Marketopia’s Terry Hedden Named as One of ChannelPro’s 2016 20/20 Visionaries

Marketopia’s Terry Hedden Named as One of ChannelPro’s 2016 20/20 Visionaries

Managed IT services marketing & sales firm leader among 2016’s most influential channel pros

May 16, 2016—ST. PETERSBURG, FL, (Newswire.com)—Marketopia, an IT marketing agency specializing in innovative and powerful demand generation for Managed Service Providers, announced today that CEO Terry Hedden was added to ChannelPro’s 2016 list of 20/20 Visionaries—a list that includes ChannelPro’s 20 most influential SMB channel players and 20 savviest channel pros. It’s the second year running that ChannelPro set out to identify the 20 wisest channel players in the vendor, analyst, and consulting communities and the 20 most farsighted channel pros in the partner community.

As the former owner of a successful managed services practice, Hedden once spent so much time answering questions about his company’s best practices, he decided to make sharing them his full-time job. Today, Hedden runs not one but two channel-oriented consultancies: Cloud Guru, which helps channel pros transition to cloud computing, and Marketopia, an outsourced marketing services agency for VARs and MSPs.

“Marketopia and Cloud Guru are all about being agents of change and guiding profitable transformation within the channel,” says Hedden. “I’m truly honored to be recognized by ChannelPro as one of the most experienced, insightful experts in the SMB channel—it’s industry confirmation that we’re definitely making a difference.”

Hedden sees two trends coming on fast. First, “MSPs are learning how to increase margins by bundling in services around cloud offerings to form true end-user solution. ” His second prediction is continued consolidation in the managed services partner community, leading to increased profitability for the fewer, large businesses that emerge.

 

About Marketopia

Marketopia, The Lead Machine, is an IT service marketing agency uniquely positioned with expertise throughout the entire IT channel from software, hardware and cloud vendors to distributors, MSPs and VARs. The company’s system is based on real-world knowledge. Marketopia uses an enterprise-class technology platform, channel marketing experience and deep industry relationships to create a revolutionary approach to outsourced marketing and sales empowerment for IT service companies seeking to grow leads, sales and profit. For more information about Marketopia and its proven demand generation system for managed IT services, visit the company’s website. To learn more now, call 844-482-4769. To get the latest industry news and trends, read the company’s Blog Bits. To engage with Marketopia online, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and connect with us on LinkedIn.

 

About Cloud Guru

Founded in 2013, Cloud Guru LLC is a leading provider of strategic solutions and business transformation services in the IT industry. The company is built on the fundamental belief that firms that know more will sell more. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cloud Guru offers an in-depth experience in Managed IT, Cloud services and consulting with over 10 years of direct resale experience and three years of consulting for vendors and solution providers focused in the IT Channel, including CompTia, Adobe, Autotask, Kaseya, Carbonite, TechData and many more.

 

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Build Your MSP Business with Co-Managed IT Solutions: Start the Conversation with Clients

Build Your MSP Business with Co-Managed IT Solutions: Start the Conversation with Clients

Marketopia CEO Terry Hedden (@thedden03) left the sunshine state last week and braved the cold of the Midwest. He did receive a warm reception, though, speaking at the IP Pathways’ 2016 IT Trends Event during three days in Des Moines, Iowa, Kansas City, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska.

At each presentation, midmarket CIOs in attendance were able to learn about:

  • The changes in the IT business
  • How IT is delivered
  • Ways clients adapt to IT approaches to remain relevant

 

Terry’s presentation included CompTIA research that gave insight to how mid-markets and enterprises view and use managed service providers (MSPs) for IT services.

MSPs can also benefit from this intelligence. You can gain a better understanding of your prospective clients, enabling you to better position your business for success. Here’s a summary of Terry’s presentation entitled “Trends in Mid-Market & Enterprise Use of Managed Service Providers.”

 

Challenges Midmarket & Enterprise Firms Face with MSPs

More than 90% of end-user businesses are “very familiar” or “somewhat familiar” with the managed services model. However, 51% of those businesses don’t outsource any of their IT functions. The reason is that many have concerns about outsourcing business functions.

 

Top Inhibitors of Managed Services Adoptions:

  • Skepticism over cost savings/return on investment (ROI)
  • General lack of need
  • Reluctance to outsource to an outside company
  • Perceived loss of control by IT or operations staff
  • Concern over disruptions during transition
  • Difficulty finding a qualified MSP
  • Concerns about pulling IT back in house if things go wrong
  • Lack of understanding of how an MSP works in a real-world setting
  • Overcoming a negative experience with an MSP or IT outsourcing

 

How Midmarket & Enterprise Firms Are Using MSPs

Even though these concerns exist, a CompTIA study shows that 50% of businesses not currently using managed services will consider using an outside IT firm in the future. Already, 15% are now evaluating an outside IT firm.

Businesses are beginning to realize that with an MSP, they have the ability to offload work that they can’t do or that they don’t want to do. The benefits are outweighing businesses’ concerns, and many are moving towards outsourcing IT services.

 

Primary Factors Driving End-User Managed Services:

  • Improved efficiency
  • Enhanced security
  • Proactive approach to maintenance
  • Better ROI
  • Access to new technologies
  • Lack in-house IT for certain functions
  • Predictable pricing

 

Many businesses that already have an in-house IT team recognize that they cannot manage IT by themselves. They don’t have the resources or they simply don’t have enough time in the day. Essentially, they need more hands. In those cases, co-managed IT services makes sense.

By understanding the concerns and the primary factors that drive end-user managed services, MSPs can start the right conversations with prospective clients. You can easily give them peace of mind by settling their concerns.

Three phrases that should always resonate the most when it comes to sharing the benefits of co-managing and collaborating between an MSP and client are:

  • Reduce costs
  • Do more with less
  • Decrease, or even eliminate, downtime

 

At the end of the day, the more businesses know about your MSP business, the more likely they are to understand the full spectrum of benefits and see the necessity of co-managed IT services.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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