Updated: Oct 3
Don’t be a one-hit wonder. Make your services delivery team the rockstar band that creates fans and keeps them coming back for more!
We see most SaaS business models today fueling towards one goal, Customer Success. Keeping the customer happy, means they keep your services and therefore you can identify opportunities for recurring revenue. But, it’s no longer enough for your CSM to just check-in with the customer at different stages of their journey. It’s paramount to include the customer in the planning process and align your delivery to what outcomes they want to achieve so they see value in your service as soon as possible. Seamless professional services delivery by the whole team, every time, builds trust and creates loyal customers that can advocate for your business and help it grow.
But how can you achieve this consistently?
There are 3 core principles to how we at Precursive think about growth in Professional services:
Strategy: What do you want to achieve?
Execution: How do we deliver our strategy?
Team: Who is going to help us get there?
Traditionally, companies have followed Professional Services led delivery models to add revenue and grow their business. However, this in turn meant they had to hire more resources to deliver these services, meaning their revenue is akin to their costs. If operations are non-scalable, profit margins can be significantly reduced. In today’s world, many companies are seeking to adopt a more outcomes-led delivery model that requires services to understand what the customer wants to achieve and thereby becoming enablers to drive recurring revenue.
One way to achieve this is to have your services team follows these foundational principles:
Maximize Customer Value: Focus is on customer satisfaction and accurate delivery of the plan. All too often services focus on the revenue yet by ensuring successful delivery it is natural for increased revenue opportunities and reduced churn to result.
Methodology & Governance: Be clear on who is in charge of services within the team, create a package of features and provide documents and accelerators for customers. This will reduce the risk of over-complex implementations and the customer will also see quicker returns on their investment.
Partner Ecosystem: Educating partners and enabling them to deliver services based on our model means the customer will have a consistent level and quality of service overall. If the customer is satisfied, you can leverage this to attract prospects and scale.
To have successful services delivery, the aim is to scale whilst maintaining high standards of delivery all throughout the customer journey. And what better way to ensure easy repeatability than with Playbooks (lucky for you, we’ve written one for Professional Services delivery!). This not only allows the services team to assign the right resource to the task and manage their capacity better but provides clear guidance to the customer on what services are provided, avoiding unplanned work that is disruptive. To do this, a streamlined process aligning Customer Success (CS) + Professional Services (PS) needs to be in place where if the CS team feel there is services work required there is a feedback loop, following these steps:
Any questions from the customer need to be reviewed by CS and the best resource assigned to the task.
The PS team may have further queries that need to be looped back to the customer.
A scope of work document and quote is then provided to CSM and the customer by the PS team.
Once the above is confirmed with the customer, a kick-off call can be scheduled.
Playbooks are a great example of how teams can execute their processes consistently and maintain a high standard of delivery at all stages of the customer cycle. At Precursive, we offer a Customer Summary Healthcheck - a productized service offering created by the delivery team to proactively engage the customer to diagnose any problems and make recommendations for improvements that will add value for the customer.
Strategy and Execution can only work when you have the team to ‘walk the walk’. How can you build a services team that ensures delivery to the highest standard for every customer? Here’s an easy checklist to follow:
☑ Map the customer journey ☑ Map the roles and skills required across the customer journey
☑ Encourage ongoing engagement and peer-learning across the team
☑ Define clear channels for communication
☑ Provide dedicated time for training and self-learning
Investing the time in your customer and helping them realize value in their investment will not only drive revenue opportunities but improve your time-to-value. Put together the band that can get your business to the top of the charts by delivering one smash-hit after another with the same high standards every time.
To find out more about how Precursive manages our services delivery, download our latest playbook.
You can also listen to our podcast series to learn more about Customer Success and Professional Services from industry experts. Available wherever you catch your podcasts (including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts).