Most businesses need expert support to develop and implement their IT infrastructure and craft long-term technology strategies. While monitoring and managing those systems are still highly valued, SMBs need MSPs that provide vision and expert insight. Organizational leaders want results and solutions that address the real concerns that keep them from optimizing their operational efficiencies, customer experience, and profits.
Verticalization can help support those clients’ specific needs while improving their business outlook. Targeting particular industries or client types allows MSPs to gain a greater understanding of the operations and challenges of those organizations and, at the same time, realize significant savings from adapting similar system designs and onboarding and support processes.
In other words, targeting the right verticals is a way to boost profitability. Whether the firm focuses on real estate, restaurants, law offices, credit unions, and dealerships, offering the optimal solutions to the right clients is a sure way to boost revenue and margins.
If You Build It, Will They Come?
For business owners, technology is merely a means to an end. Organizations leverage those tools to accomplish tasks, grow sales and meet other critical objectives, but relatively few people have a desire to know how it works. Successful MSPs continually remind their employees and partners of that fact and focus their sales and marketing efforts on more purpose-built solutions. Mostly, they leave technology out of the conversation except when reviewing proposal specifics or discussing implementation requirements.
Attention should be squarely focused on the everyday concerns of current and prospective clients. What are their business goals, and what obstacles could prevent them from succeeding? Which specific industry rules or government regulations elevate the owner’s stress level or affect their operations?
Of course, if MSPs could get the answers to all those questions, closing new sales would be a snap! That’s where a strong vertical approach comes into play. Similar organizations typically share comparable issues, compliance requirements, workflows, and objectives. If you can meet those diverse needs for one organization, it will be easier to replicate those solutions for other businesses in the same field.
While no two businesses are identical, once an MSP understands the common factors involved in a market and gets experience supporting those organizations, it strengthens their sales and marketing position in that community. Providers who “talk the talk” and “walk the walk” command higher rates ‒ becoming the valued consultants and industry experts their clients want in their corner.
Communications as a Vertical Foundation
In today’s highly competitive environment, businesses must communicate effectively with their customers, suppliers, and partners. Most clients could likely use more insight and advice in this area. The good news is that MSPs can provide various services related to voice and text-based communications, including platforms that integrate with key business systems and security measures to ensure their integrity.
That’s why UCaaS is gaining traction in the channel. These technologies are becoming the tools of choice for MSPs based on their solution flexibility and pricing. Some of these platforms, including ConnectMeVoice by Cloudli, allow providers to configure features and integrate with the vertical-specific applications your customers need to compete and remain profitable.
MSPs specializing in specific areas often start developing a complete communications solution (voice, email, IM, etc.) with support services for a single client. After implementing and fine-tuning those systems to address specific client requirements, they can more readily roll out those offerings to similar businesses with few, if any, changes.
For example, you could configure a UCaaS platform for a local restaurant chain to improve its ordering and reservations processes and eliminate missed or dropped incoming calls. Installing the app version on a client’s mobile devices would speed up the process. MSPs may also configure these solutions to shift calls and messages to other locations or the home office during peak times to take orders and reservations using a corporate POS system.
Providers can also integrate a host of other vertical and non-vertical specific applications into their VoIP platforms, including general business solutions like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms. Linking CaaS into the systems that restaurants, car dealerships or law offices use to manage their operations creates a more beneficial IT ecosystem.
The Right Tool for the Job
Vertical solutions should never be considered a “cookie-cutter” approach. While commonalities will exist across your clients’ sites, including the base platforms and some workflow processes and integrations, each implementation and support program will still need to be configured to address the unique needs of every organization.
Of course, the real value for providers comes from reducing the learning and implementation curves. Using a common pre-designed infrastructure decreases development and training requirements improves your team’s expertise and ability to troubleshoot issues and simplifies the installation and configuration processes.
Vertical solutions also help MSPs focus their sales efforts. Identifying and targeting high-potential markets make it easier to leverage references and testimonials from existing customers, and close more sales. If you’re looking for ideas on developing new specializations, reach out to the ConnectMeVoice by Cloudli team. They will gladly share best practices on ways MSPs can leverage UCaaS to expand their vertical horizons.