Moving from Managing to Enabling Your Customer with Employee Training and Enablement Services

Part 6 in the blog series “The Business Case for MSPs Offering Employee Training and Enablement”

MSPs want easier customer acquisition, better profitability, and plenty of revenue growth. Employee Training and Enablement provides a means for MSPs to achieve all three. 

As an MSP, you already know it’s no cakewalk; there are plenty of challenges you face every day.  But, as you begin to think about the strategic growth of your business, the issues that concern you are vastly different. When asked about the top challenges keeping MSPs up at night in Datto’s Global State of the MSP Report: Looking Ahead to 2023, the following came in as the top four:

  • Competition – As the MSP space continues to grow and the landscape for MSPs becomes more competitive, you need to stand out from your competition in terms of not just the services offered, but in experience, expertise, cost, and value.
  • Profitability – MSPs are having to become masters of many different technologies, platforms, processes, and regulations. Being able to create a predictable service that yields profitability continues to be troublesome for some MSPs. 
  • Revenue Growth – It’s reasonable to say that in the last few years, many MSPs have experienced revenue (let alone revenue growth) to be a challenge. So, when MSPs say growing revenue is a worry, it’s a bit of an understatement. The only ways to grow revenue are to expand the footprint of your services within your existing customers, add on new services, or add customers—each, of which, can be difficult to do.  
  • Acquiring New Customers – This relates to the previous worry, as getting customers that are feeling the recession themselves and are being asked (by you) to pay for managed services is tough at best, all adding to the challenge of revenue growth. 

One of the factors that may impact some of these worries is whether your business may be primarily focused on managing the systems, applications, platforms, and data of your customers, rather than actually enabling your customer to be productive, thrive, evolve, and succeed.

If that’s your business, you need a way to shift from managing to enabling your customer to succeed. One way to help accomplish this is the service offering Employee Training and Enablement (ETE). 

Addresses the Worries and Benefitting the MSP with ETE

Unlike most services which purely enter you into a new area of service, require training by your techs, and is yet something else you need to convince your customers to take on, ETE is one that incorporates training into a number of your existing services (Cybersecurity, and Managed Microsoft 365), while providing the opportunity to add on value through additional training-related services (Custom Training, as well as Policy and Compliance Management). 

Assuming you’re up to speed on ETE (and, if not, follow the links in the paragraph above), let’s see how ETE can help address the worries of today’s MSP.

Competition and acquiring new customers—two of the top four worries listed above—go hand in hand; after all, it’s your competition you’re concerned about when attempting to reel in that new customer, right? ETE assists with addressing these worries in a few ways:

  • Differentiates Your Services – Because ETE is a combination of a number of training-related services, you differentiate your managed services with the added value of enablement training while offering additional training-related services your competition doesn’t have. 
  • Enabling vs. Just Managing – ETE changes the focus of both your Cybersecurity and Managed Microsoft 365 services to enabling employees to get more out of your customer’s investment in both Microsoft 365 and your management service. It also changes your customers’ perspective of you to one that enables because you, in essence, have four different ways to enable their employees (cybersecurity training, Microsoft 365 training, custom training, and policy/compliance training).
  • Increases Employee Adoption – Employees are more likely to adopt new platforms, applications, processes, and policies with proper training. ETE results in higher levels of employee adoption, which is what your customer wants. 
  • Improves Employee Productivity – An employee who knows how to best take advantage of, say, Microsoft Teams is going to be more productive than the one who doesn’t. One of the goals of training is always to improve employee productivity. 
  • Increases Customer Reliance – Every MSP wants that “sticky” service that makes the customer want to stay with them forever. ETE is just that. By getting customers deeply embedded in ETE’s custom and policy/compliance training, it’s tough for customers to switch MSPs at the drop of a hat. 
  • Reduces Customer Loss – Because customers are more reliant on your services, a by-product is the reduction in customer loss, allowing you to focus revenue growth efforts that have to do with expanding services or services footprints. 

Revenue growth and profitability have to do with the top and bottom line, respectively, of an MSP’s income statement and are major concerns. ETE also helps to address some of these worries as well:

  • Reduces Service Desk Calls – The practical built-in training courses (along with any custom training you add to a given customer) will assist in reducing the number of calls to the support desk by addressing the most common issues. 
  • Improves Tech Profitability – Tech profitability is improved as well-trained employees are able to address some of their own issues.
  • Increases Gross Margins – Less calls to the helpdesk and less engagement of your techs equates to higher margins! 
  • Creates Project Revenue Opportunities – Custom Training provides the greatest opportunity for you to offer additional services around helping curate and/or implement custom training. Similarly, there are opportunities to create policy-specific training for your customers, should that be of interest. 

Making the Shift with Employee Training and Enablement

As an MSP owner, you’re looking for ways to address those big picture worries—competition, profitability, revenue growth, and acquiring new customers. Instead of looking to expand services to include, say, a different industry vertical, or take on a completely unrelated new service, the answer is found by looking at the gaps within some of your existing services and within your customer’s operations. 

The addition of ETE fills in the gaps of two of your services, while addressing the ongoing challenge your customer faces in trying to ensure employees are properly trained to run the business the way the company needs them to. But, more importantly to you, ETE enables your customers’ employees and your business to both succeed.

In the last blog in this series, “The Business Case for MSPs Offering Employee Training and Enablement,” we’ll cover ways MSPs who are successful at delivering ETE are implementing and offering it.

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