I love the simplicity of the phrase, “service provider”. A service provider, or SP, is really nothing more than a provider of service. Basically, any company that provides service to others would fall into this category. However, in common vernacular it really is referring to telephone companies, cable companies, cloud providers, and others. It comes from the day when ISDN and dial-up ISPs (Internet Service Providers) were prevalent in the 90’s. We dropped the “I” and they are now just SPs, because the services they offer have expanded and evolved over time.
These service providers must constantly be demonstrating to their subscribers that the services they offer provide real measurable value. Basic services such as voice, video, and high-speed data have become the commodities of today’s age and price is usually considered over value. However, these new services like cloud applications, managed IT services, Security-as-a-service, and the plethora of other next-gen services all should create measurable value for the consumers of the service.
As an SP, the key to understanding and demonstrating the value created is to first fully understand your customer. What I mean by that is to fully know who in the organization is making the buying decision, what they are being measured on for success, and what their core goals are for the business. As a seller you can then take this information and thoughtfully design a solution that both hits the margin you need and, more importantly, creates an outcome for the customer that helps them achieve their goals and creates measurable impact on what they are being measured on.