Blog post

Selling Salesforce Consulting as a Subscription: How We Do It (Part 2)

By 
Kristen Tippit

In Part 1 of this post, we shared some of the history with how we arrived at our subscription model (see Part 1 here). In this post, we'll dive into some specifics about how this works.

Subscriptions are quite popular these days. We can now have a subscription to almost any product you can think of! From underwear (MeUndies), to flowers (Bloomsybox), to wine (Winc), to even ice cream (Jeni's Splendid Pint Club), there is a subscription package for all of us!

But what about subscription consulting services? That's what OpenTent decided to try and this is how we do it.

When we begin a conversation with a new client, we give them a guide to how we work upfront, because we always want to ensure it's going to be a good fit for everyone. Within the guide, we outline our Quarterly Auto-Renewing Subscription.

The subscription focuses on 4 main components:

Capacity Units: For the sake of internal planning, and to help our client understand what paying more would enable for them we measure work in units. The units are in increments of 25% of a consultant’s available time / quarter. After discovery meetings, we provide an estimate of what different levels of these units will yield in services. The subscription size can also increase or decrease with client needs over time. Capacity Units are a proxy for relationship depth, and help us do internal planning for how many people we need on our project teams.

Holistic 3P Model: This is the bedrock of our work philosophy. Our 3Ps are People, Process, Platform. Keeping this model at the forefront of what we do allows us to focus on organizational goals and outcomes, rather than projects.  Our work is done by a highly collaborative team which includes Engineers, Coaches, Project Manager, and a Relationship Lead / Organizational Strategist.

Quarterly Objectives + Agile Iteration Cycles: We work in relationship with our clients. In this spirit, we spend time meeting each quarter to mutually agree on objectives and scope next steps. Our team operates in two-week Iteration Cycles (which equals five cycles per quarter). This ensures we are working within an agile framework and providing ample communication about current work timelines and updates.

Relationship-Centered: We want our clients to feel confident in our work for them. So, we literally include this message on our invoices: "If you feel you received less value than this invoiced amount, please pay for the value you feel you received." We believe in the power of encouraging feedback and have a standing feedback cycle - sending surveys every two weeks, monthly, and quarterly. We also get to know our clients, celebrating milestones, birthdays, and producing a 'story of the quarter,' outlining impacts made by work completed.

And that's the gist of it! We have learned SO much from instituting this pricing model and we will share those learnings (both what's working AND what's challenging) in Part 3 next week!

To learn more about OpenTent's way of Working Out Loud, get in touch here!

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