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:
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:
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.