A couple of weeks back, I discussed why it’s important to close your renewals on time. And although it is ideal to close them on time, implementing a rigorous renewal process to boost your closure rates is actually not that easy.
So, in this blog I thought I’d share a few tips on how to help you close them on time:
1) Segment your database by maintenance end dates
It’s no use letting your customers know two days before their renewal is due, and expect to close it on time. Most large organizations have lengthy approval processes and purchasing systems that need more than a few days in order to complete the transaction. Ideally you would segment your list by expiry dates, and trigger the first notification of a renewal at a minimum of 90 days before the due date. If you’re operating via the channel, then the more notice the better, so you may like to schedule this at 120 days out to optimize renewals.
2) Validate the asset list
I realise this sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many customers we work with whose asset lists are not up-to-date. Above all the renewals business is all about knowledge, so accurate data is critical and without it your renewals teams will be hamstrung. Rather than be overwhelmed by the volume, load whatever you have in to a system like iasset.com and cleanse small amounts as you go.
3) Leverage your channel for data and information
Following on from the last point, leveraging your channel to help “crowdsource” your customer asset lists can be a great way to build accurate asset data quickly. Channel partners are already used to providing POS information, so perhaps incentivising them to share asset information about your products will help improve the quality of your data. Collecting renewals on time benefits everyone in the channel, so good partners are only too happy to help.
4) Be pro-active and responsive
Unfortunately renewals rarely close by themselves and often require multiple follow-ups before the quote is even reviewed. Using a renewals system will allow you to pro-actively follow up with customers and help bring focus to your renewals. In addition, it’s common that several iterations occur before the customer accepts the quote. In these cases, it’s essential to turn change requests and updates around as quickly as possible.
5) Use technology
This list wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning the power of technology. Building accurate asset lists, leveraging data from channel partners as well as proactive notifications can all be streamlined using a recurring revenue management software. This can automate a lot of the process using fields routinely captured in your ERP/CRM systems. I always think the boring parts of business can be automated, and will lead to better performance in the long-run.
In summary, if closing on-time renewals is important to you, these tips will help you focus on areas to improve. Firstly, it comes down to how clean your data is, how well you engage your channel to chase down the opportunities and finally how much you can automate. After all if your channel is aligned, you just need to provide the tools to drive them!