Cherry picking accounts up for renewal is the backbone of any annuity sales business. The very nature of subscription based hardware, software and services sets companies up for a predictable, bankable revenue stream. The customer is already reaping the benefits of your products. Annual contract renewal should be the easiest sale of all.
In reality, though? It's not. Net New Sales is an expensive process of contact, education, number crunching and to some extent, schmooze. Without an automated system, however, Renewal and Expand Selling (1) require hands-on data input, spreadsheet updates and analysis, manual report generation and interpretation.
How much time can your Renewals Team afford to put into generating meaningful forecasts through hand-directed investigation and study?
Unexpected Benefit One: Data Optimization for Self-Managed Forecasts
If you're relying on Supply Chain and Channel Partners to input monthly and annual sales and renewals data, you understand the pitfalls of not being able to generate your own forecasts, according to your own business rules.
Distributors and Resellers, for example, needn't rely on vendors for Pipeline of Opportunity and other calculations. They will be able to originate them internally through the automated examination of sales histories and the programmed captioning out of specific qualifiers, behaviors and prospects.
An added bonus: vendors can accurately forecast revenue opportunities, behavior trends and other managed data insights by Channel Partners across their Partner network.
Unexpected Benefit Two: New Opportunities in Old Accounts
The cost of upsell or Expand Sell should be significantly lower than the cost of Net New Sales. This is true only if historical account data is first loaded into your Renewal Management Platform (RMP).
Renewal Management Platforms can be automated to routinely run campaigns that will generate opportunities—Expand Sells, Renewals, Reconnections, Lost Accounts and others—from your existing accounts. You set your own goals and criteria. Reports generate seamlessly, saving you the time and pain of in-putting and sifting through accounts manually.
Unexpected Benefit Three: Improving Data Across Multiple Systems
A properly implemented and optimized RMP consolidates multiple data sources to create a comprehensive library of the company's user base. Unlike market share, which reflects sales over any specified time period, a company's install or user base reveals the number of units actually in use.
Assuming there are integration points, any data corrections or improvements in the RMP can be made across all other systems at the same time, improving the overall quality of your ERP, CRM and other classifications. One and done, eliminating omissions, errors and saving countless hours of manual searches and keystrokes.
Unexpected Benefit Four: Better Understanding Your Existing Business
By consolidating all pertinent data in one platform, a suitably developed and managed RMP should give you the ability to track, view and generate reports on key account insights, geographies, quantity based tracking and other buying drivers. You can also use a properly optimized system to seamlessly monitor Channel Partners' selling trends.
You will not only build a basis for more astute forecasts, but you will also be able to study and analyze more intimate customer, market and trending insights as they directly impact your bottom line. You decide what you want to track. A well-governed RMP will yield not just the obvious, but more subtle, insightful and industry specific insights.
Unexpected Benefit Five: Partnering with your Renewal Management Platform Supplier to Address Possible Business Process Inefficiencies
Simply stated, when you begin implementation of an optimized, appropriately designed and maintained RMP, your supplier should be there to educate and share expertise. An element of consultancy should exist as well. Your RMP partner should give you the benefit of their industry best practices and strong insights into the nature of a successful, fruitful program.
Things to look for? Leadership, the proactive collaboration to meaningfully reduce manual activities and maximize efficiency, and the knowledge you need to determine the specific parameters of your system.
Your RMP should be more than software. It should be a true solution, incorporating what and how data should be collected and mined and how and when to generate meaningful prompts and reports, sales and lost accounts. Channel Partner and vendor tracking should be discussed and managed. The quality of ERP, CRM and other systems should be improved by your system and its knowledgeable implementation.
That RMP software should not leave you standing entirely on your own. It was developed as a solution to a business problem—an opportunity for improved data management, upgraded to maintain and grow your business. What better source than the people who developed it to advise you on what to expect—and how to maximize the opportunities your system provides?
- Executive Insight: Expand Selling, TSIA-02546, February 8, 2016, ©Technology Services Industry Association/www.tsia.com