As we work with embedded Professional Services (PS) organizations seeking to better play their strategic role in differentiation, pull-through, intimacy, and growth for the entire company, many wrestle with how to meet their near-term financial commitments to the business while transforming to this more impactful, strategic role. For most organizations, both goals are important, but … Continue reading “Unlocking the Value of an Embedded Professional Services Firm”
Connecting Your Embedded PS Business to Your Strategy: Turning the Primary Revenue Gears to Drive Growth & Value
Many corporations have added Professional Services (PS) to their businesses to drive greater customer intimacy and differentiation. But, how do ensure you’re maximizing the benefits? If you’re looking to unlock greater opportunity provided by your PS business, consider the following questions: What is the role of PS in your overall strategy: For most product-based companies, … Continue reading “Connecting Your Embedded PS Business to Your Strategy: Turning the Primary Revenue Gears to Drive Growth & Value”
Growth, through sales, is consistently one of the top goals of every for-profit business or organization. Other goals such as quality, customer and employee satisfaction, research and other investment, cash flow, and capital deployment are also important depending on the industry and customer expectations. However, many of these goals are ultimately derived from a healthy … Continue reading “The Chief Commercial Officer as a Differentiator”
Linkages are pre-planned connections from one offering that pulls through the next offering. The connections are made by carefully pre-planned and executed sales activities. Of course in reality, linkages do not begin at the end of one project and end at the beginning of the next. Linkages are positioning activities that take place during the initial sales process and during projects. The positioning may not only be related to the next project in the Service Chain, but also can be made with regard to the entire Service Chain.
Let’s take some time and discuss the power of ideas and their importance as the central component of a True Solutions™. Good ideas facilitate the road to true customer intimacy.
A solution is the embodiment of an idea – and how the idea can be realized. The idea is the kernel of the change in the relationship from pushing products and discussing business opportunities. Often conversations that are supposed to be about solutions are really about how to better use our products and get more bang for the buck in our relationship; these are valuable issues but not True Solutions™ discussions.
In the simplest sense, marketing has a direct role in market strategy, participation strategy, and enabling the success. Because of their unique role and perspective on the business, marketing owns or is heavily involved in the strategy of the business, and often drives the decision-making process of how to address commoditization issues.
Typically in the Form phase of the Customer Intimacy Journey, you will develop the initial True Solutions™ sets and take them to market. Like product development, a framework and process exists to define, develop and take your Solutions to market in a deliberate and defined manner. This building block is key to your Intimacy Engine™ success, so it is important to recognize early on what is different about developing True Solutions™ compared to typical product development.
So what is different?
During the first stage of the Customer Intimacy Journey it is important to create and deliver solutions that have a visible impact with your clients.
As you know, terms like “solutions” and “customer intimacy” are overused in the management consulting industry, and I believe often mean too little. In this blog, we’ll try to distinguish our thoughts with not-so-clever use of the terms True Solutions™ and Intimacy Engine™. I want to talk about what True Solutions™ are and how it is crucial to the building of the Intimacy Engine™ business model.
As we mentioned earlier there will be natural forces within the company that will work against its success – normal, but they can be destructive, as we see in many public cases of organizational transformation attempts.
Internecine warfare is a common reaction when you set about changing your business model. It’s not simply a go-to-market adjustment. When building a customer intimacy business model, their are several unique attributes that cannot, and must not, be compromised:
The Customer Intimacy journey requires focus for an extended period of time, and even when companies take the long view, living through the natural disappointments of this size of business model transformation can discourage the best organizations.
Thus, the importance of gaining a shared view of the business cannot be overstated.
There is no consistent way for organizations to absorb and adopt truth. But, I think understanding what they need – depending on type of organization and driver of decisions – helps in gaining a shared view.