Good subscription management is a part of sales and customer service
by Niclas Lilja, on Dec 21, 2018
For subscription businesses, reducing customer churn and increasing renewals and upsells are what leads to long term sustainable growth. And while managing renewals and upsells are often seen as sales activities, and customer service may be responsible for helping to reduce churn, these things should actually be considered as a crucial part of good subscription management.
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Good subscription management can make sales and customer service more efficient
One of the biggest problems for SaaS and subscription model businesses is that the sales process and customer service initiatives can be time consuming and inefficient. While scaling and needing to be agile, this can prove to be particularly problematic. Especially with B2B enterprise businesses, the sales process can be high-touch, which often equates to it being slow moving. But for existing customers, securing renewals and procuring upsells should not be a time consuming or difficult process. Many businesses today, however, are still relying on manual reporting and are lacking proper integrations, which can make opportunities less obvious.
With proper data management, streamlined import sources for data, and automations and alerts, sales and customer service can have access to the right information at the right time. This saves an enormous amount of time for sales representatives who can see which customers are nearing the end of their contract periods and may be primed for renewals, or which customers have high usage ratings and may need to upgrade to the next subscription tier.
By ensuring that subscription data is updating in real time, sales can spend less time sifting through information pertinent to finding sales opportunities. Much like lead generation tactics in marketing can assist sales with purchase-ready prospects, good subscription management can assist sales with upsell and renewal-ready customers.
One of the biggest issues for subscription and SaaS companies these days is poor management of customer service. With high competition across marketplaces, customer experience becomes as important as product pricing, quality, and value. If you are slow to address customer service issues, or aren't proactive in understanding where there may be problems, you may set yourself up to lose customers. By having better subscription management, you can see where there may be risks for delinquent accounts, which customers are under utilizing their products (which may be because of a technical problem), and take action before these customers are lost forever.
Good subscription management can make sales and customer service more personalized experiences
In high-touch sales and customer service for SaaS and subscription businesses, providing a personalized experience can make all the difference in retaining customers.
When you have a handle on your subscriptions and can manage all aspects such as usage, billing, and customer details easily, you can better understand each of your customers, even as the volume increases. An issue that many growing subscription businesses have is that before cash flow is secured, it may be impossible to hire enough account managers to ensure that each customer is understood and catered to. But with clearer subscription management, you don't necessarily need to have designated employees to oversee each customer, due to the accessibility of unique customer data by any employee at anytime.
Good subscription management isn't just about having a handle on your business to ensure revenue recognition and cash flow forecasting. With the right integrations and ability to quickly and accurately report on individual customers, you can utilize subscription management to make sales and customer service more efficient and effective.