A few weeks back, I sat down with Jonathan Corrie, cofounder and CEO of Precursive — a Salesforce-native professional services (PS) delivery cloud that provides PS automation, task, and resource management — to discuss one of my favorite topics, the role of professional services in today’s SaaS businesses.
Topics we discussed included:
- The Hippocratic oath and executive compensation plans (do no harm).
- How to frame the sales / services working relationship (i.e., no chucking deals over the fence).
- Why to put an andon cord in place to stop zero-odds-of-success deals early in the sales process.
- How to package services, including the risks of tshirt-sized QuickStart packages.
- How to market methodology instead of packages to convince customers of what matters: success.
- The myth of services cannibalization of ARR. (This drives me crazy.)
- The alternatives test: would a customer pay someone else to be successful with your software?
- Selling mistake-avoidance to IT vs. selling success to line-of-business executives.
- How and why to bridge “air gaps” between functions (e.g., sales, customer success, services).
- How to position the sales to CSM “handoff” as à la prochaine and not adieu.
- The perils of checklist-driven onboarding approaches.
- The beauty of defining organizational roles with self-introductions (e.g., “my name is Dave and my job is to get your renewal”).
- The three types of CSMs — the best friend, the seller, and the consultant — and how to blend them and build career paths within the organization.
- Top professional services metrics. Caring about (versus maximizing) services margin via compensation plan gates.
- The loose coupling between NPS and renewal.
Thanks again to Jonathan for having me, and the episode is available here.