Datto’s 2017 State of the MSP Report, released Tuesday, uncovered the 10 key challenges of North American MSPs, with the top four being: marketing/sales, selling backup and disaster recovery (BDR), staffing/training, and a shortage of time and resources leading to operational inefficiencies.
More than 1,200 MSPs in the U.S. and Canada listed the following as their top challenges in 2017: marketing/sales (26 percent), selling BDR (18 percent), staffing/training (17 percent), growing pains (16 percent), ransomeware/cybersecurity (14 percent), vendors/technology (12 percent), pricing services (10 percent), customer service (9 percent), internal operations (8 percent), and changing technology (7 percent). Survey respondents were allowed to submit multiple answers.
The Datto report delved into the day-to-day lives of MSPs and returned results that shed light on demographics such as age, education and gender; company size and number of clients; vertical market specialty; go-to business resources; media consumption; social media activity; daily commute and travel, as well as sports preferences and some nerdy fun facts such as a preference for Star Wars versus Star Trek.
We looked at some of the report’s findings.
As far as the top MSP challenge, marketing/sales, the majority of MSPs reported that they struggle with generating a continuous flow of quality leads. They also reported that the state of the economy and declining budgets were ongoing hurdles they have to overcome during the sales process.
As far as those fun facts go, a little cross data analysis found that Star Wars fans (66 percent) were more challenged by marketing/sales, while Star Trek aficionados (17 percent) were more challenged by pricing services.
By the numbers, respondents were between the ages of 35-54 (59 percent), male (86 percent), and college educated (94 percent had either a professional degree or some college, two-year degree, four-year degree.)
MSP businesses at the high end reported more than $5 million in revenue (21 percent) and are serving over 100 clients (27 percent). However, about 40 percent of respondents reported business revenue of between $1 million and $5 million, while 39 percent earned $1 million or less. Only 11 percent of survey respondents said they serve up to 10 clients, while 17 percent serve 11-25 clients, 24 percent serve 26-50 clients and 21 percent serve 51-100 clients.
Seems like MSPs are getting the message that specializing in verticals is a business differentiator. Sixty-four percent of MSPs reported that they focus on one or more specific verticals, with the top being professional services, manufacturing, construction and health care.
A surprising 50 percent of MSPs didn’t follow major sports publications but 80 percent of them are football fans — followed by 44 percent baseball, 37 percent hockey, 28 percent basketball, 20 percent golf and 19 percent soccer.