Not too long ago, I was chatting with the founder of a private equity firm in the US, who reaches out periodically to share what’s going on in his world and to hear about mine. He told me about one of the key trends he’s seen in the past few years in many industries: Technology-enabled services.
He’s seen it in accounting, manufacturing, financial services, and much more. It has transformed industries, and led to increased valuations and better overall financial performance for those who embrace it.
However, sales is one industry where it has not taken root strongly. It’s my belief that it’s time for us to catch up.
Technology-enabled service is quite simply a way of packaging technology and services together so that they provide more benefit with less hassle and cost to the customer.
For instance, in accounting, the traditional way of providing technology and services was for the customer to purchase an accounting system, set it up, and hire staff to maintain and manage it. This required IT personnel, and the purchase of all relevant software and the skills to use it.
Then, the customer would either hire accountants to run the accounting or they would outsource the service to an accounting firm, who would use the technology provided by the customer.
Today, the trend is for accounting firms to provide a complete package including the software. This frees the customer from the necessity of choosing, maintaining, and servicing their technology, while making it easier for the accounting firm to provide consistent, excellent accounting service.
It’s a win for both companies.
A technology-enabled service packages technology and services for more benefit and less hassle to the customer.
Even manufacturing, an industry heavy on physical equipment and space, has adopted technology-enabled service as a model. Instead of purchasing manufacturing equipment and hiring the staff to maintain it, the manufacturer can “rent” a complete “as a service” package from the equipment provider. The equipment provider designs and rolls out the entire manufacturing line and keeps the technology in top condition for one package price to the manufacturer.
This model also is a win for everyone.
An even more well-known example is the phenomenon known as “managed IT.” At my other company, Upstream, we help our IT service companies move from a “break/fix” model to a “managed services” model. With this model, they provide a win-win packaged solution for their customers, and simultaneously become more profitable.
The model works.
In our industry, we’re still clinging to the idea that a sales organization must purchase a “technology stack,” which is maintained by company staff. And then they must hire a team of consultants and trainers to help them establish strategy, process, and training.
Making the strategy, process, and training work with the “sales stack” is a whole animal of its own that is notorious for being a challenge.
Why haven’t we moved into a technology-enabled services model?
Well, no matter why, I do believe it is time.
At Membrain, we provide purpose-built technology, then we partner with sales development and training companies to build solutions that make it easy for sales organizations to experience rapid and substantial improvements in sales effectiveness.
It’s my belief that technology-enabled services is the future. The sales environment is changing rapidly and those who are nimble and quick in moving into this model will be the ones who survive and thrive through the next decade.
We’re working hard with our partners to provide all the tools and support necessary to make technology-enabled services an achievable move for them and for their customers. I’d love to talk with you about how we’re doing that and how we can help you make that move, too.
George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.
Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn