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Focusing on Products Over Services

Alignment
Customers
Innovation / Experiment
Cultural Differences

2 November, 2021

Bruno Lichot
Bruno Lichot

20+yrs Product Management | Digital Transformation | Product Evangelism | Software Development Lifecycle | Collaboration & Empowerment | Helping Enterprises to Create a Customer-Centric Product at PexaPark

Bruno Lichot, Chief Product Officer at :hiperstream, recalls his experience transitioning an organization into a global product company and securing new investments.

Problem

At a previous company, I worked in the innovation department creating new products with startups using technology and mentorship. A client wanted to bring their organization global, transform their services into products, and obtain new investments. The leading investor asked me to join the operation and help the company transition. Transitioning was challenging as the company had not interacted with licensing or consumption before releasing the product. The company was unaware that its services were dealing with a broad market and needed to be honed in.

Actions taken

The first step is to question how our company can address this market with products in place of service. We determined why we had services and products and what we were looking to solve. From there, we decided what product could deliver value and who would be affected. Initially, our product was a broad mass-marketed initiative, but after asking these questions, we could target a specific industry. Our company was able to deliver more value to our customers when working within a particular industry.

Quickly we realized that there were many different approaches and products we could create, so we formed teams based on each product. When delivering products, there are various indexes from services. As a result, we started different approaches and separate budgets for each product we would release. Our company had to get up to date with licensing and consumption related to products. Services, on the other hand, acted as trusted advisors for customers.

As we proceeded to understand our new company shape, we began marketing our product. We started by determining whom we were talking to and where we would talk to them. The approach for the marketing became more sales-like for our company, and they created more playbooks. Our marketing acted as a funnel to the lead generation for our sales team. We had to align our product marketing and sales team in order to scale our product in the direction we wanted.

Our company increased our customer service team, who were not related to products but instead required to understand customers' business to be trusted advisors. We have been making this change within the last three years, to increase product sales over services. In 2019, our company became profitable and grew by over twenty percent. This is thanks to our company automating most things we can do and narrowing down our customer market.

Lessons learned

  • When creating a new product or transitioning a business, you need to ask yourself why, who, and what. Why you are doing this, to whom you are doing it, and what you deliver to them.
  • When working for an organization that provides a service for a company, empathize with the customer journey. Your objective should be to provide your client's customer with an increased experience, which will benefit your client and your company. If you relate your success to your customers, you will be more likely to achieve your goals.
  • During the transformation from service to product company, there is a mindset reset that needs to happen. Those that do not want to stick with the change will leave for themselves when given the opportunity.
  • Innovation tends to empower people. In broad terms, we uplifted our company by shifting our services to products. More specifically, we empowered our team by focusing on our company's direct impact, which was great motivation for our team.

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