually working towards it?

The Bottom Line

So again, to generate more of the right quality managed services leads, make sure that you invest in creating, in developing those buyer personas. Make sure you have awesome premium content available for those buyer personas – stuff that’s really good sitting behind landing pages.

Ensure you consider the buyer’s journey so you’re not like the obnoxious car salesperson who only wants to talk with you if you’re ready to buy today.

And make sure that you’re holding yourself accountable to your goals.

Are you getting enough high-quality managed service leads each month? What’s going well? What’s not? Let us know where you’re at in the Comments box below.

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