Utilizing Autotask to Win New Business: From white board to IT management platform

May 14, 2013  By Gareth Brown

The white board era

Sytec was built upon a clear understanding of key processes that address the basic functions and resources for any IT service provider: staff expertise and utilization, clearly defined critical tasks, and business performance metrics. These three pillars of the business all link to form a profitable, repeatable and scalable business (my PRS rule).

When Sytec began in 1992, we used a large (very large) whiteboard. Everything was written on the board, from incident reporting to project planning, eventually we outgrew the whiteboard and incident management was supplemented with a ticket management tool. This worked well enough, but did not eliminate a regular order for whiteboard pens for everything else.

Shifting to an IT management platform

Despite my PRS rule, it became clear as the business grew that we had several distinct, unlinked and separate processes. Seeking, finding and ultimately introducing Autotask into Sytec was a reasonably straight forward process, and we began to benefit from the efficiencies of a single source; tickets, customers, configuration, schedules, etc.

As Autotask become increasingly pervasive throughout the business, I began to share the value of our improved management with customers; customer portal access, automated ticket escalation and autonomous self-healing incidents sparked interest with some, whilst project planning collaboration and time management was more interesting to others. Simply being able to report on and then prove the response rate or first-time fix ratio with current data was a winner with most.

Light-bulb moment: enhancing the sales process

No matter which customer I met with, every client agreed that Autotask was a great fit for Sytec; this was the 'light-bulb moment'.  If customers saw clear value in using Autotask to manage their IT and it created efficiencies to allow for more work, perhaps prospects would too?

Our approach to winning new business is simple. It starts with an investigation meeting where we spend around 60 - 90 minutes discussing their current IT demands and opportunities for improvement; this always includes reference to Autotask.

So for example;

1. When an IT problem is reported internally, how do you decide if the problem is critical, severe, important or just routine?

2. When an IT problem is reported would you prefer a response based upon the incident level, or is a standard response adequate for everything?

3. How quickly do you expect a report after the incident has been closed?

Most often, it's simple questions like these that enable any prospect to clearly see that the level of support they might need, would sit very neatly within a structured service desk process.

Working it into the sales process is simple; all new prospects get a regular customer account (not a demo account) and I ask that they simply send service queries to their current IT firm, and another to Sytec.  We deliver the prospect accounts with our standard response times and resolutions so that they have realistic expectations. Based on direct feedback from prospects, we have won more business based on how we leverage Autotask to deliver value to our clients.

Gareth Brown
Founder and managing director of Sytec, discusses the evolution of his business systems – from white board to IT management platform – and how he leverages Autotask to win new business in this week’s CCP blog.

Sytec is a UK-based technology service provider that delivers reliable and cost effective IT support throughout the UK. 

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