Marketing Strategy

Professional Services Marketing: Tactics for Productizing your B2B Services to Convey Value

Finding ways to differentiate and convey the value of your services is a core challenge when marketing professional services companies. While SaaS companies have been leveraging the packaged services strategy for years, many companies in other industry segments, such as IT services group firms, consultancies, agencies and other professional services firms, have still not fully productized their services offerings.

Why should you productize your services?

The goal of productizing your services is to quickly and easily convey your value proposition to make it easy for prospects to understand what they will get by purchasing your service offering. This professional services marketing strategy helps the customer understand why your services are important and how you can help their business. Think of your services as a physical product and convey the features and benefits of your ‘product’, along with information on how it has helped other companies. Here are some of the benefits of productizing your services:

  • It makes the intangible more tangible. Describe tangible benefits from the solution that address your prospects’ pain points. Your prospects will find it easier to understand and justify the investment.
  • It helps establish trust and reduces perceived risks. Pre-defined packages are more predictable. Prospects know what they are getting. They can also often confirm that particular service offering has been successful for other customers, so they are more likely to take that first chance on your company if they haven’t worked with you previously.
  • It helps you stand out from your competition. Creating defined deliverables and articulating methodologies can be a key differentiator in professional services marketing. It helps you stand out among your competition and can make a lasting impression during sales conversations.
  • It can increase customer satisfaction and lead to more scalable growth. When your customer buys something that’s well-defined and easily understandable, it eliminates the likelihood of mis-set expectations.
  • It can increase internal service delivery productivity. Defining each element of your service offering, then creating replicable processes and templates, generally enables speeding up your service delivery (or at least efficiency) and enables more accurate project planning and implementation.

How should you think about productizing your services?

Productization requires that you create packages of services, define the attributes and benefits of each service package and set (fairly standard) pricing. Most businesses already have most of the raw inputs needed to package their services; it’s often a matter of evolving your mindset and making sure the packages you create address specific customer pain points and are priced appropriately.

For example, we helped one of our management consulting clients productize their strategic consulting offering into smaller workshops. They began offering a subset of their overall strategy engagement as a lower priced overview and roadmap offering, which made it made it easier for the client to get their foot in the door.  Creating tools such as standard discovery documents and proposal templates allowed the client to identify an easily replicable process with more of ‘land-and-expand’ oriented price point. From an operational standpoint, packaging this service enabled the company to sell a larger volume, streamline service delivery, and minimize overhead.

From a marketing standpoint, the packaged solution was something we were able to market much more effectively, creating a set of standard sales collateral, a website presence and a series of campaigns to promote the solution on an ongoing basis in support of lead generation objectives.

How should you get started in productizing your services?

Start by looking at patterns of consumption. Consider how and why your customers use your services. Think critically about which of those represent your ‘best’ customers. Additionally, while many services can be productized, not every service fits into a standard package. Make sure when you create the vision for your product line, you are offering services that appeal to the pain points of your target customers. Start by looking at your services and potential packages, and then ask yourself:

  • How do my services compare to those of my competitors and how can I add compelling value to each package?
  • Which of my services can be standardized vs. which have to be completely customized to the unique needs of my clients?
  • Can I incorporate templates (such as workshop and evaluation templates) into portions of my services to speed delivery and replicate successful processes?
  • Which services can I break up into smaller, individual services that would still add value independently?
  • Are there services I can offer as a ‘foot-in-the-door’, lower cost solution for new clients?
  • Are there services that would be most enticing and/or lower risk entry point for prospects to build up our scalable marketing engine?

Productizing your services requires that you first define the attributes and benefits of each service package, and then confirm deliverables and set pricing.

If you are considering an initiative to productize your service offerings, it can be helpful to get outside support from a partner who can help support the process with frameworks and an objective review of the process and decisions. If you’re exploring this type of investment for your professional services firm, please request an initial consultation to learn more about our process and example client results.