Microsoft 365 is growing, and so are the opportunities to add value to companies that leverage the cloud service. Last year, Microsoft reported that Office 365 has 258 million monthly active users and that Microsoft Teams grew to 75 million daily active users. For shrewd IT service providers (ITSPs), this growth presents three major opportunities to generate revenue, but only if they take the appropriate proactive steps.
Many ITSPs are, by nature of the business, reactive. They work hard to land new clients, but once those clients are on board, they wait for clients to reach out to them with questions, problems or opportunities. This passive approach will no longer suffice if providers want to remain competitive and retain customers in a market where ITSPs struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
The ITSP’s Secret Weapon
In a crowded market, how do you maintain and add value for your existing clients? How do you help your business stand out? One of the most important ways is to proactively find new service opportunities for existing customers and wield a competitive advantage when you’re working on landing new clients.
Enter automated cloud assessments. With the right toolset, these assessments can be noninvasive services that ITSPs use to recommend ways for clients to maximize their ROI from Microsoft 365. They provide a secret weapon when trying to land new clients. The recommendations that spring from automated assessments not only enhance the perceived value they bring to cloud services in the client’s eyes; they also elevate the ITSP to the status of a trusted advisor.
Strengthening Customer Retention
Added value and trust in an ITSP’s service offerings are keys to retention. Automated assessments help ITSPs move from a passive service mode to a more proactive mode. They create opportunities to connect with the client beyond their technician. Being able to get these assessments in the hands of actual account executives are opportunities to add value for your clients and increase your standing. You can discuss assessments at monthly or quarterly reviews, highlight key data points, or suggest ways to optimize cost or security.
The assessments become both a reason and resource in helping providers connect with clients before questions or issues arise. Helping clients discover new opportunities to strengthen their Microsoft 365 environments and increase their ROI doesn’t just add value. It adds trust – and trust is a key ingredient to not only keeping existing customers, but also keeping them happy.
Identifying Ways to Upsell
Trust also leads to upsell opportunities. Automated assessments help end users see the full picture of their Microsoft 365 use. This perspective helps ITSPs create ways to offer new services to improve a client’s environment in areas like cost optimization, security and compliance. For example, you can easily assess user tenants for possible security risks and breaches, as well as provide proactive monitoring for individual user actions.
Assessments give the client actionable security data — not mere hypotheticals. This leads to real recommendations that add value for the client. For instance, assessments can tell a client the number of failed attempts to breach the system in the last month … as well as how many attempts were successful. Based on that information, an ITSP can recommend additional means to improve security.
Assessments also provide insight into the client’s usage of Microsoft 365. This allows you to present the client with extra costs that could be saved in the form of unused licenses, subscriptions or other resources. These are all proactive steps ITSPs can take that add real value for existing clients. And as most companies know, clients become more valuable the longer you keep a customer.
Adding New Business
Beyond helping to retain existing clients, a cloud assessment is also a secret weapon in winning new clients. Automated assessments can be noninvasive, if you choose the right toolset. ITSPs can use them during the sales process to present services and recommendations based on a potential client’s actual Microsoft 365 environment. They can do this without the prospect client needing to give their global admin credentials to the ITSP – keeping them firmly in control of their data and who accesses it.
In a commoditized market where ITSPs are fighting to differentiate themselves, it’s important to stand out as a proactive business outcome provider. Solutions are there to help you adopt a proactive stance. Whether retaining customers, discovering upsell opportunities or winning new business, these automated assessment solutions will help ITSPs grow along with the demand for Microsoft 365.
The value of automated cloud assessments is clear. They add value to ITSPs by maintaining customer retention and reducing churn. They create upsell opportunities to existing customers. They enhance the ability to win net new clients. But overall, automated assessments allow an ITSP to stand out as a proactive, trusted partner. They allow ITSPs to add value, both to their customers and to their overall business.
By Willie Cash
Willie Cash is the General Manager of Voleer Americas at BitTitan. He works with SMB and enterprise partner companies to identify and implement effective ways to drive solutions, grow revenue, and increase profits in their day-to-day businesses by leveraging technologies like Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365 and more.