Bundling Security Services to Improve Pricing and Close Ratios
Today’s businesses succeed by selling a handful of bundled items to a large number of customers. Think about restaurants, where the trend has been away from a’ la carte menus to limited menus, because it’s easier, more efficient, and requires less skill to produce a few entrée/side dish combinations than to try to fulfill each diner’s specific requests. In fact, many menus these days say “no substitutions” or warn of extra charges for substitutions because these throw a monkey wrench into the works of high-volume mass production. The same is true in the car business: in the old days, buyers ordering cars would choose from a laundry list of options and order the car they wanted, and the factory would build specific cars for specific customers. Now, the most successful car companies sell cars with pre-defined packages because it’s more efficient and profitable to mass-produce those packages than to customize every car.
MSPs and MSSPs can leverage this trend by bundling their offerings and selling those bundles for a set monthly fee. Rather than forcing the customer to determine its needs and then order a suite of products or services, the service provider can offer bundled services that satisfy most of the people most of the time. To sell such bundles, Service providers should focus not on the technology they contain or the specific IT services they support, but on how they impact the overall business.
For example, a security bundle might incorporate Office365, IDS and firewall services. Customers will care more about how this security bundle protects the most critical business applications – email and Internet access. It’s easier to sell on business benefits because it shows a more direct impact on the customer’s bottom line. And a first-line-of-defense security offering is what many small and medium businesses need.
As an MSP adding security services, or an MSSP looking to target a new market segment, bundling services has a positive effect on your close ratios, pricing, and your ability to scale your business. As with a restaurant or car maker, selling bundles is more operationally efficient and makes it easier to on-board and serve new customers at a faster rate without necessarily scaling staff. In addition, these service bundles can strongly differentiate your company by putting you in the real-world solutions business rather than the technology business. Managed providers who offer bundled security services will find a ready audience and a path to higher profits and stronger growth.