02/27/2019 In my experience working with different IT staffing companies over the years, I’ve noticed an almost universal theme: they tend to rely on the same pitch.
To be clear, I’m not saying IT staffing firms have nothing unique to
offer. It’s just that finding ways to communicate a compelling UVP seems
to be extra challenging in this industry.
But difficult isn’t the same as impossible. We’ve actually partnered with a couple of staffing companies
that were able to genuinely set themselves apart from their
competitors. We’ve also helped other staffing firms position their offer
with unique selling points as part of preparing their Callbox marketing campaigns.
what I’ll talk about in this short blog post. We’ll explore the main
reasons why IT staffing firms encounter enormous challenges when
differentiating themselves. We’ll also learn some proven ways staffing
firms can adapt to help them stand out in a sea of sameness.
Why Differentiation is Harder for IT Staffing Services
It’s easy to blame the continued commoditization of IT outsourcing
for the seeming sameness we’re seeing across the IT staffing industry.
After all, if you try to flip through different vendor websites, you’ll
right away notice that almost all their UVPs boil down to “faster,
better, cheaper”—which defeats the point of having a “unique” value
proposition in the first place.
it isn’t entirely the fault of staffing companies themselves. The way
that their target customers view the value of IT staffing services also
makes carving out a unique market position very difficult.
Most IT managers only typically
consider staffing issues as an afterthought, which means they tend to
have a very narrow idea in mind for what constitutes value. Oftentimes,
the (sole) objective is to minimize cost and nothing else.
cases where staffing considerations do enter the picture, it’s actually
not service quality that matters the most to a potential buyer, but
more immediate factors like RFP processes, transition phases, time to
ROI, lack of internal expertise, ability to meet deadlines, and risk of
project failures—which are selling points familiar to practically all IT
Related: Steer Your Managed IT Firm Away from Lead Generation Mistakes
How IT Staffing Firms Can Set Themselves ApartAgain,
it’s not easy but it’s not impossible either. IT staffing firms need to
get out of IT outsourcing’s race to the bottom. The only way to do that
is to set your offer or solutions apart from the competition. Here’s
how successful IT staffing firms make this happen:
1. Emphasize where you specializeAlthough
it’s hard to pin an exact number on this, the majority of IT staffing
firms tend to offer generic, undifferentiated services designed to fill
any technical need. While this strategy broadens your pool of potential
customers, it’s not going to help you stand out from the rest.
As discussed here, focusing on a specialized market does not mean you’ll limit your market reach, thus, minimizing your sales opportunities.
There are several ways (e.g.: niche lead generation or multi-channel marketing) that you can bring your offer to right customers – giving you more impactful results.
A smarter approach is to choose a
specific IT area where you can carve out a position as a unique provider
based on your expertise and your ability to tap into the right talent.
This can be done in one of several ways:
- Functional: Software development, networking, security, infrastructure, etc.
- Vertical: Healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, public sector, military/defense, etc.
- Technographic: Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle, AWS, etc.
- Firmographic: Startups, enterprise, SMEs, etc.
Related: The Best Lead Generation Tactics for Tapping B2B Niches
2. Place staffing in a project contextIn
many cases, IT staffing companies gain the most success from being able
to position their services in the bigger context of a project or
deliverable. Highlighting how (and how well) your solutions fit into the
greater scheme of things is a good way to set yourself apart from your
Going back to our case study – multi-channel lead generation for a staffing firm
By bringing attention to the client’s end-to-end staffing solutions,
Callbox was able to acquire new sales opportunities (through qualified
appointments) for the client albeit the oversaturated staffing services
Another way to align
staffing solutions with specific IT outcomes is for your firm to
perform the whole project itself. In this arrangement, you’re not only
providing the needed talent but managing the project and delivering the
end-product as well.
course, this greatly expands your responsibilities and risks (making it
not suitable for some staffing firms), but the rewards in terms of
improved differentiation can be worth it.
3. Focus on delivering experiencesClosely
related to the previous point, staffing services need to be positioned
as ongoing engagements instead of ad hoc or stop-gap solutions. Doing so
lets you signal your willingness to enter into longer-term commitments,
not just aim for a quick sale.
Packaging your IT staffing services
as best-in-class experiences also puts you in a better position to
attract higher-caliber talent since, aside from compensation, skilled IT
professionals also tend to gravitate toward companies that offer
rewarding work opportunities.
goes without saying that your staffing firm’s success depends on the
quality of talent you can access and provide to customers. So,
attracting the right people through delivering excellent customer
experiences is a win-win strategy.
Related: Multi-channel Customer Experience and How it Impacts your Lead Gen Strategy
there’s little your IT staffing firm can do about the market forces
behind the continued commoditization of IT outsourcing, there’s a lot
you can do about setting your services apart from the competition.
Better sales opportunities. Faster client acquisition.
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About This Author
If your company wants to grow, Callbox B2B lead generation and appointment setting solutions is right for you.Founded in 2004, Callbox is the largest provider of Multi-Touch Multi-Channel Marketing solutions for businesses and organizations worldwide. Its core competencies include Lead Generation, A…
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