When you're running a SaaS business or subscription model company, it can feel that subscription management takes up the brunt of your working hours. When using multiple programs for tracking metrics, accounts receivable, revenue recognition and all the other important aspects of subscriptions, you may have time for little else. But if you can manage your subscriptions more efficiently, you can spend less time crunching numbers and more time on important activities like gaining and retaining customers.
Set up automations and alerts
One of the best ways to run business more efficiently is to of course rely less on manual activities. As with any kind of company, manual activities can be slow and cumbersome, and this is especially true for subscriptions. As your portfolio grows and your customer amount increases, you simply do not have the time for manual reporting, manual billing, manual subscription changes, etc. Pretty soon you will be spending all of your time doing these tedious tasks. These are the main automations to think about with subscriptions:
- You want to be able to make changes to subscriptions and make automated updates to billing instead of having to go in every month to make the changes yourself. For example, if there is a certain price point that a new customer is at for the first six months of a contract and that price goes up after that time period, the change should happen automatically. You should not have to go into your system every month to change the pricing for each and every customer who will now be in a new pricing tier.
- You want to be able to rate usage, import consumption and also have that rated and billed so you don't have to do it manually. If you have to physically go into your system every month to see usage of each and every customer, you can spend a ton of time making calculations rather than setting up automated systems that can evaluate and bill accordingly without you needing to worry about it.
- You need to be able to do price changes on existing subscriptions and contracts, not depending on customer interaction. If every change to subscription offerings and pricing tiers required you to directly interact with each of your customers, you may end up spending an immense amount of time on this activity. If you can use reporting methods that can automatically identify opportunities for changes in subscriptions depending on preset parameters, you can significantly reduce time spent on unnecessary customer interactions.
Get better connectivity and clarity in your processes
In order to be able to set up comprehensive automations and run your total system for subscription management smoothly, you need the right capabilities for connectivity and established processes. This includes making sure that all parts of your organisation and the systems you use can interact with each other. It can be difficult to manage your subscription offerings through automation if you still need to manually fix and deal with your invoicing systems. When it comes to connectivity, there are two main areas that can help you manage subscriptions much more effectively:
- You need complete information on your invoices for each of your customers. If your system does not allow you to automatically include subscription details, usage fees, and other items itemized on your invoices, you may end up having a lot of back and forth with each of your customers. To have the best possible subscription management process, you want the customers to get the invoice and pay it without hassle, but also don't want to spend all your time manually updating and sending each invoice.
- You want a more connected process for each stage of the customer lifecycle. When bringing on new customers, typically it goes like this: sales negotiates the contract, it then goes to finance, then perhaps goes to another sales person or customer support, and then it gets archived. Instead of going into archive, you want to establish more interconnectedness so that you won't have to search for each customer contract or invoice when you need to make changes or reviews. Each of your subscriptions should be easily accessible with the right details and information at all times.
At the moment, you may be spending a lot of your time on subscription management, but in fact these tasks should be the least of your worries. When you make sure you're running subscriptions more efficiently with the right automations and connectivity and you're focusing on having the right information at the right time, you can avoid timely and costly manual tasks.
Want to learn more about how Younium can help you master the two keys of subscription management? Check out all of our Subscription Stack features.