“Blending Service and Sales Motions” was the theme of TSIA’s Technology Services World conference held last month in San Diego, and it was a bold theme indeed.

Given the stereotype of the Sales and Services relationship being more akin to oil and water than tequila and lime, optimism around the theme was somewhat guarded at the opening of the conference. By the conclusion, however, it was clear that there is significant and compelling rationale for blending Services and Sales motions. What’s more, the diverse set of presentations and panels from executives, practitioners and TSIA researchers offered practical proof points for why it’s needed and how it can work.

In blending the Service and Sales motions, each function must embrace a new operating model centered around three critical mind shifts:

1. They must look beyond transactional customer interactions and focus on the end-to-end lifecycle. For Sales, this might mean a shift from focusing heavily on just the initial capture (Land) of a new logo to having more balanced resources and focus on up-sell and cross-sell (Expand). For Services, it can mean evolving from a reaction-based model (e.g., providing support based on incoming customer calls) to more proactive processes (e.g., offering guided support and advisory services that coincide with the adoption path of a customer).

2. Customer outcomes must be the primary business objective. This dictates significant changes to both Sales and Service motions. For Sales, this can mean selling a smaller deal early on so that a customer can adopt and expand with the product over time. For Services, this means going beyond traditional “on-time, on-budget” implementation goals to focus instead on time to value—how quickly you can get the customer up and running on the application and using it to achieve their desired business goals.

3. Effective, systematic cross-functional collaboration and communication must be achieved throughout the customer’s journey. Delivering a remarkable customer experience is inherently cross-functional. The Sales and Service functions can each have extensive customer interactions throughout the lifecycle, creating a requirement for clarity in roles and governance, along with frictionless sharing of information.

Blending Service and Sales motions is transformational for the entire enterprise; therefore, business leaders must be the drivers for this new model. The good news here is that in a recent TSIA study, 92 percent of senior-most Sales executives acknowledged a need to “significantly adapt their Sales and Customer Engagement model.”

This statistic is consistent with what my Waterstone colleagues and I have found as we’ve engaged with clients around the topic of subscription success. Both from a top-down and bottom-up sentiment, we see organizational structures, governance and RACI being redefined as companies look to effectively and efficiently scale their Sales and Services motions to drive customer (and enterprise) subscription success.

Grounded by a customer journey that will deliver a remarkable experience, organizations that operationalize these shifts can achieve compelling business outcomes for customers and for their enterprises.

If you would like to discuss the benefits and challenges of blending service and sales motions, please feel free to contact me.

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Related Insight

For advice on how to build the structure capabilities needed to deliver your desired customer experience, check out the webinar Building Your Desired Customer Journey.



About the Author
John Zuk

John Zuk is a Partner at Waterstone. John specializes in cultivating innovation at the intersection of business strategy and technology product development. He has focused on helping clients design and implement a differentiated customer experience to drive sustained, profitable growth.