Success Marketing and Portfolio Management

Success Marketing and Portfolio Management

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Success Marketing and Portfolio Management

Technology service programs are evolving to offer new value and benefits such as use and adoption assistance and resources to help attain successful outcomes. As technology service programs change, service, support, and success marketing must evolve beyond selling the initial service engagement and focus on sustaining and growing relationship value.

Success Marketing and Portfolio Management

Technology service programs and offerings must evolve, and companies need to look beyond service marketing to focus on Success Marketing and Portfolio Management.

Success Marketing and Portfolio Management consists of the practices and activities necessary to create end-to-end, integrated success-focused programs capable of delivering a value-based message to promote adoption and attainment of tangible customer outcomes that sustain customer relationships and promote opportunities for growth.

The Subscription Impact on Service Programs

The very definition of technology service offerings is evolving.  Service entitlements that were once included as foundational elements of a service program may now be included as part of a product or subscription purchase. 

Standalone service programs delivered by siloed services departments such as Professional Services, Training and Support are increasingly offered through integrated success-focused service portfolios.  Success-focused service programs may complement or fully displace legacy service and support offerings. The nature of how customers purchase services is evolving too. Support programs attached to license sales and professionals service engagements sold as custom time and materials engagement are displaced by integrated a-la-carte success services that may be purchased as add-ons or obtained by service credits.

Success Marketing and Portfolio Management Defined

Success Marketing and Portfolio Management consists of the practices and activities necessary to create end-to-end, integrated success-focused programs capable of delivering a value-based message to promote adoption and attainment of tangible customer outcomes that sustain customer relationships and promote opportunities for growth.

There are eight fundamental success marketing practices.  Several of these practices extend the focus and scope of traditional service marketing responsibilities.  The expanded scope of Success Marketing must include the following:

  1. Customer Segmentation Strategy
  2. Ongoing Customer Needs Assessments
  3. Service Program Design Methods
  4. Portfolio Management
  5. Value Quantification
  6. Sales Enablement
  7. Marketing Tools and Resource Development
  8. Retention and Growth Planning

Treat Your Service Portfolio as a Product Line

Treat Your Service Portfolio as a Product Line

Service and success programs are a significant source of revenue. To assure that they yield their maximum revenue potential they must keep pace with customer needs and expectations.

Formal Product Management of Service Portfolios

Treat service portfolios as valuable offerings by assigning dedicated program management resources to keep offerings up to date and relevant. Consider the following:

Develop service and success portfolios that span delivery silos (Support, Success, Education, Professional Services, etc.).

 

Assign a full-time dedicated product manager to lead program management activities for the service / success portfolios across service disciplines and related product families.

 

Establish goals and objectives for the service program manager based on performance and revenues directly associated with sale and renewal of service and success offerings.

 

Grow the team of portfolio product managers to keep pace with the size, complexity, and financial performance of the service portfolio.

 

To assure that your service and success portfolio remains relevant to customer needs review and update offerings on an ongoing basis.  Consider adding new offerings and enhancements as customer needs evolve.  Be certain to define and articulate the value of all offerings and reinforce service benefits to help sustain customer relationships.

Featured: Success Marketing and Portfolio Management

The eight fundamental Success Marketing and Portfolio Management practices are defined and described within this report.

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Support Pricing Benchmarks

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Stop Selling Support and Start Selling Success

Stop Selling Support and Start Selling Success

It is no longer enough to attach a support program to a product sale. Effective Success Sales teams must be able to establish long term service relationships that last and grow well beyond the initial sale.

Success Sales Effectiveness

Success sales effectiveness is optimized when Sales teams are knowledgeable of service programs and can articulate a compelling value proposition for long term service benefits.  To maximize sales effectiveness, companies must establish formal success training programs.  Consider the following:

Establish a formal success sales curriculum to instruct sales representatives responsible for selling services (direct and through partners).

Instruct sales teams in the identification of success opportunities.

Provide opportunities for instructor led classroom and virtual training.

Supplement core training with periodic updates delivered through self-paced instructional videos and/or periodic live webinars.

Include coverage of core offerings, value proposition, use cases and overcoming objections.

Supplement sales training with supporting tools and reference materials.

Establish competency-based testing to verify sales representative knowledge. (internal sales staff and partners).

Assure that all service sales staff have been full trained, and their knowledge tested.  Monitor sales effectiveness by measuring initial service contract sales (attach), renewal rates and the rate that service revenue grows from expansion selling.

For additional insights into how to effectively market and sell services, consider the following featured report:

Featured: Success Marketing and Portfolio Management

The eight fundamental Success Marketing and Portfolio Management practices are defined and described within this report.

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*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.

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How to Measure Net Recurring Revenue

Net Recurring Revenue is a comprehensive indicator that reveals the extent to which you are retaining, expanding and growing customer relationship value. Examining the specific underlying elements that contribute to the calculation of Net Recurring Revenue provides the necessary insights to identify the root causes of churn, attrition and contraction. In addition, examining the reasons for revenue growth presents opportunities to embrace and expand practices that encourage expansion of relationship value.

read more

Success Marketing and Portfolio Management

Technology service programs are evolving to offer new value and benefits such as use and adoption assistance and resources to help attain successful outcomes. As technology service programs change service marketing must evolve beyond selling the initial service engagement and focus on sustaining and growing relationship value.

read more

Treat Your Service Portfolio as a Product Line

Service and success programs are a significant source of revenue. To assure that they yield their maximum revenue potential, treat service portfolios as strategic offerings in the corporate portfolio by assigning dedicated program management resources.

read more

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Setting the correct price for your support programs begins with a baseline understanding of what your market will bear but ultimately the price must be based on the type and level and entitlements offered. The average prices for support programs range from 15.6 percent for a basic level of support to more than 26 percent for a high-end premium offer.

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Do You Need SLAs?

Do You Need SLAs?

Every technical support organization should have service level guidelines as a basis for determining how to prioritize cases and allocate resources and for managing consistent expectations with customers. Introducing service level agreements with committed performance levels is only required when customers demand them, or it is necessary for competitive differentiation.

Service Level Agreements Defined

The terms Service Level Agreement or SLA are used to describe performance objectives for a wide variety of services. SLAs are used to describe the speed by which a replacement part will be delivered to a customer site, the up-time of an application, or the time it takes to respond to a question submitted to Support. Service levels may express a performance level in terms of a target or commitment.  The following definition provides a unified description of the various types of service level statements and agreements offered across the technology industry.

Service Level Agreements Defined

SLA Types

There are three primary types of service level agreements used within the technology industry.  The primary elements of the agreements include the committed or targeted level of performance, the conditions and definitions for how performance will be measured, and the provisions by which performance commitments will be enforced.  Typical technology service level agreement types include:

Agreements

Agreements state a committed level of service and the terms by which this service will be provided.  Service level agreements are typically enforced by some form of penalty when promised performance levels are not met.

Level of Performance: Performance commitments.

Conditions: Stringent definitions and conditions for determining SLA non-compliance.

Enforcement: Typically a penalty in the form of a rebate of service fees.

Firm Targets

Service level targets express a target level of performance for a particular service.  Targets are expressed in specific terms however there is no commitment or guarantee of performance or penalty imposed if not met.

Level of Performance: Specific performance targets.

Conditions: May vary by customer type, support program level or issue severity.

Enforcement: None.

Soft Targets

Service level targets may also be expressed in soft terms where a level of performance is suggested for some but not all situations.  When soft service level targets are missed there are no penalties.

Level of Performance: Performance ranges.

Conditions: May vary by customer type, support program level or issue severity.

Enforcement: None.

Why Use SLAs

Service level statements are used for a variety of reasons, most notably to establish differentiation from direct competitors or within a service offering to distinguish between program levels and tiers.  In some instances, customers will demand service level agreements as a prerequisite for doing business.  In all cases SLAs are effective for setting and managing customer expectations.  Well defined performance SLAs can prescribe how quickly to respond to issues, which issues to work on first, and who to get involved with issue resolution.

Set Customer Expectations

Competitive Differentiation

Service Tier Differentiation (within a Portfolio)

Prioritization and Resource Allocation

Do You Need SLAS?

Every technical support organization should have service level guidelines as a basis for determining how to prioritize cases and allocate resources and for managing consistent expectations with customers. Introducing service level agreements with committed performance levels is only required when customers demand them or it is necessary for competitive differentiation.

  • Do your customers expect them?
  • Do your competitors provide them?

If the response to either question is “yes” then you should be offering SLAS.

Featured: Support SLAs

This report explores the types of service level agreements used within the technology services industry and provides examples necessary for establishing effective service level agreement practices.

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*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.

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Related Articles

Success Marketing and Portfolio Management

Technology service programs are evolving to offer new value and benefits such as use and adoption assistance and resources to help attain successful outcomes. As technology service programs change service marketing must evolve beyond selling the initial service engagement and focus on sustaining and growing relationship value.

read more

Treat Your Service Portfolio as a Product Line

Service and success programs are a significant source of revenue. To assure that they yield their maximum revenue potential, treat service portfolios as strategic offerings in the corporate portfolio by assigning dedicated program management resources.

read more

Support Pricing Benchmarks

Setting the correct price for your support programs begins with a baseline understanding of what your market will bear but ultimately the price must be based on the type and level and entitlements offered. The average prices for support programs range from 15.6 percent for a basic level of support to more than 26 percent for a high-end premium offer.

read more

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