Driving Business Outcomes:
8 Steps To Reframe Service Conversations.

15th September 2023

Are you effectively showcasing the value of your managed service, or is this a missed opportunity?

In a competitive environment where operational efficiency is considered 'table stakes,' success now depends on demonstrating the connection between your services and the customer's business outcomes.

Historically, companies have struggled to communicate the value of their technology services. Monthly and quarterly service performance reviews often consisted of dull reports and one-sided presentations that failed to resonate with the audience. The focus on the enabling technology's operational performance left stakeholders unconvinced and questioning the relevance to their business.

These meetings represent a missed opportunity. Instead of just discussing operational performance, they should be a chance to showcase the business value and impact being delivered. They represent an opportunity to shift the dialogue and position your company as a strategic and trusted business ally, shifting the customer's perception from service delivery cost to business enabler and valued partner. 

“Business leaders care very little about what the technology is. Quite rightly they care about what it allows them and their customers to do and the outcome that this has on the organization’s growth and profitability”
Gartner

Dialogue vs. Presentation, Narrative vs. Report

Any conversation about business value must inform stakeholders how the service impacts business objectives and contributes to their critical business metrics. Unfortunately, the default reaction to data-related topics is to produce more and presumably superior reports. Effectively conveying value goes beyond merely enhancing reports with additional business metrics.

Conversations about value must be meaningful, interactive, and collaborative to be effective. Your customer always determines value; it is a function of their context and situation, both of which are dynamic and changing. Active dialogue is vital to ensure continued alignment and relevance. Engaging in such discussions demands the capability to adapt to the evolving line of inquiry, to explore and evaluate in an immediate and real-time manner. Such adaptability is beyond the scope of static reports, dashboards, and presentations.

Shifting to a Value Narrative

Crafting a value centric narrative to support meaningful dialogue is fundamentally different to producing a report for presentation.  Technology delivers value by enabling business results. The objective is to construct the narrative such that it evidences the core business value drivers for your customer, viewed through the lens of the services you offer.

  1. Always begin from the perspective of the customer
    Start with their business objectives, not the data. Understand and validate the business drivers (revenue, cost efficiency and risk mitigation) with customer leadership. Keep validating

  2. Business context is vital
    The more relevant the message, the higher the perceived value. Value narratives need to be articulated in the context of your customer's business; in a language and shape that is recognisable to them. Creating a shared and holistic understanding of the business context by linking their business drivers and service elements in a language and shape familiar to the business makes it both relevant and straightforward to understand by everyone

  3. Align metrics directly to the delivery of the business objectives.
    To create a business value narrative you must identify the metrics that best communicate the services’ business contribution, focusing on a few that convey frequency, time and cost. Funding saved, costs reduced, and revenue increased are easier to measure than process improvements and more impactful.

  4. Identify and integrate the necessary data
    Recognise that data from various operational sources will be required to support a business dialogue. The question is, what data is needed, not what data do I have? Identify the gaps and areas where data quality needs improving. Believable value narratives rely on your
    customer business’s trust in the data being used as evidence.

  5. Create shared understanding 
    Construct the message around the evidence, context creates a powerful framework to explore the data and structure the dialogue. Less is more; the simpler and more concise, the better, particularly for more senior audiences. Think about the flow, sequencing and where there could be challenges.

  6. The output cannot be static
    When creating a value narrative the way you present the data cannot be static if you want it to be believed and trusted. Facilitate simple conversations with the ability to pose questions and drill into data. Engage your audience around the narrative, encouraging interaction and dialogue rather than a one-way presentation. The aim is to create a sense of inclusion and shared ownership of the value narrative.

  7. Close the loop
    Being able to evidence the value that you have delivered and associate this directly with your customer’s business outcomes builds trust and elevates your position from a provider to a valued partner.

  8. Expect change
    It is a certainty that business priorities will shift. Keep validating and looking for new ways to demonstrate value.

Creating New Opportunities for Growth

Demonstrating the connection between your services and your customer's business outcomes can also help identify new avenues to drive service innovation and add more value to your customer. The challenge with multi-year service contracts is that the customer's priorities and challenges may change over time. A value-based approach is key to understanding, tackling, and anticipating these shifts, guaranteeing that your service stays relevant and valuable throughout the contract.

By managing these new opportunities in a closed-loop outcome-oriented approach, showcasing the realised benefits, you elevate your position from a mere vendor to a pivotal business enabler and valued partner.

Empowering front-line staff to fully leverage data and engage in meaningful value conversations with customers is crucial for protecting and expanding your business.   Equipping them with the right tools to achieve this is vital.

At Hublsoft we approach data in a human-centric way, meaning it is open to everyone no matter their technical skill level. Our platform lets will let you explore and investigate your data in real-time facilitating the value lead conversation you need.

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