What Can Help B2B Technology Teams Drive Better Contract Renewal Processes?
In a recent episode of our SalesStar Podcast, Brian Fitzgerald, Chief Revenue Officer at Augury spoke about the many drawbacks that current renewal processes within the B2B technology market sport with tips on what brands and technology providers should focus on to drive a better renewal experience for their end-users.
Catch the key snippets of the conversation here:
In a SaaS and Technology-driven world, ensuring a seamless customer journey and customer experience during the crucial stage of the contract renewal process can help a technology provider retain customers and drive more future growth.
–>Instant Tips that Help Ease The B2B Technology Sales and Renewal Process:
- Understand that the vendor point of view and user point of view are different: factors related to renewal and technology use from both sides are always different. A technology vendor wants to retain a customer to retain that sales amount. An end-user wants more value for their buck.
- From the vendor point of view, lock-ins can make it harder for end-users. Today’s B2B tech buyers want freedom and a more seamless buying cycle. It’s an interesting dynamic for tech vendors to understand and revisit.
- Case in point: Apple as a brand is kind of famous for using lock-ins, but in a different way. As an example: they have a unique connector for their devices and a restricted ecosystem when compared to other similar brands. Basically, once you’re in, it’s hard to get out!
- In B2B Technology, cloud lock-ins are also popular. Vendors primarily do this so their customers can’t go anywhere else. But this doesn’t work in the long term because customers are looking for value. If a technology vendor doesn’t provide true value, in terms of both, features and service, customers will still find a way to get out.
This is where technology providers can actually focus on setting the value proposition and features/services value-add more appropriately with the customer at the start of the journey. Communicating the value that was offered through the term at the time of the renewal can then allow technology providers to get a renewal through far more easily. If you force a customer to be your hostage (with lock-ins), it’s not going to work and the vendor will lose in the end.
Those technology vendors that make it easy for the customer to choose will win at this step of the sales renewal step faster and more seamlessly than others.
The key takeaway remains: Don’t rig the game with an unnecessary lock in.
–>Understand What the Vendor-Side Technology Sales Team Can do to Create a Better Experience During the Renewal?
When you sell your solutions: first understand the requirements of the customer and log those into your CRM or CDP. In most cases, a sales team will close the contract and then pass off the deliverable or execution of the service or support tasks to a separate customer success team or onboarding team.
Here’s what can help arrest common problems that crop up due to this:
Focus on documenting positive business outcomes:
What does the customer want to achieve with the solution you provide? Then document the value your technology provides. Clear communication from the sales to the customer success team can keep this journey more seamless because most times, the customer success team might not know why a buyer bought into their tool or product in the first place. This lack of information can make a vendor lose the customer at the end of the contract cycle or renewal stage.
And again, give the customer a choice but focus on delivering value, make them choose to come back to you but don’t force them. As long as you’re delivering value they want, they won’t want to start a new service contract with a competitor.
Value can come in different forms, from special discounts at the time of renewal to adding more value based features, capabilities and support services for the new duration of the contract.
–>Work on Providing Seamless Self-Serve Models or Subscription Models
Make it easier for a potential buyer to automatically understand more about your product or service and then give them the facilities to choose to buy what type of package they want.
Make it easier, for instance, to buy more licenses without the need to speak to a sales person. Customers want a seamless experience and technology providers who don’t understand this are going to have a negative impact on the customer’s mind.
Give the user the ability to be able to extract and share data easily with other users in the company through self-service tools and models.
The secret: The customer can be given the support from a technology vendor’s sales of after-sales team, but the customer should have the freedom to deploy and use the tool as they want.
Self-serve allows a brand to grow their global audience far more easily and scale, it reduces the burden that is otherwise placed on sales or customer service to manually follow through on renewals or support tasks.
It can lead to better margins too, because internal resources are then focused on new customer acquisition without wasting time on renewals of existing ones.
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