The market for software has changed. In times of economic uncertainty and drastic change, some organizations hesitate to make large investments in technology. They also might be unaware of what they need or how they need to build and refine their system landscape. This is a clear opportunity for technology providers to add value in new ways through optimization of current investments, and to help your clients know what they don’t know they don’t know. You know?
TECH INVESTMENTS ARE CHANGING
We’d be remiss to not mention why the market has changed, though at this point, we know. We’ve navigated a pandemic market; now we’re approaching an evolution relative to the overall global economy. The economy is temporarily slowing available budgets for large transformation programs. Organizations still have a desire and need to transform, but in a way that’s more economical.
ADJUST THE APPROACH
Just because the buyer journey has changed, doesn’t mean they’re buying less. But they are definitely buying differently. This doesn’t mean you need to change your product, it means you have to change the way you go to market.
Organizations with a now-established system — aka, first-generation buyers — likely focused on core competencies and parked the rest of the functionality for later. Second-generation buyers likely deployed their first cloud-based HCM solution or they’re working within a first gen buyer’s outdated setup. Either way, this software is due for updates and changes.
Those organizations yet to embark on an HR digital transformation journey are likely going to pick and choose and solve different problems, a la carte style, or conduct a full HCM transformation. Vendors need to adapt and practice flexibility in their offerings. It’s also imperative to educate and engage with the organizations you’re selling to. Remember, they don’t always know what they don’t know and might not even realize things could be flowing better with some optimization.
“They might not have an appetite for a $30 million full HCM system right now, but they still have a need for modules that solve a specific need. You can change your approach by pivoting how you position and sell. This is where the market is going and the opportunities are to close. You might not be hitting grand slams, but you can still hit singles and doubles.” Jessica Cheung, Client Partner and Consultant
POWER TO PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
We know that organizations want more help with optimization and less help with brand new installs. What does this optimization look like? From foundational work in the HR products to location strategy and virtual headquarters in a WFH world, optimization is tricky, thoughtful work — and it costs money. It’s also really important work that tinkers around the edges of systems. Tech vendors sometimes struggle to flex this muscle.
This is where professional services come in. Utilize this part of your business! Whether your PS team is in-house or contracted as a consultant, work with them to help organizations enhance what they have from a technology perspective. It’s not a new build, but maybe a core HR fundamental change that needs to happen. This is why PS is so critical. They know the organizations well. They know what they need and how you can fill that void. Working with them closes the loop and provides opportunity for new business within your existing client base.
“Organizations can’t do a big implementation project without a big investment, things have to go though capital expenditure approval, CHRO approval, CFO approval, board approval, etc. Software companies are not that close to their clients. The professional services consulting firms are. When you’re in a tricky environment like this, it’s important to listen to those who are close to the buyers and fine tune your offers so you don’t miss the mark with packages that are a five-year payoff.” – Harry West, Strategy Services Lead
THE OPTIMAL OPPORTUNITY OF OPTIMIZATION
Now is an important time to listen to your customers. They’re ratcheting down their spending. They’re looking at the totality of spend, not just in technology but in resourcing, process efficiency, etc. to find areas to save. But they still need their software. By helping them fully utilize it all, you’re taking advantage of an opportunity to upsell.
Your existing client base is a great resource. They’re already your customer, so it takes the hunt out of the equation. Plus, they’re the best focus group you’re ever going to get. There is power in engaging with and connecting with these organizations, not only to supplement their partnership with you with optimization, but to better your product and make it even more desirable and effective in uncertain times.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jessica Cheung works as a Digital HR Consultant and Client Partner at Leapgen, using her extensive 10+ years of relevant experience to help HR technology vendors understand the market and their opportunity. Jessica got her start in the HR tech space over a decade ago at ADP in the global/multinational payroll and HCM division, and she has actively been working to change the corporate HR landscape ever since. Some of her recent previous work experience includes jobs at The Marcus Buckingham Company and most recently, Ceridian.
Harry West plays a critical role in the success of both Leapgen and our customers. He has over 20 years of experience as a Human Capital Management (HCM) professional. Harry ran HCM Advisory and Change Services for Alight, ran the Workday and HCM Strategy consulting practices at Appirio, and was a Managing Consultant in the HCM Strategy practice at Knowledge Infusion, advising firms around the world on how to get the most out of their workforces through better alignment of people, process and technology. Harry was also a leader in the Product Management organization at SAP AG and SAP Labs for over 15 years, where he led the introduction of new HCM solutions for managing people and talent for users of the SAP Business Suite.
Leapgen is a digital HR company shaping the NOW of Work. Highly respected as consultants and advisors to the enterprise and the industry, we help our customers make HR digital. Leapgen helps leaders rethink how to better design and deliver workforce services and architect HR technology solutions that meet the expectations of workers and the needs of the business.