Customer success can be gauged in many different ways. For instance, imagine it's renewal time, and the reviews have been quite positive. Customers say your solution works as intended, and it’s solving the problem they set out to fix. However, as their renewal date nears, there’s no sign that they intend to keep using it. Email reminders have been sent. Calls have been made. Offers have been extended. But as the renewal date silently passes with no action, you wonder what went wrong.
You may also find yourself equally perplexed by customers who are renewing regularly but aren’t adopting additional enhancements or products that you know could help their business. They’ve had conversations with your sales team. They’ve taken a test drive with a demo. They’ve dutifully downloaded an asset or two. Yet they stay a qualified lead who seems like a surefire “yes,” but remains a steadfast “no.”
Why Are Renewals, Upsells and Cross-Sells Important?
Renewals, upsells and cross-sells are touted as the easiest way to grow and sustain revenue. After all, they imply that a customer is at least somewhat pleased with your solution, otherwise, there’d be nothing to renew and no purchase serving as a springboard for more sales. And it’s well documented that it costs far more to acquire a new customer than retain a current one. But here’s the catch — companies that spend an extraordinary amount of time and money convincing people to make a purchase don’t often apply the same rigor to customer engagement and support after the sale.
When it comes to renewals, the $436.9 billion-dollar question is, why not? Inviting churn seems shortsighted. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) adoption is sky-high and increasing. Technology refresh needs are ever present. Worldwide, SaaS companies have a presence in a hundred nations. With the market growth rate at 18%, the case for service renewals could not be clearer.
As for upselling and cross-selling, the good news is that sales professionals are using both to prioritize relationships with existing customers. About three-quarters of those who do say that upselling and cross-selling account for up to 30% of their company’s revenue. And studies show that the customer experience is a leading enabler of revenue generation and retention, so one would think that nurturing existing customers throughout the customer lifecycle would be priority #1. But when it’s outside of your core areas of expertise, long-term customer engagement can fall through the cracks.
With renewals, upselling and cross-selling presenting such profitable opportunities, what keeps companies from excelling at these sales-accelerating tactics? Let’s look at five common challenges that can afflict even the most diligent companies and the ways in which a customer success services partner can help.
How Customer Success Services Can Help
1. The renewal/buying process is arduous.
|Automatic renewals make the process decidedly easier, but they take away an opportunity to engage with customers to assess the relationship, improve the customer experience and propose valuable upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
A customer success services partner can streamline your renewal process and manage your existing customer base to secure renewals on time, make the revenue stream predictable and open the door to upsell/cross-sell conversations.
2. Product adoption is lagging.
|Brands that tout simplicity and ease of use have a promise to keep. If customers have issues with your technology or aren’t realizing the full value of their purchase, they could move on to competitors’ solutions.
A customer success services partner reduces the risk of attrition by continually monitoring how a customer is engaging with your solutions. Through regular interactions and targeted analytics, they can anticipate needs, offer training, assist as necessary and resolve issues quickly — all of which improve the likelihood of repeat business.
3. The broader portfolio isn’t attracting interest.
|A lack of excitement about your portfolio can be attributed to many things, from simple unawareness to the thornier problem of customer dissatisfaction. Whatever the cause, it hinders upselling and cross-selling. It may also entice them to go elsewhere — or, in other words, not renew — if a competitor offers a solution that overlaps their current services and solves an additional problem.
A customer-centric approach keeps them engaged, informed of additional services/products and aware of their value to your business. The right customer success services partner can help you assess the problem, develop a customer management strategy to counteract it and deliver effective solutions on your behalf.
4. Customer success drivers aren’t well understood.
|Managing the customer experience is more critical than ever to retaining revenue. The speed of business is much too fast for intuition and a shot-in-the-dark mentality.
A customer success services partner can give you visibility into the way customers are interacting with your technology by providing data and analysis on product adoption, the customer experience, revenue, brand loyalty and more. The goal is to take the guesswork out of your strategy so you can make timely, well-informed business decisions that drive customer engagement.
5. You have limited resources to devote to customer engagement.
|Whether you have hundreds, thousands or millions of customers, it can be difficult to manage your relationships with them in the way that you would like to.
Outsourcing to an expert in customer success management who has abundant resources, deep knowledge and extensive reach shifts responsibility for the customer experience to a trusted partner who understands your business, your strategy and the industry at large. Their services may span the entire customer lifecycle, from relationship management to business development to tech support. They act as an extension of your company to build customer trust and loyalty.
Boost Revenue, Renewals, Upsells and Cross-Sells — And More
When your customers are informed, supported and successfully using your products, brand loyalty goes up — and so does revenue. And this may be just the start to elevating your customer management strategy. What other customer experience gaps does your company need to fill?
Outsourcing customer management to an established services expert can help you:
- Improve the customer experience throughout the buying process
- Engage customers to ensure long-term success after the sale
- Deliver the training customers need to get full value out of their purchase
- Provide knowledgeable support throughout the life of the product
- Anticipate new revenue opportunities and close those deals
About the Author
Gonzalo Guillen serves as the Senior Director of Operations and Business Development for the Customer Management Services (CMS) organization of Shyft Global Services, a division of TD SYNNEX. Gonzalo manages the end-to-end CMS organization, including implementation and onboarding of net new customers, day-to-day operations, strategic growth and renewals. He is also responsible for leading global sales and operations teams; developing and executing go-to-market strategies; overseeing business intelligence, project management and contracts management; and driving engagement with more than 15 global OEMs in the IT industry.