As companies examine new ways to prove greater value to the customer, time to value has become more important than ever. In fact, it’s becoming a competitive differentiator.  At Technology Services World (TSW) in Las Vegas last month, we spoke on that subject.

The discussion was framed up around the services view of the Professional Services (PS) and software/solution sale and implementation, which Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) terms PIMO: Plan, Implement, Monitor, Optimize. This lines up perfectly with the sales view of the sale and implementation, termed LAER: Land, Adopt, Expand, Renew.

We shared industry benchmark data and worked in small groups to identify “best practices” around sales and PIMO alignment. The hundreds of years of experience represented equated to meaningful insights.

If you are looking to drive decreased time to value in your sales process and articulate that to your customers, here are some tips to Sharpen Your Edge:

  • As long as your company considers itself to be in the business of driving successful customer journeys with fast time to value, high adoption of the technology and customer renewal, then moving PS sales into the Plan phase is critical
    • Research has shown that having dedicated PS sales in place shortens new project sourcing times
    • Lesson learned: PS needs to be well-integrated into the solution sales motion to drive effective Land, and by extension, Adopt, Expand, Renew
  • The Implement phase is the traditional zone and key strength of PS, and some practices that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and time to value in the Implement phase are:
    • Documented sales to delivery handover
    • Formal customer management, overall delivery, and project management methodologies
    • Dedicated Project Management Office and Results Management Office
    • Documented scope and risk processes
  • Monitor has not traditionally been a conversation in which the PS organization actively participates, however, that is changing with the increasing frequency of, among other things, fee-based resident engineer (RE) or technical account manager (TAM) programs that are packaged and delivered out of the PS organization
    • Such offers contribute significantly to the ability of the PS organization and the company in general to monitor the consumption, adoption and value realization of technology solutions in customer environments
    • TAM or RE offers tend to be highly profitable and increase overall utilization
  • Optimize is a part of the customer value journey to which PS is more accustomed, and it also corresponds to the “Adopt” phase in TSIA’s LAER model
    • Opportunities for PS in the Adopt phase clearly remain a challenge, but PS can, and in some contexts, definitely should, play a role in driving customer adoption and optimization
    • The opportunity is clear, especially within tech companies that lack a customer success function that owns customer adoption: grow your adoption services!

The role of PS in selling continues to grow. We hope this insight into how PS plays a sales role in PIMO and LAER to drive decreased time to value will provide some nuggets that can help you move the needle in your organization. Reach out to us with questions, and we can also connect you with the right resources at TSIA. Special thanks to Dr. Bo DiMuccio, Vice President of Professional Services Research, TSIA, for his keen insights!

Good luck and good selling!