Every day more software companies shift their business models away from perpetual licenses towards the trending subscription model. This transformation highlights the importance and necessity to align product and services. Over the last three years at PTC we have been going through this transformation from perpetual to subscription. We knew from the beginning that Customer Success would be a critical enabler, not only to our success, but also to the success of our customers.
Services drive retention, ROI and customer experience. It's no longer acceptable for a software company to leave services unaddressed. Long ago we bought software in “IBM” or “Microsoft” or “SAP” stacks. Today businesses consume software from multiple vendors to address vertical needs. For example, a business may use Salesforce and Marketo along with some BI tools to manage sales leads. With so many applications working together services are essential to generate a positive ROI. Early stage software companies tend to give away services to get a software sale. Early on, that is ok, but as the business matures they will need to offer services to provide the best customer experience for their clients and better value metrics for their shareholders.
In TSIA’s latest blog post “4 Ways to Start Engaging Customer Success and Services Teams in the Sales Process” they focus on the pressure many companies across the tech industry are under to do more with less. They believe a way to do more with less is by leveraging the Services and Customer Success teams to help expand selling. Considering both of these teams have rapport with your customers, TSIA states that their non-salesy demeanor will allow them to interact with your customers “5-15x more often than their Sales counterparts.” Services and Customer Success teams build trust with customers by listening to customer issues and helping resolve them, opening up the ability to sell through helping.
It sounds like something that can drive work. The WorkEngine is our API that can power virtually any service experience you can imagine. Have you asked yourself, “when do my customers think about our services?”
It's not always the case, but in many technology companies, the sales team is so focused on selling its software and products that selling services becomes an afterthought. For many, the process is cumbersome and margins are lower than they should be.
Tech suppliers’ success depends on their ability to increase customer consumption and adoption. TSIA research shows that to do so, vendors have to learn how to blend the expertise of the Sales and Services team. When your Services and Sales teams are siloed, you are more likely to feel a disconnect between the customer and the product. But blending your Sales and Services team isn’t just a way to reduce risk, it also presents incredible opportunity. Simply put, your Services team can help you sell more.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is driving colossal innovation in every vertical. In some cases, AI systems perform tasks that used to be manual, which saves resources. In other cases, AI performs tasks that were previously impossible, such as processing millions of data points in an instant.
A New Reality
Change is indeed the only constant in the universe. Like Uber and Lyft disrupted the taxi service, Customer Success disrupts the delivery of services in a subscription-based economy and creates new Laws of Physics in our Customer Universe.
As our long-time blog readers know, we have been talking about the benefits of customer-facing Service Catalogs from the beginning. We realized, though, that we never took a step back to properly explain, fundamentally, what a Service Catalog Platform actually is. The concept is popping up more and more, and other tech stacks are following in our footsteps and starting to talk about Service Catalogs. As the creators of the first Services Catalog Platform, it is our duty to break it down for you. Today, we go back to basics.
Creating a Service Catalog allows you to productize your services and seamlessly deliver them to your customers at their point of need. But the benefits start even before you make your Service Catalog available to your customers.