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.
But this is no easy task. The services data collected by most software companies creates immense potential for both Sales and Services teams to up-sell, but software companies face challenges as they work to blend their sales and services processes. TSIA fields frequent inquiries about how to best leverage the Services team in the sales process. In fact, they have themed their upcoming conference around the concept. A Service Catalog Platform solves these challenges by making it easy for Services and Sales teams to up-sell/cross-sell so feedback can be used to offer outcome-oriented solutions from a database of productized services.
The Services Team Opportunity
As can be seen from the following quote, customer service teams play a critical role in customer relationship-building.
During these interactions, Services teams are often solving customer problems, which means customers regard them as trusted advisors. They trust that the Services team understands their business, their challenges, and how to help solve them. The value of this relationship equity cannot be understated.
The Services team also plays a crucial, revenue-generating role in contract renewals. Just who owns the renewal process, when it begins, and how to best manage it raises questions for many technology companies, but one thing is certain: a renewal specialist must have both Sales and Services skill sets and insights, underlining the benefits once again of blending these two teams.
Why Is Tapping Services Team Relationship Equity So Hard?
So if Services teams have already earned credibility with customers, why is it so hard to translate that relationship equity into measurable business results? For one, Services teams are not sales people. They come from different backgrounds and probably lack sales training. Many Services professionals may find sales uncomfortable or intimidating. They may not know how to spot sales opportunities, or what to do once they have.
The Sales team may not have access to data from the Services side. Too often, these divisions are siloed. This means Sales has no easy way of knowing what types of service inquiries their customers are making, how frequently they are making them, how quickly they are resolved, etc. These could be missed opportunities for a Sales team to offer additional products or services at a customer’s time of need.
In many technology organizations, there is a disconnect between what the Sales team sells, what the Services team expects to deliver, and what customers think they will be receiving. No one is speaking the same language and this can lead to a misalignment of expectations. This disconnect can be quite literal. The Services and Sales team have access to different information, for example, which makes cross-selling challenging.
How a Service Catalog Platform Makes Expand Selling Simpler
There is a way to get everyone on the same page. A Service Catalog Platform is a central repository of a company’s services that drives a self-service experience, allowing clients, employees, and partners to easily discover and launch the services they need.
The Service Catalog Platform helps to convert the data Services collects into custom, outcome-based solutions that help clients on their journey to success. As a technology services organization, you begin by defining your core service offerings, productizing them, and then making them available via the digital catalog, which can be customized and organized in multiple ways. Now you have a single source of truth for services–no more misalignment.
Selling services is easier when Sales OR Services teams can pull from a database of productized services to create a catalog and simply embed access to these services in your product, portal, website, messages or emails for clients to instantly engage and launch.
A Service Catalog Platform doesn’t just make selling services easier–it also improves the customer experience (which is, of course, a good thing for business). Customers expect access to the support they need, when they need it. Embedding access to relevant services at a customer’s point of need–whether that is your product, website, or email address–is a way to keep up with, or better yet-ahead of–customers’ exceedingly high expectations.
In summary, tapping into the Services team’s potential to drive sales and increase renewals sounds like a good idea, but actually doing so is challenging. A Service Catalog Platform is a critical first step in blending the Sales and Services teams. By leveraging a Service Catalog Platform, technology companies can increase services-generated revenue, lower the cost of sales, automate the service offering process, and create a more predictable customer experience.
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