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Subscription management solutions are essential for businesses operating on a subscription model. However, finding the right solution that aligns with your specific needs can be a challenge. Similar to finance systems or CRM systems, it's crucial to ensure a proper fit for your business requirements.
Consider the example of a small e-commerce shop operating in a specific country. Investing in a comprehensive finance system with unnecessary modules, such as warehouse management, would not be cost-effective or suitable for your business model. This scenario is unfortunately common in the realm of subscription management.
Subscription management solutions come in various flavors and support different types of subscription models. It's important to find a solution that can adapt to your unique business requirements. For instance, a SaaS company dealing with multiple contract terms, various pricing models, and international customer operations will have different needs compared to a B2C enterprise.
Step 1: Evaluate the Current Situation
To evaluate your current situation and make an informed decision regarding a subscription management software, it is crucial to follow this recommended flow:
Identify the Source of Contract Data:
- Determine where the original contract data originates from (e.g., CRM or online platforms).
- Note who worked in sales and where and when the information was available.
Determine the Destination of Contract Information:
- Define where the contract information needs to be stored and managed.
Assess Weaknesses in the Quote-to-Cash Process:
- Identify weaknesses in the existing process (e.g., manual data entry, bad transfers of info between departments).
- Prioritize based on their impact on operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Check surrounding IT landscape of the tool:
- What other tools contain information that can inform a subscription management system and what systems need to be informed by the subscription management systems (e.g. CRM, Finance system, Payment Service Providers, Tax engines and Customer Success tools.)
Identify Relevant Stakeholders and Inform Them:
- Identify the key stakeholders involved in the quote-to-cash process, such as CS managers responsible for renewals, finance teams, and executives.
- Inform these stakeholders about the evaluation process and keep them updated on the progress.
Share relevant information and gather feedback from stakeholders to ensure their needs and concerns are addressed. For example, CS managers should be informed about how the subscription management software will impact renewals and customer retention, while shareholders and investors should be kept informed about the company's performance and how the software can contribute to financial growth.
- Involving stakeholders early on helps create a sense of ownership and ensures that their perspectives are considered during the decision-making process.
Step 2: Finding the right players fitting your business model
When it comes to selecting a subscription management software, there are several key factors to consider.
Remember when you built your SaaS Business? You probably found a need in a specific segment and started building your solution towards that. For Subscription Management Systems it is no different. They were originally founded to target a specific market segment, some for Telco operations, some for the more volume B2C and B2B business models that really focus heavy on online sales and quick payment check-outs and others that are really heavy on the complex pricing models, negotiated sales-heavy deals where every subscription can have a unique flavour. This is the best place to start, by asking the question, which segments did they serve and how did they originate, as their core workflow/UX and roadmap is likely to always be focused on that. Finding the best match at this stage is more crucial than all stages coming next in this blog.
You'll want to ensure that the software is a good fit for your specific subscription model. Look for a solution that is tailored to the needs of your subscription-based business. Consider the complexities and unique requirements of your subscription offerings and make sure the software can effectively handle them.
Another important aspect to consider is the software's ability to manage both historical and future pricing. Reflect on your past pricing models and any customers still on legacy plans. You'll want a software solution that can automate the management of these subscriptions seamlessly. Additionally, think about your future plans and whether you intend to introduce new pricing models, such as pay-as-you-go. It's essential to choose a software that can accommodate your evolving pricing strategies.
Flexibility and scalability are also key considerations. Look for a software solution that can adapt to the changing needs of your business. As you grow and your subscription volume increases, the software should be able to scale accordingly. Not only that but you may have plans to scale abroad, can the tool handle multiple currencies in reporting and invoicing, can it handle certain law legislations, tax rules and manage a hirarchie supporting multiple legal entities.
Automation is often one of the key words people google on and expect to come out of this. Reality is that all subscription management solutions can automate billing, can automate processes but can it automate the subscriptions you have, have had in the past and will have in the future?
Integration and compatibility with your existing systems is another crucial aspect to evaluate. Ensure that the software can seamlessly and bi-directionally integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) system, finance software, and payment gateways amongst others. This allows for smooth data flow and eliminates the need for manual data entry, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.
Customer support and training are essential considerations as well. Look for a software provider that offers reliable customer support and comprehensive training resources. This ensures that you receive assistance when needed and enables you to maximize the software's capabilities.
Finally, consider the cost-effectiveness of the software. Evaluate the pricing structure and determine if it aligns with your budget and offers value for your investment. Consider the long-term benefits and potential cost savings that the software can provide through efficient subscription management.
By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision and select a subscription management software that is well-suited to your business needs. It will help you streamline operations, improve efficiency, and effectively manage your subscriptions for long-term success.
Step 3: Feature Requirements
For businesses seeking a subscription management software, it is essential to follow a systematic approach in order to establish comprehensive feature requirements. One widely used methodology is the MoSCoW method, which allows for prioritization based on specific needs and objectives. Let's dive into how this approach can benefit your search for the ideal subscription management software:
MoSCoW Method for Subscription Management Software:Must-Have Features:
- Identify the core functionalities that are indispensable for efficient subscription management.
- Prioritize features that are crucial for the success of your subscription-based business.
- Examples: Multi-currency support, automated billing and invoicing, customer database management, recurring payment processing.
- Determine additional features that can enhance the overall effectiveness of your subscription management processes.
- These features can improve customer experience, streamline operations, and optimize revenue generation.
- Examples: Flexible pricing plans, customizable subscription tiers, automated customer notifications.
- Explore features that are not essential for immediate requirements but have the potential to provide added value to your subscription management system.
- Consider features that can differentiate your business and enhance customer satisfaction.
- Examples: Integration with customer relationship management (CRM) tools, advanced analytics and reporting, self-service customer portals.
- Identify features that are not within the scope of your immediate needs but may be considered for future growth or expansion.
- These features can be evaluated at a later stage when they align with your business goals.
- Examples: Partner portal, integration with third-party marketing platforms or e-commerce integration.
By applying the MoSCoW methodology, you can effectively prioritize feature requirements for your subscription management software. This approach ensures that critical functionalities are addressed first, allowing for seamless management of subscriptions, improved customer satisfaction, and optimized revenue streams. Additionally, it helps you identify potential enhancements and future scalability options for your subscription-based business.
Step 4: Engage in Focus-Demos and Sandbox Testing
When evaluating subscription management software, it's crucial to focus on the Must-Have (M) and Should-Have (S) features that are essential for your business operations.
Just like selecting players who excel in specific skills, have the software providers demonstrate their proficiency in these critical features. Evaluate how well they meet your specific requirements and align with your business goals. This evaluation process will help you shortlist the most promising options.
A crucial eye-opener for you during demonstrations will be to prepare (tougher) cases from your business today or future plans BUT, do NOT share them in advance of the meeting. Having your prospective supplier demo tough cases on the spot really tells you more about the software’s intuitiveness and can give you the feeling if YOU can work with this, not only smart pre-sales people
To gain a deeper understanding of how the software functions in practice, it's beneficial to engage in sandbox testing but only if you really go and do it, book a week or even just a few hours in your calendar to create a few scenarios for yourself.
In cases where it's challenging to make a decision based on the Must-Have and Should-Have features alone, it's time to consider the Could-Have (C) and Won't-Have (W) features. These are additional functionalities that may enhance the overall performance and potential of the software.
While Must-Have and Should-Have features serve as the primary criteria, Could-Have and Won't-Have features act as secondary factors that can differentiate between software providers and potentially bring added value to your subscription management processes.
By incorporating a focus on Must-Have and Should-Have features, considering Could-Have and Won't-Have features, and engaging in focus-demos and sandbox testing, you can make a well-informed decision when selecting a subscription management software solution. This comprehensive evaluation process ensures that you choose a software that meets your specific needs, aligns with your business goals, and has the potential to enhance your subscription management processes.
Step 5: Calculating ROI for a Subscription Management Software with Younium's ROI Calculator
When considering the purchase of a subscription management software, it is essential to calculate the return on investment (ROI) to make an informed decision. To assist with this process, Younium offers a dedicated ROI Calculator designed specifically for subscription management.
To access the Younium Subscription Management ROI Calculator and leverage its benefits, you can visit the following link: Younium's Subscription Management ROI Calculator. It provides a user-friendly interface to input your specific data and generate an estimate of the potential ROI tailored to your business.
By utilizing the Younium Calculator, you can gain valuable insights into the financial benefits of implementing subscription management software, helping you make a well-informed decision that aligns with your business objectives.