Now more than ever it’s essential to shift focus from acquiring new customers to protecting and expanding your existing customer base. Ignacio Miquelez de Mendiluce, Comstor Services Architecture Lead EMEA, offers his five tips to build a close rapport with customers that will last for years.

When you talk about ongoing customer relationships, you’re talking about ongoing revenues; and talking about ongoing revenues means talking about renewals. This may sound familiar, but did you know that:

  • It takes five times more effort to gain new customers than retain current ones
  • A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%
  • The chances of selling to an existing customer are 70% compared with 10% for a new prospect
  • Customers are four times more likely to go to a competitor if they encounter service-related problems compared with price or product-related problems

It is easy to say, but not so easy to do. Not all organisations have a dedicated or strategic approach to driving renewals. So, how can you maximise services renewals and expand the opportunity? Here are five easy tips.

1. Move from reactive to proactive

Data is ‘gold’ for driving renewals and expanding the opportunity. Having a customer contact you when a renewal is coming up is not the same as having upfront visibility of all your upcoming renewals. With our PartnerView platform you can become data driven. Access all your upcoming renewals in advance so you can plan ahead and start the renewals process early.

2. Develop a full end-to-end workflow

Data may be ‘gold’, but an efficient workflow is critical for driving it. It is not always possible to give the same attention to every renewal opportunity because not all contracts have the same complexity or criticality for the network. Organisations now need to do more with less, and therefore automation is critical for enhanced renewals revenue and sales processes.

Our proactive and programmatic approach, built on top of a robust renewals automation engine, provides a complete end-to-end process that reduces admin work for your sales teams, allowing them to focus on closing deals and delivering more value to our partners.

3. Focus on all opportunities to renew them on time

Ensuring cash flow is key for business continuity, and every renewal is an opportunity for incremental revenue and growth, regardless of the size of the deal.

Ensuring a regular follow-up on the available opportunities will help get visibility, not only on what deals have already been renewed, but also those that are open and need to be closed.

We can help you extend your customer reach, so you can focus your efforts and resources on the most sensitive renewals while ensuring that low value deals are not left unquoted.

4. Analyse any expansion opportunity/tools

The renewals business has evolved, and an upcoming renewal has become a lifecycle opportunity. As explained above, data is key, and we need to be aware of what tools we have in our reach for driving expansion conversations. We can help you see your customer’s install base to get an understanding of the status of their network.

  • See what’s covered and what’s not to give an understanding on the network’s protection
  • Consolidate and co-term existing contracts to reduce administrative and operating costs while ensuring full network coverage
  • Identify obsolete or outdated devices for migration to current solutions that will ensure your customers are eligible to newer features to help them achieve their expected business outcomes

5. Measure and track what success looks like

To be successful it is essential to define what the objective is and how it will be achieved. Once this is clear, we can then set the goal and decide how it will be measured.

Each organisation has different objectives, and success can be measured differently. In some instances, a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is enough to ensure the strategic objectives are met; in some others, a revenue or profitability target will be required.

In any case, what is clear is that without tracking and measurement of what success looks like, organisations are in the dark when it comes to the effectiveness of the actions and strategy they have put in place.