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Product thinkers in a services company?

Because you’re building someone else’s product.

Because in a technology services company, more often than not, your customer is a product manager or a business owner on the other side, looking for peers who can grasp their vision and shape their solution, than ‘vendors’ who would just provide coding services.

I have seen this in my experience at Codewave; prospects who approach us, first look for a certain sense of comfort in having a vision level conversation and a team that can vividly visualize their product in the first meeting. Once they have that comfort, they assess the other things – the how, the how long and the how much.

You’ve got to have more than just your past (portfolio) to convince businesses to work with you.

I’ve had a prospect even ask us – “What you’ve done for a hundred other companies, doesn’t guarantee that ours could be a success too.” That guy, needed to experience the peer comfort more than our pitch and that in my view, requires a fundamentally different way of looking at marketing and sales.

A traditional sales executive, trying to close a project deal would miss the whole point. A product thinker, would focus on having a conversation to understand the customer’s product vision and illustrate synergy to move things together.

There is a world of difference in both these approaches (the intent).

Benefits of having product thinkers in a technology services company:

1. Customers love it when they don’t have to explain everything

2. Your visual designers have deep context, to shape their work (beyond the specs)

3. Product thinkers start with why, make your development team see the whole picture

4. Attention to detail (to purpose), happens at every step during product development

5. You make deeper connections with businesses you’re working with

Today, most technology services companies, may not hire candidates with the word “product” in their profiles for business, marketing and sales responsibilities, most probably because their JDs would not have the word “product” in them. In reality, the qualities that seem to truly grow technology services business are:

1. An ability to look at what the person on the other side is envisioning, understanding the why

2. An ability to visualize the end user of your customer’s product, the technology experience the product would bring and the business benefits

3. An ability to demonstrate your team’s capability to build the product, in alignment with the customer’s vision throughout the engagement

That pushes me to think, should product thinkers look for opportunities only in product companies?

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