Often times I am asked to join a sales call or demo to discuss professional services and delivery methodology. Customers want to know not only what software they are buying, but what they can expect from the services team who are going to be implementing it. As such, there are key elements of your methodology that you need to “sell” during your pitch to your prospect in order to help lock down the sale. This post will give you some tips on what to focus on when preparing your presentation on your delivery services.
Describe the Customer Commitment
This is one question I am regularly asked during pitches – “well, what do you need from us and when?”. Planning ahead and detailing out what the project team requires from the customer in terms of resources, hours and when is crucial to helping the customer evaluate not only the possibility of hiring you, but also the feasibility of allocating their staff per your recommendations in order to make the project a success. Often times when a vendor does not have a clear answer to this question it is a major strike against and can often lead to not being awarded the work.
Demonstrate How Solution Ownership Happens
Customers love to see the path of progression from initially buying the software to being able to administer and “own” the solution. Part of the professional services mission needs to be the successful transfer of ownership of the solution to the customer. By demonstrating how this takes place throughout the project, you will provide your prospect with a sense of understanding of not only the commitment needed on their side to be successful solution owners but also the path that needs to be taken by both sides in order to get there.
Describe “Success” and Your Commitment to it
This is the true “sell”. Every vendor will say how committed to delivering success they are, however to effectively sell this, you need to demonstrate – almost quantitatively – how you can and will deliver success. Describe the steps in your methodology that are crucial to success, discuss the milestones that you track to ensure that your project is on schedule, talk about how the controls you have in place will monitor budget and ensure that any variances are identified and addressed way ahead of time before they have a chance to grow into large issues. Sell your prospect on how you envision success.
Selling is a tough job, ask anyone who has ever done it. However, when “selling” your services, nothing speaks to a prospect more than honesty and experience. Don’t be afraid to show your failure cards (to an extent) – everyone fails. It shows the prospect that you’re open and honest but more importantly that you’ve learned from your mistakes. By focusing on these three areas, you’ll give your prospect a feeling of confidence that they are (potentially) hiring someone who knows how to get them across the finish line successfully.