What's the single best way for managed services providers (MSPs) to find new sales leads? Before I answer the question let me start with a news hook: This morning, MSP Leads, a new company, launched lead generation services for U.S.-based managed services providers. Another company, called MSP Telemarketing, has been offering lead generation services to MSPs for quite some time. So what makes MSP Leads different? And where, ultimately, can MSPs find qualified leads?

Let's start with the news. According to a press release, MSP Leads isn't a traditional telemarketing firm:
"In addition to setting appointments, with the goal of converting these appointments into new customers for our clients, MSP Leads’ Communications Specialists are experienced in the area of marketing and business development. They will be tasked to help SMB MSPs and VARs in tailoring a sales and marketing plan that best meets their needs, sales goals and overall vision of where they want to take their customer base in both the short and long terms."
MSP Leads' services include campaign kick-off calls; call script development; weekly report summaries; and real-time appointment emails. The company, launched by MSP veteran Chris Wiser, apparently has partnerships with NCS Virtual Helpdesk, Pronto Marketing, Robin Robins and Zenith Infotech.

Solving the Oldest Challenge of All?

No doubt, companies like MSP Leads and MSP Telemarketing are trying to solve the oldest MSP challenge of all: Sales and business development. The challenge pre-dates the MSP industry, since the traditional channel -- resellers and VARs -- has also struggled with sales development for more than three decades.

In addition to the companies above, organizations like Kutenda, MSP University, TruMethods and Ulistic also help MSPs with marketing, social media and search engine optimization efforts.

I don't have first-hand experience with any of the companies above. But generally speaking, the crowd of MSP veterans assisting MSPs with sales and marketing seems to be growing.

Generally speaking, I don't think MSPs spend enough time and money on sales development, lead generation and marketing. But I also think MSPs overlook some of the most basic steps of all. During the Intermedia Partner Summit in New York yesterday, Senior VP Bob Leibholz mentioned that Intemedia's best MSP-centric partners share some key qualities. For starters, they employ dedicated sales professionals. Next, the MSPs are great at securing new business leads from existing customers.

It sounds so simple. But when it comes to VAR and MSPs, sales has never been a simple discussion.

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