In this week's Rethinking Professional Services (watch replay or register) we looked at how we can optimize professional services teams within software companies. This was such a broad topic that I won't try and summarize all of it, but instead focus on one key aspect. How do we define the role of professional services within software companies such that sales and professional services can thrive?
As a part of our Rethinking Professional Services Webinar Series, we address how we sell services. Below is a blog summary of the webinar.
Selling is Hard & Professional Services is Hard
I spent far too much of my early professional services days ruining deals. I've never claimed to be good at selling when I first started. I had to learn it. My dad was a salesman and, like most kids, I didn't pay a lot of attention to what he was trying to tell me because he sold car parts and not computer games. The fact is, that I missed out on some pretty valuable stuff. Fast forward into my first 7 years in the service delivery business and I learned the hard way. You close deals or you die.
This week’s Rethinking Professional Services webinar (click for replay) was focused on Rethinking Project Governance which gave us a great opportunity to discuss many tactics for managing project portfolios, but in particular we discussed the very unique PS Principles’ tool we call the Proactive Alignment Review (PAR).
On this week’s Rethinking Professional Services webinar series, we discussed rethinking the much-maligned Statement of Work. This document has served as a pain-point for professional services teams for decades. My opinion is that our lack of understanding of the intent of this document is a key reasons why projects find themselves in trouble. My experience has been, that rewriting it with a different focus can led to greater project success and better customer references.
Can a customer get addicted to the presence of its paid consultants?
How should professional services organizations manage risk? In the second of his PS Insights podcasts, services industry guru Shane Anastasi discusses how to identify projects that are heading off track and the kinds of actions that can be taken to keep them in the black. Listen now!
In researching the value of our corporate certification program, I spoke with senior professional services buyers to assess how they perceive the value of service provider during the sales cycle. I asked the question, "What do you want your service provider to prove to you?" One of the answer's given was, “I want them to prove that I am going to get the ‘A-Team’” This statement, in question form, is very difficult to answer during the sales cycle. "Are we getting your A-Team on this project?" Many of us take extra care when answering this question because it is delicately loaded with powerful explosives. One errant comment while answering it might sink the deal completely. My own fear and apprehension about it seemed like a good enough reason to explore it further.
ARE YOU YOUR CONSULTANT'S KEEPER?
Is the customer always right? Not in the view of Shane Anastasi. In the latest Kimble-sponsored PS insights podcast, the consulting services thought leader and entrepreneur argues that service professionals are often too eager to keep customers happy. He argues instead they should stand ready to “be the expert” in their engagements, ready to point out problems in customers’ plans and tell them that “they can’t get everything they want”.