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The Amazon of Services

by Jeff Leventhal

Getting “things” like TVs and soccer balls into a marketplace to sell is easy. You enter a standard SKU, which pulls an image, detailed description and pricing information from a database.  Make a few minor adjustments, hit upload and you have an item for sale on Amazon, eBay, and your own Shopify store. Pay for some SEM, perform some SEO and sales start to roll in. That’s great for products, but as you know we live in a service economy.  Why can’t you do this for services? Why do services require lots of phone calls, long SOWs, and experts to close deals?

Even more mysterious, Professional Service executives take highly valuable consultants away from billable work to help Sales generate service quotes, join conference calls and write SOWs.

When my WorkRails co-founder and I were running our previous SaaS business, we sold professional services.  Each opportunity kicked off a complex set of tasks, legal jargon, and long calls…but we had just sold a similar SOW a few weeks prior.  What gives? My mandate to the team….put our SOWs on Shopify and sell our services the way we sell software. Here is what I was told:

IMPOSSIBLE!!!!  ALL SERVICES ARE UNIQUE BESPOKE OPPORTUNITIES…

There isn’t a single more motivating statement in the world to an entrepreneur than “Impossible.”

We analyzed our SOWs.  We concluded that Shopify wouldn’t work…services are unique and we need to accommodate a lot of variables that don’t exist in the product world.  We needed 80% complete SOWs so at least we didn’t have to start from zero. We needed to build integrations to CRM tools to merge service opportunities with everything else we sold and we needed simplicity and automation.

At WorkRails we built Shopify for services by analyzing 1,000s of SOWs and interviewing lots of very smart Professional Services Executives.  We made SOWs so simple that even a sales person could do it. That’s not an insult. Salespeople are busy and they need to know what services to sell, when to sell them and who to sell them to.  They look much smarter when they use WorkRails’ powered services sales solutions to help their customers instantly and build SOWs that are profitable and address client needs. Our solutions doesn’t connect to a shipping company (FedEx, USPS, etc), but rather to tools like Professional Service Automation (PSA), Project Management, and the resources necessary for the delivery of the services.

As more and more companies build their Professional Service sales tools with WorkRails, we are becoming the Amazon of services.  Soon we’ll even know what services to sell to clients before they call.

“‘Alexa, please integrate salesforce throughout my company.”

“OK, how many users do you have?  Are you global? Will you be migrating from other applications? When do you want to get started?  I’d be happy to help with that.”

We’re not there yet, but we are committed to making services easy to sell and easy for your customers to buy.