The 7 Deadly Inbound Lead Sins In Running Your MSP

Centuries ago, the Roman Catholics named the seven vices that “spur other sins and further immoral behavior,” and after listening to hundreds of calls from inbound leads, we have aptly named the most common bad behaviors we see as the 7 Deadly Inbound Lead Sins. These are behaviors that are KILLING your leads and your business.

It takes SO much work to generate leads, and it hurts my heart every time I hear all of the work/time/resources/money flushed down the drain because it isn’t handled right. Here are the “7 Deadly Sins” that could be going on right now and stalling your MSP lead generation.

1. Dismissing A Lead Because It Is Not The CEO Or Owner Calling

When there is a technology problem or frustrations with the current IT company are at an all-time high and prospects need a new IT company, it will rarely be the CEO who opens their computer, searches online for IT firms, and makes the initial call to you. The owner has people on their team to do this preliminary research and make appointments with the ones they choose. This becomes more frequent the bigger the company (and bigger the opportunity for you), so do NOT dismiss and offend the “research” person who calls you with an IT need.

Deadly Sin? PRIDE. Don’t be guilty of overlooking and dismissing the non-CEO calling in for help.

2. Turning Away A Lead Because It Is For Break-Fix Project Work And That’s Not The Type Of MSP Lead Generation You Were Seeking.

Some of you (or your folks who answer the phones) are dismissing leads who don’t come to you all wrapped up in a shiny bow, asking to get into a contract with you. Most leads will come to you when they have a PROBLEM, and their current provider can’t or won’t fix it how they want. It WILL sound like break-fix work. Maybe it WILL sound like just a project, and many of you have wrongfully trained your techs to turn this away since “we only work with clients who do contracts.” It WILL be disguised as a non-qualified lead. But very often, it WILL turn out to be a “foot in the door” for a lucrative lead.

Deadly Sin? LAZINESS/SLOTH. Don’t be guilty of refusing to do project work as a foot in the door. It will earn a lead’s trust and respect and lead to contracts, referrals, and bigger deals.

3. Ignoring A Lead Because It Looks ‘Too Small.’

Speaking of foot-in-the-door-your-mouth, this is one of the sins I loathe the most. Someone calls in with a seemingly “small” project (e.g., laptop repair, email not working, password reset), and some of the dummies answering your phone turn them away and let them hang up.

Just like in the previous situation, you have to do some detective work to find the opportunity. It IS there, but you are giving up WAY too easily and expecting buy-now leads on a shiny platter. And to be blunt, it’s not realistic and ticks me off when I see it.

Deadly Sin? GREED. Don’t be guilty of turning away seemingly smaller opportunities because you think they’re “not enough” or “not worth it” for you.

4. Killing Leads By Answering Your Phones All Wrong

There are a few CRITICAL things you MUST do in your phone answering process that will literally either turn your phone into an opportunity well OR burn leads over and over again. Some of them are things like not answering phones live, having a tech answer phones, making someone wait on hold, and so on. A proper MSP lead generation strategy would include a process for handling inbound leads.

Deadly Sin? ENVY. Don’t be guilty of being discontent about your growth or envious of others’ successes when you aren’t even doing the most basic of things like answering your phones correctly.

5. Putting Off Off-White Leads

Very often, your leads will call in asking about something that isn’t quite in your wheelhouse. It will sound like an unqualified lead, but (just like the previous sins) you MUST dig to find the true opportunity! Remember, they are calling you and other IT companies and NOT going to, their current provider. That existing relationship is on the rocks, and it is a perfect time for you to become their “go-to” for all things tech to build that relationship. Another common way people commit this sin of dismissing off-white leads is when they receive a form fill opt-in for a free report/checklist/discovery call, but the email provided is a personal email without a company domain. You may think it’s not qualified, but listen to this: When shopping for a new IT vendor, many people AVOID putting in their company email because they don’t want their current provider to see and sabotage them.

Deadly Sin? LUST. Don’t be guilty of salivating over the “perfect lead” that you ignore the opportunities right in front of you.

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6. Mistaking A Prospect Who Ignores Your Follow-Up As Not A Lead

Just because you can’t ever get a hold of someone who filled out a form, downloaded a guide from your ad, or engaged with you and went dark, it does NOT mean they are not a qualified lead! ALL leads are qualified until you prove them not to be. Burn that into your brain. They just aren’t at the point in their buying cycle where they are ready to talk. They ARE a lead, and your job at this point if they are unresponsive is it to put them into your drip marketing so when they are at the point where they are ready to engage, they know just how to find you.

Deadly Sin? GLUTTONY. Don’t be guilty of overindulging and thinking that a lead that doesn’t respond isn’t a lead.

7. Not Having A DEFINED Process For How Inbound Leads Are Handled (And Managing It)

This is the lead’s very first impression of you, and first impressions NEVER have a second chance. You only get this one shot to show a lead how professional, responsive, attentive, and devoted you are, so in the words of Robin, “Don’t f*ck it up!” But you can’t just have a process; you have to make sure it’s being followed. Use a call recording/call tracking software to do regular quality control checks on how your team is answering the phone.

Deadly Sin? ANGER. Don’t be guilty of getting mad at how your team is handling leads when you haven’t ever given them a written, defined process and thorough training.

The golden rule of inbound leads?

In MSP lead generation, you must treat EVERY lead like a five-star lead! And if you are committing any of these sins, get down on your knees, beg for forgiveness, and make a solemn oath to me that you will stop sinning for good. And as you suffer your penance and start making changes, I challenge you to look for the disguised leads! Ask questions, dig for opportunities, and when that disguised lead comes in, ask yourself, “Where’s the opportunity in this?!”

To customize MSP lead generation for your business, sign up for a FREE marketing consult with one of our senior program consultants AND get a FREE marketing roadmap to get you startedClick HERE!



Allison Foelber

Allison Foelber is the VP of Marketing Automation and self-proclaimed “Keap Nerd” at Technology Marketing Toolkit, where she helps MSPs leverage the marketing automation power of Keap to organize their sales and marketing process so they can move prospects through the sales funnel faster. She can be reached at [email protected].


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