Steve Frost

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What is Expand Selling?

Posted by Steve Frost on 4/12/18 5:00 AM

TSIA Expand Selling research provides clear guidance on how to utilize Services and Customer Success teams in the Sales process for cost-effective revenue growth from existing customers. The name “expand selling” is derived from the third stage in TSIA’s Land, Adopt, Expand, Renew (“LAER”) customer engagement model. It is rooted in TSIA’s belief that selling can be the natural, helpful outcome of a Services conversation, as long as it is taken within the mindset of helping the customer solve their problem, achieve their goals, and drive value from their technology investment.

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Topics: services, sales, expand selling, LAER, collaboration, cross-sell, upsell, trusted advisor, touchpoint calculus

Sales, Services, and a New Year’s Resolution That Sticks

Posted by Steve Frost on 1/2/18 5:00 AM

In my role as head of TSIA’s Expand Selling line of research, I’ve talked to dozens of companies who have tried to more tightly integrate their Services and Sales efforts. In some cases, they have attempted to utilize their Support or Customer Success teams to capture low-cost leads. In other cases, they’ve tried to involve their Professional Services or Managed Services delivery teams in the pre-sales process in order to more effectively sell services or increase margins. Most of the time, even with the best intentions and sometimes with substantial financial investments, these plans just don’t take root and flourish. They fizzle out after a few months.

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Topics: sales, expand selling, Blending Service and Sales Motions

What Sales and Services Can Learn from Your Local Mall Santa

Posted by Steve Frost on 12/12/17 5:00 AM

This past weekend, I found myself at the mall doing some unexpected Holiday shopping. It was relatively uncrowded, which serves as a testament to the impact that e-tailers have had on the retail landscape. But, while there wasn’t much of a line at Banana Republic or Wetzel’s Pretzels, there was still a 45-minute wait to talk to Santa. I’m sure some of those families were just looking for the photo op, but the majority of the people were there to give their kids access to the one person who just might bring them what they want, and from whom they don’t have to pretend that they want something practical.

Last December, I talked about the lessons your B2B tech company can learn from e-tailers on how to “grow the shopping cart,” so this year, let’s take a look at what your Sales and Services teams can learn from your local mall Santa.

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Topics: services, sales, data analytics, expand selling, cross-sell, upsell, relationship equity

How to Free Up Time for Your Sales Team to Be Heroic

Posted by Steve Frost on 11/9/17 5:00 AM

TSIA’s CEO, J.B. Wood, has often stated that “Growing Annual Recurring Revenue is a process, not a heroic act,” and we at TSIA believe this to our core. We have seen that the process, rather than any one individual or team, “owns” the customer. But when it comes to big deals, especially with new customers or new groups within your customers, your company’s top salespeople are still the only ones for the job. Only they can accomplish the tough tasks of gaining stakeholder alignment, negotiating price and contractual terms, and casting strategic visions. No one else at your company can do what your best salespeople can do. Unfortunately at most companies, that’s not what your salespeople are doing. 
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Topics: sales, expand selling, cross-sell, upsell

7 Steps to $7 Leads: Generating Cost-Effective B2B Opportunities Through Services

Posted by Steve Frost on 8/15/17 5:00 AM

At most technology companies, Services teams interact with customers at a rate of 5-15 times as often as their Sales counterparts. TSIA member companies are utilizing expand selling best practices to leverage these interactions to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in qualified upsell and cross-sell opportunities with their existing customers.  

This past spring, TSIA launched an in-depth survey on the practice of generating leads through Services touchpoints. It was the first study to go into depth around the practices and key metrics that are most tightly connected with success in this effort. While the specific findings of the survey are only available to TSIA members, I’d like to share one of the more interesting pieces of information that came to light from the survey data. We discovered how remarkably low-cost these Services-generated leads are. In the hopes of helping companies like yours understand what an incredible opportunity there is to be had in this area, we’re making this cost-of-lead data public. 

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Topics: technology services, sales, expand selling, lead generation, sales costs

Rethinking the Sales Funnel for Existing Customers

Posted by Steve Frost on 7/14/17 5:00 AM

This fall, TSIA will be digging deep into the topic of the Art and Science of the Customer Journey at our annual Technology Services World conference in Las Vegas. To introduce this theme, the rest of the TSIA research team and I will be sharing our thoughts on how it relates to our specific area of research, which in my case is expand selling. In this entry, I’ll be sharing a look at the journey from lead to closed deal for new opportunities with existing customers, how this process is different than it is for new customers, and why Services touchpoints have to be accounted for in the process.

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Topics: technology services, sales, expand selling, marketing, lead generation, sales costs, Art and Science of the Customer Journey, lead generation for expand selling

Touchpoint Calculus: Why Sales Can’t Do it for Themselves

Posted by Steve Frost on 5/9/17 5:00 AM

In an earlier blog post of mine, we explored the concept of Relationship Equity, which is the trust that Services Delivery teams have engendered with their clients that allows them to ask the questions that salespeople can’t. They are able to uncover problems, challenges, and opportunities that customers would generally withhold from a salesperson, or even their account manager. Customers tend to believe that Services people are there to help, not separate them from their money.

If companies can merely document and act upon the knowledge gained by their Services teams, they can tap into a new wellspring of potential upsell and cross-sell opportunities, at an extremely low cost. After all, these Services interactions are happening anyway, so there’s no money out of pocket being spent to acquire these leads. Today, I’d like to expand upon that post by exploring a second concept called “Touchpoint Calculus.”

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Topics: sales, expand selling, sales costs, touchpoint calculus

Grow Customers Through Marketing and Services Convergence

Posted by Steve Frost on 3/16/17 5:00 AM

In our multi-part blog series on organizational convergence, TSIA’s Phil Nanus and others have written extensively about the convergence of sales and services in an XaaS world. For a great primer on how these lines are blurring, be sure to read his blog post or Chapter 7 of the Technology-as-a-Service Playbook. A much less talked about topic, however, is the convergence of marketing and services, and their potential to work together to drive cost-effective leads and revenue from existing customers.
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Topics: sales, expand selling, marketing, TSIA Organizational Convergence Series, organizational convergence

XaaS Madness: Selling Yourself Out of Business

Posted by Steve Frost on 3/7/17 5:00 AM

As the NCAA Basketball Tournament shifts into high gear this month, millions of American workers will take extended lunch breaks to their favorite sports bars and restaurants to watch the games. This annual event provides not only an opportunity for binge-eating and work-ditching, but also affords a teaching opportunity about the dangers of the high cost of sales. Read on to see how the parable of a failed sports bar can be a cautionary tale for modern XaaS companies.

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Topics: XaaS (x-as-a-service), sales, expand selling, marketing, lead generation, sales costs

Relationship Equity: Why Services Can Go Where Sales Can’t

Posted by Steve Frost on 2/2/17 5:00 AM

Often times when we broach the concept of expand selling to TSIA member companies, the question is asked, “Why can't sales just do this for themselves? After all, upselling and cross-selling are, in fact, selling, and selling is what salespeople do.” Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Regardless of how hesitant they might be to join the revenue-generation party, expand selling initiatives have to be driven by the service delivery teams. In this post, I'll be digging deeper into why this is, beginning with the concept of “relationship equity”. 

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Topics: managed services, services, professional services, sales, field services, expand selling, relationship equity, trusted advisor

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