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The Internal Benefits of Building a Service Catalog

by Steve Schneider

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.

The very act of productizing your services helps you to eliminate internal inconsistencies and to communicate more effectively across teams. For many companies, these internal benefits are critical–a first step in their plan to automate the selling and delivery of professional services.

Services Are Changing

Professional services are playing an increasingly important role in technology companies’ ability to retain customers and drive increased revenues. Data shows clients are demanding more and more repeatable microservices to get value from their applications. This presents an opportunity to make things easier for these companies and their customers, and lays the groundwork to scale their services business.

Businesses are also changing their approach to pricing. People prefer to pay for outcomes rather than effort. They don’t care how long a project takes you. They care that it delivers the agreed upon value and helps them to achieve their goals.

Today, most professional services providers are at least trying to productize their services. Often, they create menus of their offerings in a PDF format, available for download from their website or shared with customers via email. The problem is, these documents become outdated quickly. It is easy to have multiple versions circulating. One team member is sharing version 3.0 while another has version 5.0. This causes confusion–for your customers, certainly, but also for team members and external partners.

A Single Source of Truth for Services

Creating a digital central repository of your services is a way to keep your team on the same page and improve communication. You can house and easily update information on your specific services and packages, including scope of work and pricing. Your sales and marketing team can then easily create custom catalogs specific to an individual client or any subset of clients. Catalogs can be shared on your website, inside applications, linked to in marketing messages, etc., so your customers can seamlessly access the services they need, when they need them. But even before you roll things out externally, your company will benefit from a single “source of truth” for services.

Now, everyone is on the same page — including your sales, marketing, and product team, as well as your external partners. Gone is the fear of someone overpromising or mispricing an offering.

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Our clients tell us that the process of building their Service Catalogs is quite enlightening. It forces them to assess their offerings, pricing strategies, and workflow and to agree on a consistent delivery model. That, in and of itself, has value. Plus, it is an important first step in a company’s journey to automate services, drive revenue, create predictable, consistent experiences for your customers and increase retention.