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.
Customer Success requires us to work closely with our product teams to identify the use cases that will drive real business outcomes for our customers. Doing so allows us to develop a comprehensive portfolio of services (from Success Management, Professional Services, Support Services, Cloud Services, Education Services) that helps drive the adoption of our products with our customers.
These services are packaged up in an easy to sell services subscription offering called a Success Plan. Success Plans bundle key services together such as a Customer Success Manager (CSM), Education Services and Success Points. Success Points allow customers the flexibility to consume services when and how they need them. Customers also have the option to follow a prescriptive path of services (Success Path) that is led by a CSM to drive their business outcomes.
Navigating the multifaceted ecosystem of services proved to be a challenge for the portfolio team. The complexity that comes with developing new types of service offerings required to drive adoption of PTC’s products through Customer Success continued to increase year after year. In turn, this required us to look to the market for a solution that would help to manage our services portfolio of offerings in a more efficient and effective way. Most of the solutions on the market were PSA or IT related tools. It wasn’t until we came across WorkRails at TSW conference in San Diego that we found the right solution to this growing challenge.
Organizations who have the responsibility to design and build service offerings should have three main requirements in mind when looking for a tool to help them manage their offers. They are as follows:
Need for a foundation of service portfolio management of how services get built and managed in order to be effective selling and scaling your services.
- Must be a purpose-built, single system of record for services
- Create the templates and components that can be reassembled in what feels like a custom offering but really is a mix of repeatable offerings delivered previously
- Create and manage the approval workflows
Different stakeholders (Sales, Customers, Partners, Delivery, etc) need different content, messaging, pricing, and tools in order to effectively understand and engage with services.
- Customize a services catalog for each group is what makes it easy to discover, configure, and launch the right services no matter your role
- Provide tools to each group through catalogs to help guide the experience and build custom SOWs and solutions faster
- Provide the customer with better visibility into where they are going and how they get there
Just like a great restaurant, the best experience comes together when there is alignment between people, process and technology.
- A central repository of services must exist so that changes in one place update all stakeholders and other mission-critical applications that are connected
- Integration with CRM (SFDC), Customer Success tools (Gainsight), and PSA is necessary
- Align Sales/CS, Customers, and Delivery
In order to drive the customer outcomes that you want, there are many people, processes and technology that need to come together. In the current state of the enterprise today, team members are disconnected, processes are over complicated and technology is changing faster than ever. Alignment through purpose-built tools like WorkRails are required to drive your customer’s success.