The managed service provider (MSP) segment has remained a steady silver lining in today’s complex economy. The MSP Benchmark Survey Results Report found that globally, managed services were worth more than $161 billion in 2021, which will cross $310 billion by 2027.
Technology trends like artificial intelligence and the growing importance of cybersecurity have injected new investments into the MSP market. The COVID-19 pandemic, too, positioned MSPs firmly as valuable partners for business continuity. In short, MSPs face a growth opportunity like never before.
That’s precisely why metrics and measurement are crucial for managed service providers — particularly if you want to build a BRAND. Before I go into what BRAND is for managed services, let’s closely examine the metrics and measurement.
Unpacking the Meaning of Metrics and Measurement for MSPs
In simple terms, a measure is a number or value representing a quantity or magnitude of a tangible or intangible item. It is a classification of raw data calculated by sums or averages, including business outcomes like services sold, website visits, goods returned, and customer support calls. They represent a value at any given point in time without providing context.
On the other hand, a metric conveys more information and is fundamentally grounded in its position relative to the past, future, and other metrics. It is a measure that allows managed service providers to understand how — and why — a value is changing.
The conversion rate of a marketing and sales campaign is a classic example of a metric. The raw data on number of orders received is a measure, while orders per month can be considered a metric.
Arriving at the Right Metrics for Your Managed Service Business
As the adage goes, you can’t improve what you don’t measure, which is why it’s so important to formulate the appropriate metrics for your managed service business. These will vary from one organisation to another, depending on your business goals, the market in which you operate, and your organisational values.
● Document your top business priorities: Identify the critical business goals you want to achieve in the short, middle, and long term. These could be increasing sales, reducing costs, controlling customer churn, etc.
● Identify the relevant measures: Quantifiable measures will be self-evident once you have mapped out your business priorities. For example, if increasing sales is a top priority, then total revenue is an important measure.
● Add context to develop a measure into metrics: Measures are, well, easy to measure, but they add very little value to your organisation’s growth plan. That’s why you need to contextualise your key measures into metrics. For example, if increasing sales is your priority and revenue a measure, then average deal size per business development representative (B.D.R.) may be a metric you need to measure.
● Monitor your metrics and fine-tune them regularly: Metrics are subject to change as your organisation evolves and your business priorities shift. Monitor the metrics periodically and revise them if they lose relevance (e.g., inability to contextualise new information).
Building Your Metrics-Driven Brand
The idea of a brand represents a consistent, memorable voice that everyone can instantly identify, from employees to customers. Monitoring and optimising the right metrics can help you build a successful MSP brand that meets and exceeds customer needs.
For this reason, it is beneficial to approach the idea of “brand” as a collection of critical metrics and measures for MSPs:
● B for Benefits and Value: The first aspect helps quantify the benefits customers can expect from their MSP partners. For example, providing 24/7 support can be part of your brand value.
● R for Reputational risk: This aspect of MSP outcomes deals with the company’s exposure to reputational risk. You may want to measure metrics like online reviews, social media chatter, compliance violations, etc., as part of this aspect.
● A for Adoption and Agility: Next, ensuring substantial engagement with and adoption of your managed services is essential. As customer behaviour changes, metrics from feedback analysis, sentiment analysis, etc., help you stay agile and drive adoption.
● N is for Network acceptance: This refers to the mindshare an MSP brand occupies about its competitors, the market, partners, and consumers. Adherence to changing values and perceptions is one of the things that need to be measured.
● D for Defects and diagnosis: Finally, it is necessary to constantly monitor, measure, and fix any gaps in product and service delivery. A robust defect resolution pipeline is essential to maintain brand success.
Getting Started with Strengthening your B.R.A.N.D
Too often, managed service providers look at metrics and measurement as a means for corrective action. Or it is part of due diligence and operational compliance. The B.R.A.N.D. approach repositions MSP metrics as a proactive exercise and ensures that companies get started on the right foot early.
Benefits metrics like N.P.S., Reputation metrics like Google PageRank, Adoption metrics like Client utilisation rate, Network effect metrics like referrals, and Defect & diagnosis metrics like Root Cause Analysis can help you strengthen your brand and maximise the potential of your MSP business.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the B.R.A.N.D. approach.