Escape the B2B Renewal Merry-Go-Round – Automate Long Tail Purchases
Back in the days when software applications and operating systems were bought outright and installed locally, sales teams only had to focus on acquiring new business. Depending on the licensing model, users might have to pay for a major upgrade, but generally, software licenses were bought just once.
Now, not only software – but many services – are available on a pay-as-you-use basis. While that’s great for end users who don’t have to find the cash upfront for a service, it also means vendors are now on an endless treadmill of ensuring license payments and renewals happen – that’s an activity that has its own specific challenges, and some benefits too. One advantage occurs when it comes time for a customer to renew, be that monthly, annually, or whenever. That point in time represents an opportunity to check in with each customer to make sure all is well, and perhaps see if they’re in the market for an upgrade or extra service.
However, B2B sales teams are busy. So, what tends to happen on the sales floor is that teams are tasked with acquiring new business in addition to handling the minutiae of renewing licenses and service agreements. That stretches team time very thin, and in many cases, a significant number of opportunities are lost, especially with smaller clients. Reaching out personally to every user of a product or service can become effectively impossible, and many sales professionals inevitably end up only able to target big-ticket clients when their agreements come to term.
There’s also the issue of renewing licenses for customers who made their initial investment through a channel partner or indirect channel. There’s a risk of channel partner processes not aligning with the original vendor. A lack of communication can even lead to the somewhat ironic situation where the customer has to actively chase down different organizations to keep a service working or ensure continuing user support.
While the phrase “auto-renewal” might suggest an impersonal, second-rate customer service, there are platforms out there that combine efficiency in respect of billing (and renewals) and personalization. The cleverbridge subscription commerce solution is one way that vendors can manage the payment details of all new sales and renewals. It combines automated CPQ with personalized payment processes and allows companies to both preserve the brand’s value with efficient, accurate and personal messaging, while maximizing revenue through automated billing and license renewal.
cleverbridge interacts with sales platforms and CRMs like NetSuite, HubSpot or Salesforce, and can draw information from those systems to inform options sales teams can set for each customer, including cross-sells or up-sells. Automated and unique payment URLs get sent to named individuals registered for each account, who can pay simply and quickly.
Sales departments can set a contract value above which clients are flagged for a team member’s attention so that big-ticket clients can get extra focus. That said, self-service is an increasingly popular way of interacting with vendors of even business-critical systems from the operating system upwards. Therefore, cleverbridge provides that option for any client regardless of size or whether they bought direct or through a channel partner.
There are always issues with keeping payment details on record with any online payment, and it’s easy for vendors to get lost among the details like changing payment types, expired cards, and so on. So, what should be a smooth and secure payment experience crumbles. As a professional payment gateway provider, cleverbridge handles issues like PCI compliance to hold payment details safe over contract terms, and its systems handle time drains like expired cards and auto-repeating payment failures. Therefore, software or service vendors can concentrate on acquiring new users and maximizing revenues from existing user bases rather than hand-tracking payments.
There are, of course, many thousands of payment providers out there, but cleverbridge is one of the very few specialists for pay-as-you-use service or XaaS (whatever-as-a-service). Rather than a bolt-on to a system devised with B2C online retail in mind, cleverbridge was created for vendors operating with this new (now, perhaps not-so-new), PAYG, cloud-inspired payment model.
In the next article in this series on Tech HQ, we’ll take a deeper dive into exactly what cleverbridge offers to B2C and B2B digital retailers and explore some of the possibilities that help companies maximize renewals for every customer – not just the big-ticket players.
We’ll also look at how companies are saving by not having to chase down payments and how every one of cleverbridge’s clients receive fully personalized service.
Keep watching this space for that information, or if what you’ve read here has sparked your interest, get in touch with cleverbridge to see how your revenue streams can be maximized.