At our core, here at Benchmark 365, is the desire to help MSPs be more successful, more profitable and more in control. That’s why our 24×7 outsourced helpdesk for MSPs is only the half story. For over a year we have been working with Partners on Benchmark Peers – our exclusive growth community. We’ve got some miles under our belt and I’d like to share with you a little on how Benchmark Peers works and what we are hoping to do in 2019.
Last Friday was our second get together for 2019 and it was a big one. We took a look back on the very successful community we built in 2018 and talked about how to make it even better in 2019.
For those of you who don’t know – aside from our 24×7 outsourced helpdesk for MSPs – Benchmark 365 runs a global sales, marketing and mindset program for our Partners called Benchmark Peers. We met regularly, via Zoom, throughout 2018 and, while we had some really valuable conversations, we all agreed we wanted to make it a more deliberate and focused community effort this year.
We covered a broad range of topics in 2019. Here’s just a sample:
• Successfully obtaining new customers through ‘cold’ selling techniques
• Dealing with competitive proposals from other MSPs
• Addressing customer conflict
• Profitable pricing models
• Improving sales proposals
• Staff performance management
• Marketing methodologies – social, offline and stealth strategies
We even had a special guest speaker before Christmas on how to successfully market and win business via LinkedIn and we have more special guests and events planned for 2019.
What’s new for 2019?
So having built our vision and mission together last year we decided to focus this month on finalising our constitution. Sounds a bit boring right? Well – it wasn’t. Our Benchmark Peers discussed what they wanted to get out of the community, how we will efficiently use one another’s time and expertise in the group, how we will hold each other accountable and how it should be run! They had some strong opinions! We would expect nothing less from our MSP entrepreneurs!
So here’s the top line on how Benchmark Peers will work going forward. Our main focus for the year is solving marketing and sales challenges for MSPs. It’s a broad topic area on purpose. But it’s also important to emphasize for those of you unfamiliar with the group what we don’t talk about – and that would be tech issues. There’s plenty of opportunities out there to problem solve your technology issues and challenges. But few, if any, are focused on MSP sales and marketing.
The group meets online every two weeks for 90 minutes and the agenda will roughly be as follows:
- Kick off with a Communication Starter – for example: What is your revenue growth goal for 2019? What is getting in your way of that goal?
- Slide into an update on Life/Work balance – personal updates on business, life, family, community and so on.
- A look at some hard KPI’s – such as Activity Per Week, New Leads Per Week, Sales Meetings Per Week and Net New Customers.
- And round it out with Partner selected topics – such as how to help customers prepare for natural disasters (and how to monetise it), what are proven cold selling tactics or a look at sales and marketing tools and resources.
- All attendees are committed to and expected to participate fully. This is not a listen and learn – its listen, contribute, debate and share.
How do you get (and keep) access?
First and foremost to join Benchmark Peers you must be a paid up Benchmark 365 Partner. While we hope all our Partners will join – we will need to on-board you into the group to make sure we can keep the momentum going for existing Peers. We will work with you as you on-board as a Benchmark 365 Partner to figure out the best timing.
Once you’re in – it doesn’t mean you get to stay in. Participation is everything! There will be two 90 minute meetings per month to which you are expected to attend and actively participate. If you miss more than one per month – ie two in a row – we will have a discussion about whether you are getting the value you need from the commitment.
Why are we being so strict about this? We found over the course of last year that Partners who check in and out can disrupt the flow for the regular attendees. Conversations tend to be on-going and having to constantly go over old ground or update drop-ins is not a great experience for anybody.
We think all our Partners can benefit greatly from having a chance to talk openly and share regularly with their peers on growing an MSP. After all – who knows the pain better than another MSP! Everything is confidential, nothing is recorded – so you can feel secure that your colleagues will keep your confidence.
Benchmark Peers is run by and for our Partners – so as a participant you get to shape it and contribute to its success which, in turn, we hope will contribute to yours!