TSIA Summit Overview: Four Services Challenges Today & How to Solve Them
We recently sponsored the TSIA Technology Summit, “Automating the Services Quote-to-Cash Cycle,” with Lauren Leonard, Global VP Solutions Engineering at Mavenlink Kimble, participating in a panel discussion hosted by John Ragsdale, Distinguished Researcher, Vice President of Technology Ecosystems at TSIA. Panelists shared solutions to overcoming the challenges associated with providing high end services in a more complex digital world, with a focus on automating service sales for implementation and consulting services.
Below you can find an overview of key takeaways from the TSIA Technology Summit, with a focus on four common challenges (and actionable insights on how to solve them) that often disrupt even the highest performing services organizations today.
1. Recognize shifts in the market
Today’s professional services businesses are constantly updating their tech stacks to respond to changes in the market. To be successful, modern providers of software designed for professional services organizations must recognize this pace of change and provide solutions (via products and/or services) that can evolve and support businesses along all stages of growth.
Services organizations looking for technology to support them through ever-changing demands should evaluate how professional services automation (PSA) software can help orchestrate their business. The right PSA solution can provide complete visibility into the many moving parts associated with selling and delivering services — helping businesses stay on top of changes in the market or demands from customers.
2. Reduce the delay in closing deals
Even the most successful services organizations have reported the same challenge — the time between proposal and deal close is too long. This period is often referred to as the “quote-to-close” portion of the sales cycle. According to TSIA research, it takes an average of over 59 days for services organizations to close deals after sending a proposal to the customer. And that’s after an average of over 31 days to deliver that proposal after first identifying an opportunity, leading to a total of 91 days, or 18 weeks, on average to get from identifying an opportunity to obtaining a customer signature.
Services organizations looking for a shorter quote to cash cycle should prioritize getting their sales and delivery teams on the same page. PSA solutions have proven effective in getting these teams in sync, with capabilities that enable visibility into sales and delivery data, breaking down silos, reducing roadblocks and delays, and improving alignment across sales and services.
3. Streamline resource management
Services organizations today tend to hit a moment in scale where manual methods of resource management simply can’t keep up. Many businesses lack an efficient, optimized solution for resourcing and this significantly impacts the ability to successfully kick off engagements with clients and hinders overall profitability and services success. Getting the right resources onto projects directly impacts the profit margin, the effectiveness of delivery, and the satisfaction of the client.
Technology solutions that are purpose-built for professional services provide key resourcing insights so that all staffing decisions are made strategically and with profitability in mind. These solutions make Information such as resource cost, experience, availability, committed projects, and the pipeline of recruitment candidates available to decision-makers, enabling staffing to be a more efficient and more effective step in the quote-to-cash cycle.
4. Balance product and service sales
Competing in the technology market today requires a delicate balance between selling products versus services. Many organizations struggle to know just the right amount of effort, resources, and cost to expend on service selling when they are also focused on selling a product. Even pure-play consulting organizations struggle with how to shift towards upsells or selling additional services to enterprise customers.
Businesses looking for better visibility into all the factors impacting profitability should consider investing in PSA. PSA highlights areas of the business where there is opportunity to increase revenue, get better at pricing, streamline operations, reduce costs, and ultimately improve profits for the business as a whole. With this information, business leaders can adjust the quote-to-close process so that sales and client success teams can strike the right balance between product and service sales.
Want to Learn More?
Keep an eye out for the second blog of this TSIA Technology Summit series that will be live tomorrow, April 27th, with highlights from a Q&A with Kimble Mavenlink’s Lauren Leonard. If you’re interested in learning more about the topics covered in the TSIA Summit, check out the 90-minute webinar here: “Automating the Services Quote-to-Cash Cycle.”