How To Leverage Automation for Renewals

Renewal Automation is a win-win-win for your customers, your company and your team. 

It gives customers the ability to renew subscriptions to your service automatically in a way that is simple and efficient. This takes the burden of renewal off the customer and frees up your team to focus on other responsibilities. 

When leveraging renewal tools to assist with renewals there are 5 main benefits:

Increased Efficiency & Staff Productivity 

Automated renewal management eliminates the necessity for manual renewal notifications, constant monitoring, and the back-and-forth communication with customers. This streamlining reduces the labor-intensive aspects and minimizes errors. 

Consequently, your team can divert their focus towards more strategic conversations, leading to a reduction in operational costs and an increase in job satisfaction due to the elimination of redundant tasks.

Increased Renewal Rate 

Renewal automation is complemented by proactive renewal management, which involves initiating the renewal process well in advance—not waiting until the last minute to inform customers about their upcoming renewals. 

At Renewtrak, we adhere to best practices by beginning this process as early as 180 days prior. We’ve mastered the art of designing highly effective renewal reminder campaigns to maximize results. No customer is overlooked or left unengaged. Every customer is valued, resulting in elevated renewal rates.

Increased Revenue Per User

Automating your billing leads to an increase in revenue per user decreasing input errors, reducing costs, and allowing managing your renewals with existing customers to be your priority. This shifted focus gives you the opportunity to improve customer experience and increase the likelihood of customers renewing. 

Utilizing the renewal event as an opportunity to offer upsell/cross-sell opportunities that are relevant to the customer also leads to an even higher revenue. 

Reduced Time To Cash

Beginning the renewal notification process sooner increases the likelihood of early renewals. At Renewtrak, we’ve observed customers renewing up to 30 days in advance thanks to clear calls to action and our seamless checkout process facilitated by automated renewals.

More Accurate Forecasting

By employing renewal automation tools, you consolidate all your renewal data into a single repository. This consolidation allows you to enhance what you can accurately measure. At Renewtrak, we firmly believe in this principle. Our tool streamlines your renewal data, making it easily accessible and customizable, and incorporates renewal likelihood scores for more accurate forecasting.

 

The Challenges of Automating Renewals & How To Overcome Them:

Embarking on the automation journey can feel daunting and uncertain, especially for those new to it. As you delve into this realm, you may encounter several fears and obstacles:

  • Choosing the right Contract Renewal Automation tool: Selecting a tool that seamlessly integrates with your existing setup is crucial. But it’s not just about the tool itself; having a knowledgeable team to guide you along the way is equally important.

 

  • Finding the balance between what to automate and what not to automate: While we’re strong advocates for automation, we recognize that not everything should be automated right away. We suggest starting with automating the long tail customers and slowly moving to your high touch customers afterwards.

 

  • Getting team buy-in as they fear it may replace their jobs: Yes, automation does streamline certain tasks, but it’s meant to complement human efforts, not replace them entirely. By handling repetitive tasks and minimizing errors, automation actually enhances job quality and leads to better results.

 

  • Overcoming the “Black Box” Perception of Automation: Despite initial apprehensions, automation actually provides greater visibility and transparency throughout the renewal process. The right renewal automation tool will consolidate all your data in one place, allowing you to track quotes, customer interactions, and in some cases can even predict renewal likelihood scores like our tool (Renewtrak).

 

  • How to implement automation correctly: Partnering with a company that offers expertise and is willing to guide your team through the process is essential. Keep reading to read about some of our recommendations below.

 

  • Fear that it may lack the human touch: Just because something is automated does not mean it has to look robotic. How you craft your automated messages and who they are sent from can go a long way in maintaining a human touch with minimal effort.

 

  • Data: All automation hinges on accurate data, often sourced from multiple systems. When implementing automation, ensure there’s a mechanism in place to automatically rectify erroneous data, thereby reducing error rates over time. That being said, your data doesn’t need to be perfect to get started. Typically, we see that as organizations begin their renewal automation journey, their data gets better and better. 

How to Choose the Best Automation Tool for Your Renewals

When starting the process of choosing tools for your renewals your organization must consider your goals and needs, budget, resources available, customer preferences and expectations, along with industry standards. 

Here are some questions you may want to answer to help you to identify the right renewal automation tool:

  • Does the tool have a support team dedicated to help you address your specific needs?
  • Does the company have the expertise to guide you as you implement this for the first time?
  • Does the tool allow for full visibility along the way?
  • Can the tool accept data from your existing tools (CRM/CPQ/Databases)?
  • Does the tool have multiple currency and language support?
  • Are you able to “trial” the tool before you fully commit?
  • How will the client experience look like?
  • What will your team’s experience look like?
  • What does the channel/partner collaboration experience look like?
  • Will your data be secure?

 

How to Implement & Optimize Your Tool for Renewals

Depending on the tool you choose, the level of work you need to do to maximize the benefits of automation will differ. Implementing a new tool isn’t a daunting process so long as you engage appropriately with your internal stakeholders early on in the journey. Here are some things that will needed to be decided on before/during the implementation:

Identify the type and level of Integration: 

This is key, your team will need to assess what level and nature of integration will be needed in order to allow the flow of data in a bi directional nature. 

Identify Your Renewal Segments

When working towards renewal optimization, the first step should be to segment your customers based on renewal characteristics. This can include contract length, product type, dollar value, renewal type, status, and risk. 

Doing this will assist in prioritizing your efforts and assigning the right resources to each segment. After segmenting your customers, you can define different strategies and assign actions for each segment. 

Craft The End-Customer Experience:

Here’s where you determine how to present the renewal opportunity to your customers. Consider their expectations when the opportunity arises. Begin by outlining the high-level engagement strategy, determining the frequency and timing of renewal notifications.

Create End User Emails Based On Best Practices

Here’s how you kick off: Draft each email meticulously. It’s crucial they don’t come off as robotic.  Keep in mind the tone of voice used in each stage throughout the cadence, what type of call of actions are appropriate for each stage, and adhere to branding guidelines for consistency. Renewtrak has successfully assisted numerous firms in this area, and we’re here to assist you in devising the most impactful strategy for boosting renewal and expansion rates.

Optimize The Check-out Journey 

In B2C so many customers are lost due to bad checkout experiences.The same can be true in B2B, abandoned renewals can occur if the checkout experience is not frictionless and optimized. This is also the stage where you’d want to consider optimal placement for terms and conditions, methods for displaying order confirmations, and defining the customer inquiry journey for those seeking further assistance or clarification.

Maximize Renewals By Configuring Product Rules

At Renewtrak, we believe the renewal event is the perfect opportunity to plant the seed for an expansion. We call this Renewals Led Growth (RLG). Customers often underutilize the full potential of products they’ve purchased. Hence, it’s essential to educate them about additional features that could benefit their business. Configuring product rules strategically within the renewal notification journey is key to achieving this. By effectively highlighting these features, you can enhance customer awareness and drive greater value from their investments.

Communicate Your Renewals Journey to Your Customers

When implementing a new renewal journey, it’s crucial to communicate this change to your customers effectively. Educate them about the benefits, time-saving aspects, and enhanced features and functionalities available. By doing so, you ensure that customers understand the value proposition and how it can improve their experience, fostering greater engagement and satisfaction.

Evaluate the Data 

Make sure to monitor and evaluate the data that you are collecting from your renewal automation tools. Automation makes the process of gathering and analyzing data easier so that you can identify common reasons for non-renewal and tailor your strategies accordingly. 

Metrics such as renewal rate, churn rate, net revenue retention, time to cash and more. Review the renewal notification interaction data to assess the quality and timing of your messages, and segment by geo, product or value.  If your tool doesn’t allow you to easily navigate this from a single dashboard then look to a tool that provides this. These metrics give your organization insight into the health of your business and what future growth could look like. 

Following these steps will help your organization to best optimize the renewal workflow while also improving your efficiency, performance, and results.

What Else You Should Consider 

It is essential to communicate and educate customers and your team members about the benefits and features of the tool and to get internal buy-in. Provide clear instructions on how to use it and offer support if needed. Your team members should be trained to answer any questions that may arise.

Remember to balance automation with human interaction; while automation is useful, human contact is very important for building relationships.

Innovation 

When choosing a supplier of your renewals automation tool, make sure you consider something that has demonstrated a strong history of innovation. We live in a fast changing world, suppliers that aren’t constantly investing in their product and delivering you greater utility will soon mean your tools are outdated leading to poor staff and customer experiences.

Get Started With Renewal Automation 

Choosing the right tool and company as you embark on the renewal automation journey is key. Renewtrak is the #1 renewals and subscriptions automation platform. Proven to drive an increase in your net revenue retention (NRR) by automating your renewals and upsell/cross-sell work flows providing you with real-time visibility to forecast accurately.