SaaSOptics Blog

Don’t Miss the Low-Hanging Fruit—Five Best Practices for SaaS Renewals

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 4, 2017 2:37:03 PM / by Clayton Whitfield

You’ve worked hard to acquire your customers, but holding onto them through multiple renewal cycles is really the key to subscription business success. Many SaaS businesses rely on auto-renewals to support the business. This is integral to the subscription business model, but it doesn’t mean you can kick back and relax. Common pitfalls related to renewals include:

  • A lack of data or bad data which prevents you from seeing accurate renewal rates.
  • Relying on untrained non-sales staff to handle renewals.
  • Poor processes (based on the above) that result in customer contracts expiring without a sales call.
  • Absence of knowledge about the best way to engage renewing subscribers.

Best practices for managing SaaS renewals actually goes back to the beginning of the relationship.

1) Follow your customers after on-boarding. Take a look at how they are using your software. Establish metrics that can help you analyze customer usage and overall satisfaction. If customers are not utilizing the software, find out why.   

2) Monitor your customer contact points. How often do you get in touch with customers? How does this intersect with service expiration dates and renewal notices? If you’re only contacting customers right before their service expires, and your renewal rate is lower than it could be, a more proactive communication strategy can help.

3) Make sure you have full visibility into the subscription lifecycle—from order to renewal, especially if you have complex or event-driven on-boarding scenarios. You need to know, at-a-glance, exactly which subscribers are up for renewal. Then your team can take action to process them manually or set them up to auto-renew.

4) Automate the flow of new orders, renewals and subscriptions from Salesforce to your subscription management solution. Spreadsheets and manual processes only increase the likelihood of missing renewals. When your team is working from an accurate, single source of truth,  they can receive timely triggers for renewal dates and other milestones, so they won’t  lose important customers.

5) Create custom milestone triggers for invoices, revenue records, subscription term dates and renewals. In addition to receiving these helpful alerts, give your sales teams the ability to easily add upgrades to existing term contracts and automate invoice adjustments so they don’t have to waste time making manual updates and calculations.

Your full potential as a SaaS business depends on a successful renewals management process. Follow these simple steps to increase your renewals business and identify new upsell and cross-sell opportunities you never knew existed.

Clayton Whitfield

Written by Clayton Whitfield