A Comprehensive Guide to the MSP Sales Process and Strategy

September 28, 2023
6 minutes to read
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Managed service provider (MSP) sales refers to the process of selling managed IT services to potential clients, including network monitoring, cybersecurity, data backup, cloud computing, support, etc. MSP sales involve identifying and reaching out to potential clients, understanding their IT needs and challenges, and presenting tailored solutions to address those needs. Services are typically offered through subscription-based models, where clients pay a regular fee for ongoing support and maintenance. This approach allows businesses to have a predictable budget and access to skilled expertise without the need for maintaining an in-house IT team.

The overarching goal of this process is to attract new clients, build long-term relationships, and grow the MSP business. In this article, we will explore the MSP sales process and strategies.

The MSP Sales Process

The MSP sales process typically involves several stages to attract potential clients. Understanding clients’ needs is crucial to creating long-term relationships. Here is a step-by-step guide to the MSP process:

  1. Prospecting and Lead Generation: Identify potential clients who fit the MSP’s target market and customer profile. New leads can be acquired through networking, marketing, referrals, or industry events.
  2. Qualification and Needs Assessment: Once you have reached out to leads, gather information about their business, IT infrastructure, challenges, and budget constraints. Further, schedule a call or meeting to conduct a needs assessment. Understand the client’s specific IT pain points, objectives, and long-term goals.
  3. Solution Presentation: Based on the gathered information, present a customized solution that aligns with the client’s needs and addresses their challenges. Highlight the benefits of the MSP’s services, emphasizing how they can enhance the client’s business operations and efficiency.
  4. Addressing Concerns and Objections: Listen to the client’s concerns and objections and provide clear and concise answers to address them. Offer case studies, testimonials, and references to demonstrate the MSP’s track record and build trust.
  5. Proposal, Negotiation, and Closing the Deal: Develop a detailed proposal that outlines the scope of services, pricing, service level agreements, and contract terms. Be prepared to negotiate and find a contract that meets both the client’s needs and the MSP’s requirements. Further, once the agreement is signed, clarify the next steps in the onboarding process.
  6. Onboarding and Implementation: Provide a smooth onboarding process to transition the client to the MSP’s services. Set up the necessary infrastructure, conduct training (if needed), and integrate the client’s systems into the MSP’s management platform.
  7. Ongoing Support and Relationship Building: Delivering exceptional customer service and support throughout the client’s journey is crucial. Ensure to regularly communicate with the client to understand their needs and offer additional services or upgrades.

Building an MSP Sales Funnel

The MSP sales funnel is a step-by-step process that helps MSPs attract potential clients, nurture them through various stages, and ultimately convert them into long-term customers. The funnel represents the customer’s perspective of the journey from the initial contact to becoming a paying customer. Here’s an overview of the MSP sales funnel:

  1. Awareness: Attract potential clients through marketing efforts, such as online advertising, marketing, social media, and networking. Offer valuable and educational content to address their pain points and position your MSP as a trusted authority in the industry.
  2. Interest: Potential clients’ interests can be captured through e-books, webinars, or free assessments. Leads can be generated or collected through website forms or landing pages.
  3. Consideration: Engage with the leads and nurture them through targeted email marketing campaigns. Provide personalized content that addresses their specific needs and showcases your MSP’s expertise and services.
  4. Evaluation: At this stage, potential clients are evaluating different MSPs and their offerings. Conduct calls or meetings to understand their IT requirements and challenges in-depth.
  5. Proposal and Negotiation: Present a customized proposal that outlines the scope of services, pricing, SLAs, and contract terms. Be prepared to negotiate and address any concerns or objections the potential client may have.
  6. Decision: In this stage, the potential client determines whether to proceed with your MSP’s services. Once decided, contract agreements are signed and the onboarding process begins.
  7. Onboarding and Implementation: Smoothly onboard the new client and set up the necessary infrastructure and services. Provide training and support during the implementation phase.
  8. Customer Relationship and Support: Lastly, ensure to build strong customer relationships by providing exceptional customer service and ongoing support. Address any issues promptly to ensure client satisfaction.

MSP Sales Strategies and Tips

Effective MSP sales strategies are essential for attracting new clients, increasing revenue, and growing your business. Although a great number of strategies and sales tips exist, we have highlighted three each that we recommend:


  1. Understand Your Target Market: Define your ideal client profile and understand their specific needs, pain points, and challenges related to IT services. Tailor your sales approach to address their unique requirements.
  2. Showcase Expertise: Demonstrate your MSP’s technical expertise, industry knowledge, and experience to build trust and credibility with potential clients. Highlight certifications, case studies, and successful implementations.
  3. Develop Strong Value Propositions: Clearly articulate the value your MSP services bring to clients. Emphasize benefits such as improved efficiency, enhanced security, reduced downtime, and predictable IT costs.

Sales Tips

  1. Address Data Security: Potential clients are often concerned about their data security and privacy. Clearly communicate the robust security measures and compliance standards your MSP adheres to.
  2. Leverage Referrals: Encourage satisfied clients to refer potential clients to your MSP. Offer referral incentives or loyalty programs to reward clients for their recommendations.
  3. Offer Flexible Pricing: Consider providing various pricing models and service packages to accommodate different client budgets and requirements.

How to Build a High-Performing MSP Sales Team

Building a high-performing MSP sales team is essential for driving growth and success. Here are some steps to help you create a high-performing MSP sales team:

  1. Define Clear Sales Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each sales team member. This includes sales executives, account managers, lead generation specialists, and sales support agents.
  2. Recruit Top Talent: Hire experienced sales professionals with a track record of success in the IT or MSP industry. Look for candidates who possess excellent communication, negotiation, and relationship-building skills.
  3. Provide Comprehensive Training: Offer comprehensive training to equip your sales team with in-depth knowledge about your MSP services, target market, value propositions, and competitive advantages. Keep the team updated on the latest IT trends and developments.
  4. Set Goals and Performance Metrics: Establish clear sales goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for each team member. Regularly monitor their performance and provide constructive feedback and coaching.
  5. Implement Effective Sales Processes and Tools: Develop a well-defined and streamlined sales process that guides the team through each stage of the sales funnel. Ensure the team follows standardized sales methods and practices. Further, provide your sales team with the necessary tools and technology to enhance their productivity and efficiency. CRM software, sales automation tools, and prospecting platforms are good investments.
  6. Offer Compensation and Recognize Success: Design a competitive compensation structure that aligns with your sales team’s performance and results. Recognize and reward outstanding sales achievements and milestones.

What are the Top MSP Sales Metrics?

Tracking and analyzing key sales metrics and increased sales performance is important for measuring the performance and effectiveness of an MSP sales team. We have listed some of the top MSP sales metrics to monitor:

  1. Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): This represents the total monthly revenue generated from ongoing contracts and subscriptions. It provides a clear picture of the MSP’s steady revenue stream.
  2. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): This calculates the average cost of acquiring a new customer. It helps evaluate the efficiency of sales and marketing efforts in relation to the revenue generated.
  3. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): This value estimates the total value a customer is expected to bring to the business throughout their lifetime as a client. This metric helps prioritize customer retention and assess the long-term impact of sales efforts.
  4. Conversion Rate: This rate measures the percentage of leads or prospects that convert into paying customers. It helps evaluate the effectiveness of the sales process turning leads into clients.
  5. Sales Pipeline Value: This represents the total value of potential deals at various stages of the sales process. It helps forecast future revenue and identifies potential bottlenecks in the pipeline.

MSP metrics


MSP sales play a crucial role in the growth and success of Managed Service Providers. By following a well-defined sales process, implementing effective sales strategies, and building a high-performing sales team, MSPs can attract potential clients, showcase their expertise, and deliver tailored solutions to meet their clients’ IT needs. The MSP sales funnel helps guide potential clients through the journey from awareness to becoming long-term customers. Monitoring key sales metrics enables MSPs to assess performance, make data-driven decisions, and optimize their sales efforts for better outcomes. With a customer-centric approach and a focus on providing value, MSPs can establish themselves as trusted partners in the IT services industry.