The Role of Product Packaging in CX

So much ink is given to onboarding, kickoffs, QBRs, and playbooks, but it's hard for CX to drive revenue expansion without the packaging to support it.


Joseph Loria

4/28/20232 min read

Wait, product packaging? That’s the role of Product, or Marketing, or Product Marketing, right?

❌ Wrong ❌

It’s collaborative, a team effort.

And you cannot allow yourself as CX or CS to be shut out of that process. Why not? Because the right packaging of licensing and services (whole product) is critical to having a natural and simple customer revenue expansion process.

Is product packaging your first focus, or even an early one? No. But once you’ve nailed time to value and you have a prescriptive methodology that clearly exposes customer risk, it’s time to take a hard look at how you package up your licensing and services.

Don’t Oversell

The first law? Don’t oversell. Giving a customer the entire platform of features and functions on day one only serves to:

  • 🤕 – make them feel the pain of adopting so much, and;

  • 💰– sacrifices expansion revenue comes with incremental value attainment.

Sure, overselling looks great on a new bookings report, but it sours the customer relationship from the get-go, and it handcuffs the post-sale team. Don’t force customers to buy items that:

  1. they cannot yet understand the value of, and;

  2. cannot yet realize the value of.

You must partner closely with Sales, Product, and Marketing on packaging. There’s a delicate but necessary balance to strike between net new revenue and ongoing revenue expansion.

Show Value, Reap Rewards

Once you’re not selling the entire platform up front, then you have to know how value gets doled out to a customer over time.

  • 💡– What key use cases need adoption, and in what order?

  • 💡– What are the primary levers that drive value attainment?

This is your prescriptive methodology – knowing the true drivers of value and knowing exactly how an organization utilizes those over time.

A prescriptive methodology is vital in CX, because:

  • 🏅– It’s your method of assessing risk and ensuring success;

  • 🏅– It’s your way of turning incremental value attainment into revenue.

So, if you’re one of those who think that CS is not in the “sales” business, just consider this:

  • Customer Success => Value

  • Value => Revenue

The link is indirect, but it is there.

If you know how your customer consumes your platform over time, you can match your licensing and services packaging to that process of maturation. Reserve those later-on licenses and features for upper package tiers, and include enablement services for those new items.

Be Agile and Iterate

Full disclaimer: this is not an easy process, and it’s hard to get right the first time. Being agile and iterating over time are the keys to success. This is where intense cross-functional collaboration helps.

When I went through this process with a startup company, I met regularly with my Product and Marketing peers to define packaging, licensing, included services, add-on features and services, etc. We didn’t nail it the first time, but a year later, after multiple iterations, we arrived at something that worked beautifully.

  • ✅– Base packages drove the right net-new ACV (no overselling);

  • ✅– Our customer process held them accountable to value (prescriptive methodology);

  • ✅– Package upgrades naturally followed value attainment.

You can do the same. Just include packaging as a key component of your strategy.