The challenge of renewals in the world of SaaS
by Neil Langridge
The starting point for how a technology is consumed is of course the purchase – and the process that leads to that. The reduction in face time from events and in-person meetings has moved much of the buying journey online, while we’ve seen increases in the number of stakeholders involved and reduced involvement of sales reps until much later in the evaluation and decision making process.
What does this mean? VARs and MSPs alike need to adapt their approach, and align to their customers as well as to their individual buying processes. That doesn’t just mean the right content and touch points at the right times (from sales to marketing to technical), but also ensuring that at every single stage of the process, the best value is being delivered to help the customer achieve their own targets and objectives.
Because we all know that repeat purchases start at the first purchase.
So, what’s the best place to start? Considering we’re looking at the sales process, I’m going to start with technical!
It’s another known “truth” that the real, secret salespeople are often the technical engineers, from the initial project scoping building trust and establishing expertise, to the PoC demonstrating value and alignment against the customer’s requirements. They help validate credibility, and build key relationships with those stakeholders who will be ultimately delivering the project, and working with the solution day to day long after the procurement stages have been completed.
However, it’s too often that this element is not appreciated fully, and that particularly applies to the stage when the product is actually chosen, and then implemented. We all know examples of shelf-ware, and in the world of SaaS it’s no different – solutions deployed but no fully used, not leveraged or integrated, and for cybersecurity solutions, the potential is very real risks or holes in the security fabric that can be exploited.
Going back to the repeat purchase, renewal or even a decision to continue with an existing solution as usage increases – getting it right first time is key.
“93% of buyers indicate that the quality of the implementation process is important or very important when making the decision to renew a software product”
(2022 G2 Software Buyer Behavior Report, https://research.g2.com/buyer-behavior-study)
Our experience is that many organisations have great network, compute and security teams to roll out the most advanced cybersecurity solutions. However, in an age of endlessly communicated skills gaps, reduced capacity and finely managed budgets, it can be a challenge. Not every VAR or MSP has the internal skill set either - vendor consolidation is the target, but the reality of customer demands, an ever growing threat landscape and portfolios struggling to encompass every potential possibility, it’s just not realistic to have in-house expertise for every occasion.
That’s where e92plus, and our Technical Services team, come in. There’s certainly value in the additional margin and revenue from selling Professional Services, and the benefit of outsourcing to a trusted partner (especially for larger portfolios, and non-core vendor partnerships). But it’s the massive increase in renewal rates and customer satisfaction that successful implementations from experienced teams that really delivers – and we’ve even introduced complimentary Cybersecurity Healthchecks for every renewal (up to 90 days in advance) that can build on the initial engagement, and help secure the renewal (and even up-sell the solution).
You can access the full report at the G2 website, at https://research.g2.com/buyer-behavior-study.
For more information on the technical services available from e92plus, get in touch with us at https://www.e92plus.com/contact.