What tools and processes have you found essential for improving long tail renewals of your Channel customers?
What have you found to be your biggest challenges in this area?
Doug - Great question. There are a number of challenges associated with renewing recurring revenue via the channel and a Digital approach for the long tail is perhaps the area of most complication AND most opportunity in my opinion.
The Channel behaves like a federation of willing parties to sell and sustain products and services on behalf of a Supplier and for / to a customer. Each channel player has a role to play and these roles have unique perspectives. Disti, DVAR, Reseller, Service Provider, Referral Partner, SI, etc.... In short - 1 size does not fit all partner types. Each partner builds their own system to manage their customers.
Next - there is conflict in terms of who owns what and how clearly articulated the ownership is established. Does the Supplier own the Customer.? Does the Partner own the customer? Who owns the Data for the Renewal opportunity, Supplier? Disti? Reseller?.... on and on
Putting together a comprehensive (People, Process, and Technology) approach with clear alignment is a critical capability. Once there is alignment, then we see several critical capability vectors that enable a Digital motion via the channel.
1) Customer Engagement - the communication capability for the Supplier and the partners to communicate with the customer on an ongoing and constant basis and to enable the renewal process
2) Sales Engagement - The coordinated activity in which Supplier Sales and Channel Sales orchestrate the pipeline management and the sales activity
3) Opportunity Management - The activity of moving data in the Supplier and Channel systems to an opportunity / quote and transporting that quote to the customer for purchase
4)Transaction Management - The capability of taking payment from the customer and channel partners for the subscription or service contract.
Doug: Here is a foundational research paper on this topic of cost effective renewal management:
Thanks, Thomas. Very helpul!