Business Description: Cleo is a leading provider of enterprise data integration solutions with capabilities across B2B, applications, cloud, and big data integrations through a single platform integration suite.
The Challenge: Cleo’s professional services business was struggling. Customers struggled to estimate their pro-services needs and projects were constantly under-scoped and over budget. As a result, customer and technical support representatives felt overworked and frustrated. The worst part? Cleo’s pricing model meant that the customers who needed the most support weren’t paying for the services they used.
- Turn the services side of the business from a cost center to a revenue-generator.
- Ensure that customers paid their fair share of customer support costs.
- Reduce the burden on support representatives and build morale by helping reps feel like the work they did mattered.
Our Approach: In partnership with Alpine, Cleo VP of Customer Experience Matt Beaudette and Head of Global Services Angela DeWeese gathered for a two-day workshop focused on pricing. Drawing on Matt and Angela’s knowledge of Cleo’s customers and resource allocation, and Alpine’s experience helping multiple companies restructure their pricing models, the group was able to brainstorm and build solutions that accounted for all stakeholder needs within a couple of days. They mapped out Cleo’s service offerings and add-ons for their range of customers and created a matrix where they bundled different offerings and features into packages across three tiers.
The Outcome: Pricing is about more than just making money, it’s about shifting customer behavior to affect other parts of your business, including employee morale. Alpine helped the team redesign their pricing from a bill-for-service model to subscription tiers with variable rates for overtime and holiday work.
Cleo rolled out the changes over the first half of 2020, starting with simple changes to their price list. Now customers can choose from three pricing packages depending on the predictability of their services needs. While certain packages are more cost effective, but have high hourly rates, others have a higher price and include a lot of buffer hours if needed.
The new pricing model meant that customers paid their fair share and overworked service representatives were able to monetize their efforts. Reps also had the tools to manage their workflows and to more accurately scope their own projects. Customers who didn’t need customer support didn’t pay for it, and those who did need professional services were happier because they got time and attention from expert service representatives who weren’t overworked.
As a result, Cleo’s services side of the business became a revenue generator over the course of 2020. Customers also began paying up front, which helped increase Cleo’s working capital and likely helped them remain more liquid during the uncertainty around the 2020 pandemic and significantly improved gross margins.
- The workshop worked. We saw the power of joining experience (from Cleo leaders) and expertise (from Alpine’s in-house consultant) to create an action plan and implement it.
- Sometimes focusing on solving a problem in a short “sprint” is more effective than drawing out the work and dividing it into separate workstreams.
- Alignment keeps projects moving. Matt and Angela sat on the same side of the table as Ian, and all three shared the same objectives.
The Cleo project changed the way we implement our playbook at Alpine. Rather than act like internal consultants, downloading information and then producing solutions in isolation, we work alongside leadership teams to solve problems together, often saving time and energy which allows us to solve problems faster and help companies thrive.
The success of this workshop inspired us to create four workshops focused on monetization (fixing pricing and product), lead generation (fixing sales and marketing), value propositions (competitive positioning, messaging, and alignment), and market strategy (setting a five-year plan).