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The Marketing Hourglass

This morning I watched an online video on sales and marketing in the managed services world, and found it quite insightful and a good reminder of the Sales Process training I went through with Mark Sturgell, my business coach. Some of this was a little more “on target” with the type of business I run, so I thought I’d write up some notes and share them here.

The video is available here through a company called Kutenda. I don’t really know them well at all, but they’ve managed to drip market me into watching a video now and have perked my interest. I wonder what stage of the hourglass that puts me in?

Concept by John Jantsch – www.ducttapemarketing.com

Video by Mike Kooch – www.kutenda.com



  • Before someone can buy from you, they have to know who you are.
  • Filling the top of the hourglass. Getting businesses to know who you are.
  • Not everyone is in the market for what you’re selling today. The goal is to get yourself in front of them. These deals don’t happen fast to justify the big spend.
  • The way you do this is the web: Blogs, Referrals, Campaigns, Good Website


  • Get them to like you so that they’ll stay in touch with you and pay attention to you over time.
  • Newsletter, Events, Meeting

    This is where the sales process starts to kick in… they’ve expressed an interest.


  • Incredibly important in managed services – asking someone to spend thousands and commit to years, months, to give you keys to the kingdom when it comes to business operations, data, etc.
  • If they trust your competitor more, they will probably go with them even if they cost more.
  • Testimonials, Risk Reducers (guarantees), Mentioned in the Press, Time in the Market


  • Doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to spend money with you, but could just be them doing an evaluation, an invitation to the office, etc… starting “doing the dance”
  • Free Trial, Low Cost Assessment / Initial Service, Nurturing over time

    Four Steps In… No Money Spent… In Managed Services, this can take months or years! … IT Service Provider, for example, may average around 6 months


  • Do they like your sales team? Trustworthy, etc. Have they met the service team? Are we credible, trustworthy?
  • ETDBW – Easy To Do Business With – Simple contracts, price points, etc.


  • What managed services is all about… buying over time, month after month for YEARS.
  • If you get this right, you keep people.
  • Having a managed service agreement vs. hourly agreement
  • Good service experience – are you delivering what you said you would and meeting their needs?
  • Upselling + Cross-selling
  • The more they buy, the harder it is to separate


  • Get people talking about your business, referring other business
  • The wind in your sail (sales)
  • You can’t count on it to grow your business forever. When you’re < $500,000 MSP, they have a huge impact, help you get that initial start… every customer is a great, tight relationship. You can’t grow your business long term on this alone, though. You need to be able to accelerate sales beyond what referrals can bring in.
  • Regularly asking for referrals
  • Peer introductions
Categories: Sales and Marketing
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