And the 2016 ITEXPO Best of Show Award Winner Is …

And the 2016 ITEXPO Best of Show Award Winner Is …

As we’re just getting done shaking off the dust from our fun and successful road trip last week back from ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale, we checked out our Twitter feeds and guess what we read?

“Congrats to Best in Show winners! … @MarketopiaTLM”

That’s right! #Marketopia won a 2016 ITEXPO Best in Show Award for Most Innovative Product.

An email from the marketing director at Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC)—the expo organizer—hit our inboxes soon after reading the tweet. After congratulating us for this prestigious honor, it read that “Our judges were very impressed with your entry.” Excitement coursed through Marketopia headquarters!

The annual industry award recognizes ITEXPO exhibitors who demonstrate creativity and technological innovation. It places a great emphasis on product feature sets, as well as innovative qualities and the degree to which it contributes to the development of future industry products and services. Needless to say, the judges had a tough job of selecting the winners during the event held January 25-28, 2016, at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

While at ITEXPO, our CEO Terry Hedden was part of a panel discussion about “Leveraging Cloud Services,” and he also led a session entitled “Sales & Marketing: Lessons Learned from the Trenches.” All week, you could find our team at the Marketopia booth talking shop with managed service providers and IT channel companies, having a great time.

“We are thrilled to be recognized and rewarded for the Most Innovative Product award,” Terry says. “Our team has been putting forth great effort to rev up The Lead Machine, empowering MSPs and IT service companies to quickly grow their businesses with more leads, more sales and more profit.”

Rich Tehrani, TMC CEO and conference chairman, said: “The products and solutions nominated for the ITEXPO Best in Show Awards are a true reflection of the industry’s most innovative companies. We are pleased to honor Marketopia for their efforts and creativity in developing advanced, powerful solutions for the business technology marketplace.”

Of course, we were just one amongst many amazing businesses that came out to ITEXPO this year. Here’s the full list of all the 2016 ITEXPO Best in Show Award winners.


Close More Deals with Better Sales & Marketing Tactics

Close More Deals with Better Sales & Marketing Tactics

Last week, Marketopia CEO Terry Hedden (@thedden03) appeared at ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale. This is the only event dedicated to communication solutions for the enterprise mid-market, resellers and managed service providers.

While there, he spoke as part of an interactive panel discussion and lead a session for MSPs entitled “Sales & Marketing: Lessons Learned from the Trenches.” Terry’s presentation focused on what it takes to close more deals and find more opportunities for MSP businesses.

In case you missed it, here’s a quick rundown of the key points to help you improve your sales and marketing efforts in order to grow your business.


Strong Teams Drive Your Sales Process

Your sales team gets the gears turning by working together – but separately – to make your machine hum. Each team member knows his or her role and understands the importance of that role within the sales process. Whether they are the one focusing on qualifying passive leads, the closer, the cross-seller or the one responsible for a smooth transition to the account manager, they each have a distinctive part to play.


Here are three key steps to the selling process:

Prospecting: Defines specific targets based on ideal customer profiles,
as well as leverages advanced prospecting techniques and enables technologies to produce a steady flow of leads.
Sales Team: Finds the right connections and perfect-fitting clients. Then, they close the sale and start clients on a continued process of upselling and cross-selling.

Sell to Success: The circle continues, starting with the team finding the right fits, focusing past the close and finally, pulling, not pushing the sale.


Get Physical with Your Professionalism

There’s a reason that “dress to impress” is such a common phrase. This is because not all communication is strictly verbal. How you are perceived needs to be the reality. You have to be able to communicate that you can be trusted, that you are knowledgeable, and that you will create a path to success.

When it comes to your proposals and sales quotes, you want them to also really shine and look professional. Proposals and quotes should:

  • Remind them you are a trustworthy partner.
  • Convey a solutions description in a way that’s easy for them to understand.
  • Convey project tasks.
  • Present solution components.
  • Look perfect; remember, perception is reality and professionalism makes a difference.


Measure Results. Learn from Mistakes. Constantly Improve.

Unfortunately, clients rarely come knocking at your front door looking for services and support. Instead, it’s a process that takes a lot marketing efforts to find those leads and turn them into clients. In order to be successful, you have to create a marketing plan that is best for your business.


Formulating the perfect marketing plan requires:

  • Strong Commitment
  • Repeated Messages
  • Multiple Mediums
  • Consistency
  • Diligence


When it comes to marketing, you must remember that this is not an expenditure. It’s an investment for your business. You must be committed to your plan and stay patient. Create a budget you can stick to; we recommend 3% or more of revenue. Your return on investment (ROI) should be measured quarterly or semi-annually, because it takes time to make a close.


Final Note to Consider

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to successfully marketing your business. It’s not something that can be put on the back burner. You can’t just send out one email every now and then. That’s throwing away your money.

You might want to look at outsourcing if you are not a marketing guru or don’t have the resources for a dedicated marketing professional. Marketopia is an MSP and IT services marketing agency uniquely positioned with expertise throughout the entire IT channel and dedicated to helping businesses just like yours.

At the end of the day, however you go about it, you need a solid sales team, professional proposals and a diligent marketing plan. With these gears in place, your business will be growing faster in no time.


Here’s Another Way to Grow Your MSP Business: Transition to Sell Cloud

Here’s Another Way to Grow Your MSP Business: Transition to Sell Cloud

We were on the road again last week. This time on the West Coast in sunny California. Los Angeles to be exact. We were invited by our partner CompTIA to help present a five-module cloud training course for attendees to earn their Executive Certificate in Cloud.

Marketopia CEO Terry Hedden (@thedden03) led the sales module. It was entitled “Selling Your Cloud Solutions.” He spoke directly to those who are new to selling cloud solutions or simply want to improve their results.

In case you weren’t able to make it out to LA last week, we’ve broken down and truncated Terry’s presentation here so you can also rake in the benefits of making a successful transition to selling cloud solutions.


Evolve Your Sales Team & Process

When you make the move to selling cloud solutions and cloud management services, you will quickly realize that to be successful, you need to make a few changes to how you sell.

However, if you take in and execute each of the following steps, you’ll be well on your way to joining the best-in-class solution providers who have already successfully embraced the cloud business transformation.


New Sales Model: There are two different sales paths you can take.

  • An integrated approach is when an existing sales team represents cloud solutions.
  • A separate approach establishes a separate cloud-focused sales group.


Sales Team Makeup & Skills: In order to develop an effective cloud sales team, there are three different types of roles you need to put in place.

Consultative Sales Executives – Focus on finding what’s right for the client. In the integrated model, they will understand when an on-premise solution is a better fit.
Inside Sales Team – This team is well-versed in selecting cloud solution opportunities based on their understanding of their clients.
Account Managers – They help nurture the recurring revenue stream associated with cloud solutions being sold.


Updated Sales Messages: After you make the move to cloud, your sales team will be engaging in new conversations with prospective clients. There are four primary messages they must convey:

  • Access to New Solutions
  • Lower Total Costs
  • Operating Expenses (OPEX) vs. Capital Expenditure (CAPEX)
  • Business Growth


Stronger Sales Process: You will also need to adjust your sales process. Specifically:

  • Demand Generation – Identify well-qualified leads.
  • Sales Close – Have a sales team that sticks to the script and doesn’t negotiate.
  • Account Management – Renewals are critical for the recurring sales model.


Sales Compensation: Opposed to the traditional IT sale, selling cloud delivers its revenue on a steady subscription instead of a one-time payment. This leads to new ways to pay your sales team. Whether it’s annuity payments, up-front disbursements or incentives, you have to discover which one will work best for your team and business.

It’s no secret that nowadays the cloud is affecting all businesses. Current and potential cloud clients can be identified across the entire spectrum from small business to mid-size business to the enterprise. No matter which client segment your managed service provider business serves, there’s plenty of opportunity through offering public, private or hybrid cloud solutions.

Of course, these companies are looking to grow. Access to previously unavailable technologies is allowing them to improve their business efficiency. Because cloud service adaptation is increasing faster than many expected a few years ago, now’s the time for your MSP business to embrace the transformation to selling cloud.