Wednesday, September 15, 2010

 

Customer renewals start before the first sale

Does your company start the customer renewal process a month or two before the contract term ends?  You might be surprised how many B2B sellers operate this way. 

But even if proactive renewals begin close to the end of an initial term, what comes up from the customer in that process should be far from a surprise.  At this point, you should know exactly how they’re doing, whether they’re happy, how well they’re using the product or service, and how likely they are to renew and/or continue.

Before they even become a customer, there should be a mutually agreed-upon picture of what success looks like.  You need to know how the customer will evaluate success, and how they’ll likely make a renewal decision, before day one.

If you know that, you can be proactive with monitoring their account and providing help along the way to ensure they’re on a path to success, satisfaction and renewal.  If something starts going wrong, you want to know that and address it right away – while there’s still plenty of time to right the ship, get them on the path both of you want, and make your continued partnership in dispensable to their success.

There are many ways to operationalize this.  But the concept of starting renewals early is important. 

How does your organization do this today?  What simple things could you start doing to increase both mutual understanding of success with your customer, plus better monitor that satisfaction early in the relationship?

 


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