To kick off the New Year, the TSIA research team wanted to share with you their best recent tech blog posts specific to their areas of industry expertise. Get a refresher on emerging trends in technology and services or catch up on what you might have missed to start 2019 with great TSIA insights!

(Customer Success) What B2B Can Learn from B2C Companies About Customer Satisfaction 

For Services organizations, capturing valuable Voice of the Customer (VoC) data can be a challenge. In this post, you’ll learn how B2B companies are using B2C strategies to improve customer survey response rates and avoid the dreaded issue of “survey fatigue”.

“By changing their rating system from a scale of 1-5 stars to a simple ‘Did you like it? Yes or no,’ (Netflix) saw a 200% increase in the number of logged customer ratings. This, in turn, gave them better intelligence to match the type of content its subscribers would like to have. With this increased engagement in customer satisfaction surveys, can we expect a similar methodology being implemented in B2B VoC surveys?”

Click here to read the blog. 

(Education Services) Increasing the Value of Education Services at Each Stage of the Sales Process 

In addition to providing customer training to ensure successful adoption of your products and services, did you know that Education Services is in a prime position to uncover upsell and cross-sell opportunities? This blog discusses how technology and services organizations are using the regular customer interactions of their Education Services teams to gather account intelligence, generate leads, and close more deals.

“Instructors are in a prime position to uncover new opportunities not only for ES, but for Product Sales and other service lines as well. As discussions arise in the classroom and questions bubble to the surface, it becomes clear where a customer/student is struggling. If the instructor documents this through proper systems, it provides the opportunity to follow-up and suggest other training, services, and/or products that could be beneficial to the customer.”

Click here to read the blog.

(Expand Selling) 5 Free Resources to Engage Services in the Sales Process and Grow Revenue 

This post is really 5 in one, pointing you to the best TSIA resources to help you get your Services teams involved in the Sales process, paving the way for better upsell and cross-sell with existing customers. From getting better leads for less money, to increasing customer spend, here’s everything you need to know about what expand selling is all about and why you need to include it as part of your XaaS sales strategy.

“The best way to grow revenue efficiently is by focusing your efforts on your existing customers. But to do it well, you can’t just apply the same processes that you have to landing new customers. You need to involve Services and Customer Success teams in your expand selling efforts.”

Click here to read the blog.

(Field Services) 4 Tips You Need to Win the Field Services Talent War  

Field services organizations are increasingly finding themselves struggling to find and retain great employees. Between an aging demographic of skilled workers on their way toward retirement and a shortage of new employees with the right skills or experience, there’s a talent war on the horizon. Read this blog to find out the current state of the field services workforce and what you can do to attract and retain the right talent.

“The required skills for field service engineers are changing from technical skills to business skills, from troubleshooting hardware/software to troubleshooting the business process, from a focus on the product to a focus on the senior executive. Also, instead of just fixing just what’s wrong with the hardware, they need to understand what ‘right’ looks for the customer and their unique install environment.

Click here to read the blog.

(Managed Services) 3 Major Trends in Managed Services You Should Know About 

As the fastest growing service line in the technology industry, trends in managed services is something that every solutions provider should be keeping a close eye on. Read one of our top managed services blog posts to get the inside scoop on 3 of the hottest topics in managed services: standardization of managed services, establishing a customer success function for managed services, and evolving and scaling services delivery.

“Managed services is different from every other product and service line in a company’s portfolio of solutions primarily because the customer isn’t just buying technology, they’re buying the operation of technology. They’re not just buying a solution, they’re buying 'peace of mind,' and as such, they need assurance that their managed services provider (MSP) understands their business, not just their tech.”

Click here to read the blog.

dedicated customer success for managed services  

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Source: TSIA's "State of Managed Services: 2018"
The impact of having a dedicated customer success function for managed services.

(Professional Services) 3 Steps to Aligning Your Professional Services Organization

The most common problems Professional Services organizations face stem from being misaligned, which can mean anything from not having clear financial targets, difficulty developing a strategy, the inability to make stakeholders happy, just to name a few. If this sounds like your professional services organization, this post will help you identify where the problem is and offer solutions on how to fix it.

“For your Professional Services organization to successfully achieve its goals, you need to be both vertically and horizontally aligned. Think about it in terms of the oft-used metaphor about being in a boat and rowing in the same direction. If you’re aligned vertically but not horizontally, it’s the same as rowing poorly, but in the right direction. If you’re aligned horizontally but not vertically, it’s like you’re rowing well in the wrong direction.”

Click here to read the blog.

(Service Revenue Generation) Renewal Specialist: Is It a Sales Role or a Service Role?

Renewal specialists are responsible for ensuring customers renew their relationship with a company through their SaaS contract. But this role requires a special set of skills that has many technology companies wondering which department should do the hiring, Sales or Services. Find out what a renewal specialist is, what they’re responsible for, and how this role applies to both Sales and Services post.

“(Renewal specialists) are not only responsible for effectively executing the commercial contract renewal transaction, but are also starting to play a role with proactively driving adoption with their larger customers. It will always be important to focus on the contract expiration date and manage the renewal of the contract, but that’s not where the process should start.”

Click here to read the blog.

renewal engagement model  

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The contract renewal engagement model will vary by customer segment.

(Subscription Sales) How to Make the Shift to Selling Technology-as-a-Service

No matter what kind of technology business you’re in, the world of subscriptions is having an immense impact on your world. There’s a growing need to understand how to sell technology subscriptions in addition to products, but many companies are still struggling with changing their existing sales strategy to work with these new pay-as-you-go models. In this post, you’ll learn about the challenges around selling subscriptions and what TSIA is doing to help companies like yours overcome them.

"The shift to the subscription economy (or XaaS) is putting huge pressure on companies as they deal with the impact on their income statements. The other major challenge here is that traditional Product Sales teams are struggling to make the shift to sell subscriptions.”

Click here to read the blog.

(Support Services) How to Retain Great Employees Within Your Support Organization

An effective Support organization starts with its internal culture. But how good is your company at keeping those employees happy and engaged? Find out how you can transform your Support organization by improving expectations, engagement, employee focus, and effectiveness.

“Creating a culture of customer ownership and driving the notion that every employee is critical to owning the success of the customer is more important than ever. Support leadership needs to continue to find ways to incorporate Support employees into the higher-level success of the company, while also creating a purposeful focus on customer success narratives as well as traditional metrics.”

Click here to read the blog.

(XaaS Product Management) Why Product Management for Technology-as-a-Service (XaaS) Deserves Attention 

With less than 20% of technology-as-a-service (XaaS) businesses delivering acceptable operating profit, product managers are needing to find a pathway to XaaS success, and fast. How will they define their offers, price for value, refine their go-to-market strategies, and drive in-market success as they prescriptively lead their companies towards profitable growth in the consumption economy? Read this latest XaaS Product Management blog post to find out.

Product Management teams are the stewards of growth and profitability, and all growth and profitability lever paths ultimately link back to their decisions. Every business, product, and cross-organizational decision in XaaS makes an impact on the customer experience, on the Sales and Service engagement, on business scale, and on profitability.”

Click here to read the blog.

(Consumption and Data Analytics) The Data Analytics Take on “Helping Will Sell, Selling Won’t Help” 

Today’s technology customers are all about how their technology purchases can help them achieve specific business outcomes. To keep customers coming back for more, suppliers need to take a more hands-on approach to making sure their users are receiving the value they expect. Data and consumption analytics can help your organization keep tabs on how effectively your customers are using your technology and where they are on their journey toward achieving their unique goals.

"In order to LAND customers, you need to match customer demographicsfinancial status, and customer desired outcomes with your product’s positioning and portfolio. For each potential customer, you should estimate their need or propensity to purchase each of your offerings based on the priority of their outcomes, and your offerings’ abilities to help them achieve those outcomes."

Click here to read the blog.

(Service Technology) Why It’s Important to Provide Social Media Support to Customers 

In this brief interview, TSIA’s John Ragsdale speaks with one of TSIA’s newest additions to the research team, Tim Lopez, director of support services and social research, about the future of social media support. Read as two experts in their field discuss the importance of offering social support to customers and why it’s become such a hot topic in recent years.

“Consumer companies realized awhile back that if they don’t respond to customers on social media, someone else will (and they may not like the response). It’s extremely important to be a part of that conversation and provide customers with accurate and insightful information as quickly as possible.”

Click here to read the blog.

Stay Current on the Latest Trends in Technology with TSIA 

At TSIA, we're proud to bring you the best technology blog posts full of valuable advice like these and more, but make sure you’re not missing out on the even more detailed industry insight we have available to our members. Contact TSIA today to learn more about how you can get the right frameworks, data-backed strategies, and business tools you’ll need to get ahead this year and for the future.

Also, don’t forget to register for our spring Technology & Services World conference (May 6-8 in San Diego) to get business advice and best practices for technology business growth and profitability directly from the experts. And of course, Happy New Year from all of us at TSIA. Here’s to a prosperous 2019!

 

Nicole Dornsife

About Author Nicole Dornsife

Nicole Dornsife is the senior content manager for TSIA. She has over 10 years of experience writing for the software and SaaS industries, and joined TSIA in 2014. She manages the TSIA blog and regularly collaborates with TSIA's research team and partner companies to publish their insights on the latest news in the technology and services industry. She also provides editorial support for Technology & Services World conferences. Nicole may be reached at nicole.dornsife@tsia.com.