In my last post, I talked about some of the weaknesses of the ERP and CRM systems when it comes to managing renewals. Today, I thought I’d share five tips on how I managed to maximise renewals through one of my other companies Distribution Central (DC), which now account for about 43% of its total revenue.
The fundamental problem DC was facing was data. Data was stored in all different places and none of it was linked together. I had a few Inside Sales people exporting information into excel spreadsheets from multiple systems and then creating formulas to try and reconcile numbers to work out whether a contract or an asset had actually expired. I found this an extremely cumbersome process and decided there must be a better way. So….
Tip 1: Take CONTROL of your data
In order to get the most out of your existing customer database, you will need to take control of it and identify opportunities to streamline the processes. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an easy process and Distribution Central, it required mapping out the business processes supporting our configuring, quoting and ordering to get this right and is an ongoing improvement process. A detailed analysis of how these processes work in practice will provide insights and is the first step in helping you take control of your data. Automating processes as much as possible will also result in less data errors and manual workarounds.
Tip 2: Regular COMMUNICATION to your customer
It’s important to provide partners and customers with plenty of warning before a renewal/technology refresh is due and just because you’ve sent it once, doesn’t mean they’ve made a mental note to order it before it expires. Therefore, following up over several weeks can ensure the bill is not a surprise and increase the likelihood of it being paid on time or before time. My best recommendation is to start at 60 days for a renewal and then work down to 30 days then every two weeks even after expiry. This also allows for plenty of opportunity for the customer to come back to you with any corrections.
Tip 3: INCENTIVISE your team to up-sell/cross-sell
The renewal process can serve as an opportunity to validate data and review your customer’s assets and potentially identify areas to add incremental products or services. For example, if you’ve just released a new feature that the customer may find beneficial, the renewal time can be the perfect opportunity to communicate it.
Tip 4: ALIGN your global channel
If you are relying on partners to serve your customer base, it’s important that you communicate regularly with them. The more information they have, the better they can look after your customer. This includes providing them with a detailed view of the customer’s asset base and how they perform against their peers. Healthy competition can be a source of motivation as well as ultimately increase revenue for everyone.
Tip 5: Encourage FEEDBACK
Feedback in every system is critical for success, so getting a renewals processes right, like anything else, requires input from all parts of your channel. Asking for feedback is a great way not only to improve your processes, but also increase a likelihood of customer success. What I’ve found is that the more teams become involved through providing feedback, the more invested they become too and usually you’ll get a better outcome.
If you find that your renewal rate is hovering around 30-40% and that your process is not as efficient or effective as you’d like, please contact me and I can take you through the experience of our customers and their very successful outcomes post implementation of iasset.com.