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Simplify IT Purchasing Decisions with Packaged Services

As businesses emerge from their buying moratorium, how can you help them spend their IT budgets wisely...and spend them with you? The top concerns of organizations evaluating IT purchases include cost overruns and project failure. Overcome those worries with packaged services that clearly define costs and outcomes to build prospect confidence and add to your bottom line.

Packaged Services for Repeatable Project Delivery
There is some confusion about the term "packaged services" in the partner channel. Packaged services don't have to be "vertical" or focused on a specific industry. Any set of services that solve a problem or offer a benefit and can be delivered in a replicable process can be "packaged." Some examples of service packages that you could offer to your customers include:

  • Exchange upgrades,
  • business continuity planning and protection,
  • Office 365 deployment and
  • document imaging implementation.

While it clearly takes some time and effort to create packaged service offerings, there are significant benefits to your organization (in addition to sales). Well-defined packages will:

  • make it easier to train employees,
  • lower risk with predictable outcomes,
  • increase profit margins and
  • provide calls to action for Pinpoint listings.

Define the Process To Set Pricing
The first step in building your pricing is to clearly define the process. A detailed project plan will give you the foundation. Apply your experience to include a reasonable margin for unexpected complications. Your documentation will provide a sales tool and playbook for your consulting team.

Keep pricing simple. Exchange upgrade pricing might be based on user count, while document imaging is set per department. There is no right or wrong way to do pricing as long as your clients will purchase and you make money. Ask your current customers for input -- maybe even give them a special deal to test your project plan.

Fixed Price Versus Time and Materials
Would you rather have a time and materials bid or a fixed bid on the new roof for your home? No question about it. The fixed bid reduces your risk and motivates the roofer to finish quickly and move on to the next job.

The same holds true for your customers. They get cold sweats when there is no clear price tag on the contract. Showing your customer a detailed project plan with a fixed price builds trust in your organization and confidence in your ability to deliver. For your customer, packaged services provide:

  • better understanding of the services to be delivered,
  • predictable outlay of cash and
  • clear understanding of the benefits and deliverables they will receive.

Sell the Value with Simplicity
Whether you create a flier, post it to your Web site or include it in your newsletter, keep the packaged service message clear and concise. Keep your focus on the business value and benefits, not the technology. Include:

  • bullet points listing the business benefits and the steps in the process,
  • clear pricing to both entice and qualify prospects and
  • and a clear call to action in the closing. (Example: Call today to receive a free copy of "Office 365 for Smarties.")

Packaged services show prospects and customers that you have experience and confidence in your ability to deliver services predictably. Lower your risks and win more business with repeatable project delivery.

Are you gaining market share with packaged services? Please tell me about it so we can share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 02, 2011


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