By Colin Roe, SVP Global Service Delivery Operations
Everyone knows cost savings are top of mind when end customers are ready to outsource IT services. Prospects ripe for such models, however, still often drag their feet for a variety of reasons – whether justified or not. The history of outsourcing contributes to related fears and misperceptions. They’re almost ever-present yet far from insurmountable.
Think about the “first wave” of outsourcing, when companies rushed to offshore. Language and cultural barriers resulted in massive declines in customer satisfaction. Large global firms like Capgemini and Accenture, for example, then stepped in at considerably higher cost levels to fill the voids. Results improved, but the bottom-line basis for outsourcing became less convincing. It all gave rise to what represents a “third wave” of value and opportunity for solution providers.
The cost-benefit of this new wave is undeniable. Top-caliber services are within reach today without gouging annual budgets. A lot has changed to make it all possible. The mix ranges from faster processes and more skilled technicians to stronger resource utilization as well as sharper, more nimble delivery systems.
GCI has it down. The third wave is our domain – including helping our partners know how best to overcome customer objections that linger from the precursors that set today’s new stage for outsourcing. Keep the history lesson in mind; know what stigmas come with the territory. Address all avenues of customer reluctance. Talk about them up front.
Infographic - 5 Signs You Should Outsource that Service
The Heart of the Matter
Human emotions – not just a company’s bottom line – are at stake when outsource models are under consideration, accepted and rejected. Decision makers frequently worry about internal morale, a factor from multiple standpoints, including their own. They may not want to lose longer-term IT workers with extensive institutional knowledge, for example. No one wants to watch a solid player and substantial investment leave the building, especially if he or she ends up with a competitor.
Again, cost savings will drive initial thinking. Other thoughts will delay action. Breakdowns in morale will be pervasive if you encounter them with an outsource partner on the SLA front. Decision makers always fear the unknown. Their trust can be hard to gain regardless of how many referrals that brought you to them. Deal with these worries before they arise later in the sales cycle. Methodically address all aspects of the buyer mindset. GCI applies the right steps, actions and resources to back your outsourcing model(s) in ways that preserve your customer relationships while adding promising new growth paths.
Proactively addressing customer concerns about outsourcing should go beyond technical thresholds. IT resources can remain valuable in other capacities, for example, even though that can be a stretch in some circumstances. Still, don’t underestimate the power of the three “R’s” as you help prospects understand what makes the most overall “sense” in addition to the “dollars” saved:
- Re-deploy. There is tremendous value in keeping high-potential employees. Their insight, in addition to their technical skills, can be valuable assets to sales, marketing and other functions. Work to establish those employees in positions across the company to fuel additional growth.
- Re-engage. High-potential employees like to be challenged. Put them to the test, and feed their energy and knowledge into completely new functions. Technical brains can also be extremely helpful in solving complex long-term business problems.
- Re-train. IT employees know your company, they know your products and/or services, and they often know your customers. Maybe they don’t know how to sell it all, but they know it. Teach them how to leverage that knowledge in a different way.
We’ve already seen the three “R’s” work for our partners and their customers. Knowing and supporting them reinforces your professionalism and broader problem-solving image as you bring outsourcing options to the table. Take a 360-degree approach from the inside out, delving into every aspect of the buyer psyche, and come out on top with the scale, depth and value GCI delivers…worldwide.
If you plan on outsourcing part or all of your IT services, GCI is one good place to start.