September 2016 - Issue 14.5

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Professional Services Journal

 Insights for executives and services professionals
 
Feature Story
Customer Success

What the Devil Is Customer Success?

How it can help professional services achieve better business results

by James "Alex" Alexander

Customer success. The phrase has a nice ring to it. It rolls off the tongue smoothly, like “boundless beauty,” “endless summer” or “green chili cheeseburgers.” It sounds almost patriotic! Who could be against customer success?

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But just what is it? What’s in it for your organization? What’s in it for you? Should you stay seated on your lounge chair, dip your toes in the water or take the dive off the high board?

Editorial Corner

Few people, if anyone, would be against customer success. When a professional services firm cares about its client’s successes, it benefits in terms of loyalty and profits. Alex Alexander returns to explain how to incorporate customer success into your culture.  

Teri Doty
Teri Doty

There’s … so … much … content out there. Everyone has caught onto what InternetVIZ has known since 2001: Content marketing pays off big when done right. But your beautifully crafted content could go unread. Meryl K. Evans explains why and what you might need to do to stop your content from being ignored.

Before you can start creating content, you need to ensure your positioning is solid. Randy Shattuck shows how to market and sell professional services with four strategies.

We’ve been fortunate to have Jeanne Urich and Dave Hofferberth share their PS benchmark findings. In their latest article, Dave explains what we can learn from 10 years of professional service benchmarking.

Service Performance Pillars
Benchmark Study

What You Need to Know About Professional Services Today

Benchmark looks at highlights and lowlights of the past 10 years

by Dave Hofferberth, SPI Research

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Ten years ago, we at SPI Research developed the Professional Services Maturity Model to benchmark professional services organizations as a tool to understand the varying levels of operational control or process maturity. This determines the characteristics and appropriate behaviors based on their organizational lifecycle stage.

Marketing Matters
Content Brand

How To Market and Sell Professional Services Today

Here are my best ideas

by Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group

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I’ve been a professional service marketer and entrepreneur now for nearly 25 years. Over the course of my career I’ve worn many hats. But I’ve always been in the business of growing service firms. Sometimes that means growing brand awareness. Sometimes that means re-positioning brands. Sometimes that means productizing services so they are easier to sell. Sometimes that means coaching sales and business development teams.

Content Marketing
Great Content

Stop Valuable Content From Being Ignored

Don’t fall for these trends or lose hard-earned clicks

by Meryl K. Evans, editor, Professional Services Journal

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After kayaking for two hours, my friends and I were famished. None of us eat beef very often, but we thought we’d treat ourselves at a famous old-school drive-in that reminds you of a scene from “American Graffiti.” Unlike most of today’s drive-ins, you won’t find a speaker, screen, menu or anything on the spot where you park your car.

Master B2B Content Marketing

Are Your Customers Unsubscribing?

3 ways to deliver delightful content experiences

by Aaron Orendorff, Content Marketing Institute

Great content goes to waste when it’s not relevant or doesn’t have context. And excellent customer experiences can be quickly forgotten if customers run into poor content experiences. Don’t let all that hard work to build exceptional customer service go to waste. Make sure the content matches the experience.

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7 Content Marketing Strategies That Inspire Trust and Shares

Create content that evokes interest and builds trust

by Alex Membrillo, Marketing Tech Blog

Using these guidelines can increase your chances of getting more shares while building trust for your brand. These tips can work for B2B professional services companies.



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Win More Business

6 B2B Sales Training Strategies That Will Help Your Salespeople Exceed Their Goals

How to maximize, not jeopardize, your sales team

by Danny Wong, business.com

Training is valuable, but only if it’s done right. It’s worth taking the time to develop effective training that ensures your team will achieve its goals. Here are six ways to make it happen and sustain growth.

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Sales Not Closing? Know When to Panic!

Avoid knee-jerk reactions by understanding your sales cycle

by George Deeb, Entrepreneur

When you see a change in the close rate, it’s not always a cause for concern. Yet some companies revamp their sales process at the first sign of slower sales. Those knee-jerk reactions can do more harm than good. Be more informed and ready to act with the knowledge from this article.

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Lead Better and Accomplish More

Think Servant Leadership Is Too Good To Be True?

It may be the best investment for a business

by David K. Williams, Forbes

Servant leadership may be the answer to improving productivity and enhancing camaraderie. According to the Greenleaf Institute for Servant Leadership, “Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations, and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.” This article provides three ways to benefit from servant leadership.

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How to Make Powerful Changes at Work by Being 'Employee Zero'

Encourage your team to get the ball rolling

by Robin Camarote, Inc.

You’ve heard the term “patient zero.” “Employee zero” is the positive version of that — an employee who initiates change to find a way to make something better. Leaders can make a difference by encouraging and supporting employees to make a change. Here are five steps to make it happen.

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