What is the offer management

The Offer Management or Product Line Management function is a key component of every Managed Services organisation and is responsible for linking the delivery of services to what the customer wants. It is generally accepted that all managed services organisations should develop a strategic plan, or full circle plan for their business, each year. This plan should be driven by the offer management team. On the other hand, it is not advisable to have a separate strategy team or person in charge to drive this forward.


It needs to be part of the strategic actions as well as the key strategic actions in each part of the business.
It is not just the key strategic actions in each part of the business that need to be part of the strategic plan. Financial plans and key performance indicators are also an integral part.  A full understanding of the market size and opportunities is essential, but accurate information is not always easy to obtain. The community of analysts who truly understand and cover the managed services market is small and difficult to find. You won’t find the best analysts for the type of IT managed services you offer by looking at different analyst firms. If you don’t find an analyst you are confident in, you will need to go through a process of meeting and interviewing analysts from that firm.
If there are no confident analysts, then you need to go through the process of meeting and interviewing analysts in each industry.It can be very useful to review the strategic plan with the analysts before developing it.

Ideally, analysts should be asked to help develop the strategic plan, not to tell you whether it is good or bad after it has been developed. Ideally, they should help you develop the plan, not tell you after the fact whether it’s good or bad.  It is important to have a thorough understanding of your needs (including market trends) and the products of your competitors. Analysts’ reports can be helpful, but the best information comes from the field.


Of course, your salespeople and the customers they talk to are also very important sources of information. In general
It is not very difficult to understand the needs of the customers in the market you are targeting.
It can be difficult to truly understand what your competitors are offering, but that’s the most important thing. It is important to participate in the bidding process of clients with whom you are competing. It is also a good idea to talk to analysts.


What I have found to be effective is to work with a consultant to get your competitors to blind bid for the range of services you offer.It’s easy to find a consultant who can do a blind bid effectively. Areas where we can compare ourselves with our competitors include remote management capabilities, on-site support, offshore capabilities, consulting skills, attractiveness of productised offers, custom capabilities, transaction flexibility, price competitiveness, range of technologies supported, ability to include assets as part of the solution (on the books), corporate /market/marketing strengths.


Remote management capabilities, onsite support, offshore capabilities, consulting skills, attractiveness of productised offering, custom capabilities, deal flexibility, price competitiveness, breadth of technologies supported, ability to include assets as part of solution, enterprise / strength in the mid-market / SMB.

Another important aspect of your strategic plan is to identify upfront the markets you will and will not target. I think it’s important for anyone involved in your managed services business to understand that.

I’ve also struggled in the past with segmenting by industry. If true consulting is part of your managed services value proposition, then industry segmentation is more appropriate. More appropriate. Industry segmentation is also important when it comes to managing the application layer. You need to outline your differentiation in the market by analysing customer requirements and the competitive landscape in the area, defining your offer and value proposition. The key to the strategic plan is to show that there is a growth market for you to target, with a set of offers that differentiate you from your competitors and meet what your customers are looking for.

The rest of your strategic plan should outline your game plan in terms of business development, offers, delivery, tools and customer management.

The focus of the review should be to outline what you intend to do in each of these areas, the key actions, owners and metrics. It is important to have a few key metrics for each part of the business and to track them closely.
The final section of the strategic plan is the financial plan.

The financial plan should include a high-level financial position for three to five years as well as a detailed analysis for the next year. It will also include an analysis of the coming year. Revenue should be organised by product and by region Revenue should be organised by product and by region, with a review of basic and necessary new income.
The costs of each offer and the associated gross profit should be documented, together with investment plans.

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