Sell the Stuff that Sticks

Jeff Wilshire
January 8, 2021

You work really hard finding new customers.

With Covid hitting us all in 2020 and continuing into 2021 -- customer acquisition can be even more challenging. The continued market uncertainties have many businesses taking a pause on new technology investments. In the technology sector, some are successfully reinventing how they provide value, while others are struggling to make the next lease payment. The global pandemic continues to influence technology buyer priorities across the board.  

While remote working is nothing new, most businesses have expanded their remote workforce and/or implemented a hybrid model during the pandemic. In a hybrid model employees split time between an off-site location and the office, greatly reducing the number of office workers on any given day. This increase in the remote workforce has drawn greater attention to worker security (i.e. endpoint protection, authentication, and email security). Employees are also in need of more sophisticated communications solutions for voice, business text messaging, and collaboration. The need for streamlining team collaboration across devices and apps is magnified in remote working environments. Secure file sharing, enhanced communications, and messaging services are essential for everyday business. Technology priorities have changed, at least for the foreseeable future.  

33% of US workers always work remotely - 25% sometimes (Gallup, Oct. 2020).

As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), you want to be positioned to capitalize on this shift in buyer priorities. Your customers are living in the moment, and more focused on what provides value now vs. longer term projects. You want to get them to those “aha” moments as fast as possible. Technology solutions that provide value and integrate with their daily routines.  Solutions that can be implemented quickly with a reduced time to value (TTV), all while delivering a superior customer experience.

Technology solutions that can be implemented quickly, consistently deliver value, and integrate into client’s daily routines are more likely to be “sticky”. When a solution is sticky, it becomes more difficult for a client to remove which is great for you as a service provider. But we’re not talking bad sticky here. Bad sticky can imply long term contracts, vendor lock-in, too complicated, expensive, or nearly impossible to make the switch. Bad sticky is not only bad for the customer, but can be detrimental for your business in the long run. You want solutions that are hard for a client to remove because of the continuous benefits, value, and enjoyment they receive while using it. Get them hooked!

The stickier the product - the higher the client retention rate.

When you’re providing a solution that your customers need, or even love, it provides the value that engages the customer for a long-term relationship. Whether an awesome “one-of-a kind” solution or a “many-of-a-kind” solution that provides a superior customer experience - you’re providing good sticky! In a crowded landscape of service providers, you want to also build trust through transparency, security, and reliability.

In addition to selling sticky products, making your existing customer installations more sticky can help reduce product “churn”. According to Unbounce, 31% of customers churn a product because it is underutilized, followed by too complicated, missing feature(s), and too expensive as the top reasons. Product underutilization is the biggest threat to churn. MSPs should help the customer utilize as many product features as possible while accelerating the time to value. Many MSPs have customer success managers on staff to focus solely on client utilization, recognizing the retention risk of underutilization.

If the product is inherently too expensive, too complicated, or missing key features… well, that may be too far of a stretch to ultimately avoid churn. Would you want that product?

2020 was a tough year for sure. The global pandemic has and continues to provide challenges for just about every industry. There will be light at the end of the tunnel, but normal as we all knew it may not be the new normal. As you work to attract new customers, focus on those sticky solutions that align to client business priorities. Keep it simple, make it personal, and quickly get them to value.