Our MSPs’ clients love TimeZest. And they love it for the obvious reason: it gets their problems solved faster, so they can get back to their actual work. But this is not just something to please your existing customers: it can be a useful tool to win new business for your MSP.
That’s why we’ve written this step-by-step guide showing you how to leverage TimeZest to win more business.
First, we’re going to give you important background information that explains how scheduling can be a competitive advantage, and then we’ll give you the exact things you need to do in your sales process to drive that advantage home.
A word about your competitors
We estimate that only around 5% of MSPs/IT Service Providers in the United States currently use TimeZest. We are working diligently to increase that number, but the reality is in your market, or in any competitive sales process, your competitors are unlikely to be TimeZest customers. This means they will schedule appointments in one of two ways.
Most likely, they will be using manual scheduling – the old-school, inefficient process of agreeing a meeting time via back-and-forth emails , or worse, back-and-forth voicemail. It’s operationally inefficient, of course, but the disadvantage for any prospective end user is that it takes a long time to get to the point where the meeting/phone call/remote session takes place, and their problem gets solved.
Worse, they may be using what we call “cable-guy scheduling” – where they simply tell their end users something like “we’ll call you between 8am and noon on Monday” and expect their end user to hang around waiting. I admit I don’t understand this: I have never had an interaction with my cable provider where I thought “well that was an utterly delightful experience, and something I should surely implement in my own business.” But take our word for it: there are actually existing MSPs in America who do this.
There are significant variations in the ways MSPs schedule appointments, and that brings significant variations in the experience a customer has with their provider. It’s important that your prospect understands this when making their decision.
Educating prospective customers how to buy
When they come to you, your prospective clients will already have some idea of what they’re looking for in an IT Service Provider. This may be only an implicit list in their minds, or they may have established formal criteria against which you’ll be evaluated.
It’s almost certain, though, that they haven’t considered appointment scheduling as one of these criteria. During the sales process, you should be educating your prospect about why this is important. Not just because it could be a potential advantage for you, but because appointment scheduling is a critical part of the experience they will have with their provider. When your prospective client has a problem that needs solving, it’s the difference between bouncing emails back and forth for a couple of days before they get their problem solved, and simply picking a convenient time.
That might sound like an advertisement for TimeZest, but it’s something that will make a real difference in the relationship between your prospect and their future IT Service Provider, and something they should absolutely consider when deciding who to engage.
More generally, you should encourage your prospect to consider the entire experience of dealing with their current MSP. How do they notify them of problems? How do they respond, and in what timeframes? How do they communicate the progress of their issue back to the customer? What happens if they can only reach your voicemail? How do they handle it when people are working off-site, or working from home? How do they schedule appointments with you when they need to do something together with you? How do they request feedback, and ensure that you’re satisfied?
Asking questions is the key to uncovering the pain a customer is having with their present solution, and creating the opportunity for you to address that pain.
Look for scheduling pain points
When you ask these sorts of questions to a prospective client, listen for their pains they have with their current IT service provider (or not having an IT service provider at all). Statements like the following indicate a pain point around scheduling:
- “We have to swap a dozen emails/voicemails to schedule a time before anything happens.”
- “They’re never available at the time I want, I have to move my own meetings around to get anything fixed.”
- “It takes forever to get someone to look at my problem.”
- “I hate having to wait at my desk for hours for someone to call me.”
When you hear these sorts of sentiments, you’re hearing your prospective customer express a pain they’re having. That’s an opening for you to talk about how you will solve those pain points.
Sending the right messages
At a more subconscious level, including TimeZest in your sales process allows you to reinforce several desirable messages about your company:
- We’re competent and organized. We know what we’re doing, and we’ve developed procedures to do it well. We invest in the tools we need to deliver outstanding services. We’re consistent, and you can rely on us being consistent in the future.
- We respect your time. We know that you have many important things to do, and we’re flexible to fit into your schedule. We don’t waste your time because we know how valuable it is to you.
- We’re here to help you succeed in your business. When you have IT problems, we’ll get them fixed as fast as we can (or at least, within our agreed SLAs). We want you to succeed because we only prosper when our customers prosper.
Your entire sales process should continually introduce and reinforce messages like these. There may be others you’ll include – for example, “we have industry-specific experience you can benefit from” – but the ones above should be pretty universal.
Incorporating TimeZest into your sales process
Now that we understand why TimeZest can be an advantage in winning new business, and some of the key lines of argument that can be used with it, here are the specific steps you can introduce in your sales process:
- Ask detailed questions about the experience the customer has with their current MSP when resolving an issue. Listen for your customer expressing pain points around scheduling appointments, or even generally around slow service. When you hear these pain points, you can introduce details of how your MSP schedules appointment with TimeZest to address them.
- Take the time to actually walk your customer through the experience they’ll have with you when they report a problem. Show them what you’ll do, and how it will lead to them getting their issue fixed. You may want to show a screenshot of the TimeZest scheduling screen here, because this is something people immediately “get” (since most people have seen similar products like Calendly), and it shows in a concrete way how they’ll be able to keep control over their schedule while also getting their problem fixed quickly.
- Use the phrases “scheduling ping-pong” and “back-and-forth email/voicemail”. When we’re explaining TimeZest to MSPs we use these phrases all the time, because they so effectively capture the problem, and because people understand them straight away. You can use them with your customers for the same reason: to succinctly describe the problem of scheduling, and how frustrating it can be when badly handled.
- Explain how scheduling with TimeZest benefits the prospective customer. In those cases where an appointment is necessary, you can explain that scheduling with a tool like TimeZest reduces the time it takes to solve, and that means less disruption to their business.
- Emphasize that not every MSP operates with something like TimeZest. Other MSPs will operate with “ping-ping scheduling” and “cable-guy scheduling”, and this is something the prospect should investigate when making their decision.
- Use a scheduling tool during your sales process. Even if it’s not TimeZest, using a scheduling tool like Calendly or Microsoft Bookings when setting up meetings with prospective clients shows that you respect their time, and you’re efficient in how you operate.
The ideal outcome of all this is that you’ve convinced your prospective client that appointment scheduling is a key part of the experience they’ll have with their future MSP, and something they should absolutely be considering when making their decision. And when they do consider that, you’ll have presented your MSP as one with a ready-to-go solutions to their pains, and with battle-tested processes that get their problems fixed, and ensure their business succeeds.