Are your sales efforts in alignment with your customers' needs? A new LogicNow report shows "a concerning level of discord" between what many customers need and expect and what IT service providers (ITSPs) are delivering.

The study, titled the "Global IT Service Providers Harmony Report," revealed that many IT departments initially reach out to ITSPs to help tackle an immediate, business-critical need. However, most ITSPs immediately try to offer wider, more consultative services, the report indicated, which often frustrates customers.

The report also offered the following findings:

  • 78 percent of U.S. IT departments said they want to pay for managed security services with a single invoice on either a monthly, quarterly or annual basis that encompasses all the charges for all their IT security needs, including technology licenses and associated services combined. Meanwhile, 45 percent of ITSPs said they are invoicing customers on an ad hoc basis, and most ITSPs are deliberately not planning to change their invoicing processes in the next 12 months.
  • 71 percent of U.S. ITSPs said they want to offer diverse, knowledge-based services, while only 13 percent of IT departments said they want to do the same.
  • Many IT departments said their managed security services' priorities include delivering better email security, web protection and antivirus support. Conversely, many ITSPs said they are prioritizing security consultancy and offering more proactive system updates and patching.

So how can MSPs ensure that their customers' needs are met at all times? LogicNow General Manager Alistair Forbes pointed out that flexibility is key.

"The survey indicates that too often MSPs are going into client meetings with a fixed view of their service offering and what they want to sell without understanding well enough what the prospective client wants to buy," he told MSPmentor. "People don't like being sold to; they want to be helped to buy. It is important for MSPs to be able to standardize their services, but flexibility in how they present this and phrase it to match the needs expressed by the client is more likely to be successful."

LogicNow surveyed over 1,300 IT departments and almost 700 ITSPs worldwide to provide an overview of the global IT service management market in its report.

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