I started this blog series out by addressing the 4 Reasons Why ERP Systems Can’t Process Recurring Revenue. As we work through all the ways you can maximize your renewals success, let's move on to the number two mistake: your CRM.
CRMs have grown in popularity today, offering companies a tool to track and manage relationships with their customers. They provide a single view of a customer across the entire company and help sales teams go beyond the initial sale and better understand the customer.
While this information is invaluable to organizations, it is largely within the domain of net new product sales. A CRM system's functionality is primarily for tracking people and opportunities for a smaller number of larger sales than renewals, with data focused on contact information, lead qualification, customer budgets, and progression through the sales funnel.
Although enterprise-grade CRMs offer the ability to be customized to suit your individual business processes, the off-the-shelf product is not designed to manage renewals.
CRM systems don't track required renewal fields, which include:
- Serial Numbers (e.g. software license numbers, support contract numbers, or all related channel parties involved in the transaction): In the context of a renewal, this information is essential for tracing ownership of the software and the physical location of the product.
- Maintenance End Dates: To accurately pre-plan renewals (indeed any kind of recurring transaction) you must know what the expiry date is.
- EOx: Track and alert for products that are coming up to End of Sale/End of Life.
In addition, typical CRM systems don't perform several functions that are critical to any renewals program, including:
- Automatic Renewal Notifications: Data becomes static in a CRM, not dynamic. A CRM cannot trigger renewal notifications at regular intervals (90, 60, 30, 15, 7, and 1) – neither when the warranty is close to expiry nor when the following year renewal is due.
- Install Base Management: The CRM cannot be programmed to proactively trigger notifications when assets reach end of life or end of support with associated new campaign details.
These systems are not designed to support renewals, with a much larger quantity of opportunities to track with a lower individual value, but a higher net value overall. As a result, renewals teams end up manually piecing together data from multiple systems, including the CRM and ERP, often relying on spreadsheets that are time-consuming and prone to data error.
Is the cost of customizing your CRM worth the investment when a purpose-built application is available?
iasset.com integrates with your CRM and draws the relevant information from any other system (such as your ERP), ensuring your renewal data is consolidated into one platform that can be seamlessly tracked and managed throughout the entire product lifecycle.
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