[This is the second article in a series.]
We have had the distinct benefit of working for years in a very diverse and complicated ecosystem: the nonprofit ecosystem. “Nonprofit” is a tax status more than a business model or a coherent “industry” with a clear set of broad-spectrum “industry solutions.” Nonprofit “business models” include everything from organizations that deploy veterans for emergency relief, to ones that resell used clothes while providing work training, to ones that collect blood from volunteers. It is no wonder consulting firms struggle to “specialize in nonprofit needs.”
Micro-verticals are subdivisions of larger vertical markets such as nonprofit, healthcare or financial services. Each micro-vertical has unique needs, trends, and challenges that go beyond the more generic vertical challenges. These micro-verticals demand tailored solutions, owing to their specific needs, industry regulations, and competitive landscapes. Examples of micro-verticals in healthcare include: telemedicine, mental health tech, electronic health records, and home health care. Education micro-verticals include: higher education, community colleges, and K-12 schools.
Why Specialize in Micro-Verticals?
One example of an SI firm that is strongly focused on a specific micro-vertical is Provisio Partners. Provisio has built five solutions focused on the micro-vertical of human service agencies. With just a few clicks, they demo and install these solutions for customers, saving discovery, scoping, and deployment time. For each of these solutions they have included relevant ISV products that extend their solution and have made the purchasing process for these bundled solutions frictionless through partnerships with these ISVs.
For Salesforce SI firms, adopting a specialization strategy comes with many benefits. Let's delve into a few:
Deep Understanding of Customer Challenges
When Salesforce SI firms specialize in specific micro-verticals, they can truly understand the unique challenges their customers face. By continually working within these micro-verticals, firms can build an in-depth understanding of industry trends, regulatory requirements, and customer pain points. This accumulated knowledge allows them to offer clients targeted solutions that address their particular needs effectively and efficiently.
Building Credibility and Trust
Specialization helps Salesforce SI firms to eventually establish themselves as thought leaders within their chosen micro-verticals. Over time, firms can cultivate a reputation as trusted experts, or hire individuals that accelerate that reputation, making them the go-to choice for clients within these industries. This level of trust and credibility can be a significant differentiator in a competitive rapidly commoditizing marketplace for “implementation services.”.
When SI firms specialize in specific micro-verticals, they can focus their innovation efforts more effectively. With a deep understanding of industry-specific challenges and trends, these firms are well-positioned to develop novel solutions that push the boundaries of what's currently possible.
If you are a firm that focuses on subverticals or micro-verticals we would love to hear from you. What do you focus on and what are some of the struggles you have had and benefits you have found in finding your focus areas? What questions do you have for us or this community related to discovering your specialization?
Next week we will take a closer look at the art and journey of building repeatable solutions that can be leveraged across more than one customer.