ON THE BENCH INSIGHTS

Digital Advancement Has Shaken Up The Professional Services Industry

Digital advancement is shaking things up throughout the world. The way we work, live and build relationships is being reshaped by technology.

Technology promises companies a DIY approach; but with so much data at your fingertips, it can be difficult to know what to do with it all. 

Software users, companies and the service providers should be taking advantage of these technological advances in three key ways:

Opportunity #1: Operations

Expertise in the professional services industry has traditionally relied on human capability. Now with 1000s of software tools to choose from, companies are opting to do the work themselves. The issue here is that software often gives customers more data than they know what to with.

Technology gives you the opportunity to transform yourself. 

So what opportunities are there for professional service firms?

  1. Customer buying behavior has changed. The need to work with you on a on-demand basis has increased, and the expectation that software can do what you can do is evident. This is why you should look for new ways to engage customers by listing your company on platforms like On The Bench and start creating pre-packaged services.
     
  2. Transform your go-to-market by tying yourself to a software company (or two) and becoming an accredited partner. Their rapidly growing ecosystem provides key opportunities, such as creating an additional revenue stream by selling their software and receiving shared revenue. For example, an accounting firm can become a Xero Advisor. CRM and Marketing Consultants can become a HubSpot Solution Partner. And for HR Practitioners, you can become a Gusto Partner.

When it comes to software companies — you should be asking yourself these questions about your partner program: 

  1. How can we add more value for our end users by utilizing professional services that we can’t employ ourselves? 
  2. How can we coexist with partners who are generating revenue for us and serving our end users with their services? 

Partner programs need an ecosystem that promotes self service for their end users: a place where they can browse a directory of accredited partners and transact with partners on a “when I need it done” basis. 

Opportunity #2 : People

According to CIPHR, 82% of employees in the US say they’re more likely to be loyal to a company if there are remote working opportunities. 

Technology allows you to attract and retain talent. 

With technologies like Basecamp, Teams and Slack, working with a team spread all over the world has become 10x easier to manage. 

Software companies like HubSpot are making a big splash with their drive to be a customer-first and employee-first company. Read more about why they’re embracing remote work here.

Opportunity #3: Customers

Mavenlink reported that the biggest challenge faced by professional service firms is keeping up with changing client expectations. With the average mid-sized company using over 75 pieces of technology to operate, they’re more likely to contract with firms on a project-to-project basis. 

Technology forces you to adapt to the better serve your customers. 

Since the way customers purchase has changed, as a software company and service firm, you need to make it easier for them to work with you. If you put the customer in the center of your business, you’re winning. Research by Deloitte shows that customer-centric businesses are 60% more profitable than companies not focused on their customers. 

Customers are looking for talent and the best accredited service provider to help them achieve success, regardless of where you’re located. If you match the skills required, the software they use, their budget and industry, they’re more likely to buy from you than a company that simply matches their zip code. 

So you see, there’s no threat — only opportunities. 

Technology is an opportunity for software companies and professional services firms to adapt to their customers and, in doing so, create a business that’s inclusive and leverages technological advances to grow better.

Platforms like On The Bench give professional services firms a chance to propel their partnerships with software companies and create new revenue streams. And at the same time, better serve their customers. 

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Posted by Graeme Wilson on Feb 28, 2020 2:34:56 PM
Graeme Wilson

Graeme Wilson

Co-founder of On The Bench and ex co-founder of a Diamond HubSpot Agency. He has a strong commercial background and ample go-to-market experience with startups.

Topics: Service Providers, Software Companies

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