3 Steps to Stack Alignment

As an MSP, your tool stack is really the DNA of your business. It includes all of the tools you trust, understand, support and troubleshoot. Therefore, clients who are “all-in” in utilizing your complete stack are most easily supported. Not only that, but as your clients grow, your services are scalable and most completely secured. This is good for your client and most profitable for you. 

Having accurate data on how aligned clients are to your stack is valuable for several reasons:

  • It gives you insights into opportunity across your client base
  • It gives you insights into opportunities for a particular service/product
  • It gives you business intelligence across your organization and by account manager if you have a team of customer success/account managers and/or vCIOS
Graph showing top 10 opportunity and alignment

So what are the steps in having those insights?

Step 1: Define your stack

If you do not currently have an accurate list of your tech stack, that is where you need to start. You can download this worksheet here to document yours if you don’t already have one. This is certainly not an exhaustive list but it is a good starting point and might highlight some new services to offer.

https://lifecycleinsights.io/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Stack-Alignment-worksheet.xlsx

You will note in the doc that there are columns for preferred product, vendor and price. These are baseline elements to help gain insights into opportunities.

Step 2: Create individual customer profiles for stack alignment

This is one of those situations where the time upfront saves you time and makes you money in the long run.

image of a client profile in lifecycle insights customer success module

For each client you will want to define for each service/product you offer the following:

  • If it is applicable to that client (if they don’t have anything in the cloud, then a cloud backup is not applicable)
  • How aligned that client is to the preferred product/tool/service
  • If a particular service/product is included in the managed service agreement

The price and any recommendations that you have should drive the MRR/NRR Opportunity.

Step 3: Act on insights 

Now you should be able to review your data not just for a single client but across all of your clients to gain insights into opportunities for your MSP and needs for your clients. There are always multiple ways to use data, but let’s look at the top 3 ways MSPs can act on this data.

  1. Sorting the data by top aggregated opportunity across clients will show you where your account managers should focus in order to drive the largest sales
  2. Sorting the data by alignment will allow you to see which businesses are least aligned to your best practices. This leaves security gaps as well as potential churn risk as other companies could sell into the products/services that your client is not purchasing through you – giving your competition a chance to “land and expand”.
  3. Being able to filter these reports by account manager/customer success manager will better set you up to set goals/KPIs for your team.

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