The key word to remember from this blog is “Goldilocks!” Remember her? Of course you do. She was the little girl who visited the home of an absent bear family only to find that some of the furnishings were “too big,” others “too small”, while others, happily, were “just right!”. The same principle can apply to the packaging and communicating of your SaaS renewals metrics to partners.
Getting things “just right” is the aim of every communications plan. But, by their very nature, SaaS renewals communication requirements can be tricky to understand and satisfy. One of the main reasons is that SaaS renewals – especially those involving partners – require cooperation and coordination across multiple stakeholder groups, both inside and outside the vendor organization.
When we talked with industry colleagues about best practices in SaaS Renewals through partners – what was working and why – we captured three guiding principles for a comprehensive, effective communications plan. The plan is discussed in our final whitepaper of the three-part series on SaaS renewals through partners – Managing Channel SaaS Renewal Performance and Success Metrics/KPI’s. This blog aims to provide the highlights of that discussion around the guiding principles for packaging and communicating SaaS Renewals Metrics.
Guiding Principles for Packaging and Communicating SaaS Renewals Metrics
1. Make sure to address both “need to know” and “need to tell”
Because SaaS renewals through partners can be a relatively new initiative for vendors, the renewals team must be both business managers and change management experts. They must:
- Listen for and communicate the channel data each major stakeholder group is asking for. And most importantly, provide the appropriate metrics to satisfy those needs.
- Identify what’s NOT currently known or asked for but is important for the vendor to understand. This role as “educator” can cover such topics as:
- The value of SaaS renewals to the business
- The value that partners bring to the business
- Major resources and levels of investment required to successfully secure renewals through partners
2. Realize that not everyone wants, or needs, to know everything
In our best practices conversations, our colleagues found it helpful to map each stakeholder group against the six key categories of SaaS renewals metrics leading companies use. The template below is a starting point. It captures the most common stakeholder groups within a typical tech vendor and asks the renewals team to plot specific metrics for each of these groups.
Within each stakeholder/category cell, the team should identify the specific metric(s) most relevant for the stakeholder. Because some of the categories have multiple metrics associated with them (see whitepaper #3 for the full discussion), this exercise helps to prioritize, eliminating the problem of “too much” or “too little” data. The result is a much clearer picture of firstly what’s required. Secondly, what’s common across stakeholders. And finally, what’s specific to only a few of these groups.
Important Metrics to Communicate to Stakeholders
3. Take the time to package your plan for each stakeholder group
The exercise above will help ensure that each stakeholder group gets the “right” data. But if you want to avoid the dreaded wasteland of unopened emails or last minute pings asking: “what’s going on?” your next step is just as critical.
Meanwhile, take the Saas Renewals metrics you’ve identified for each stakeholder group and answer these five questions:
- How frequently will we need to capture this data?
- How often will we need to review the data?
- Who will communicate the data?
- How frequently will we communicate the channel data to the stakeholder group?
- What mode of communication will we use?
Of course, every vendor is different. The stakeholders, the metrics, and the packaging will all vary according to company size and structure as well as experience with SaaS renewals through partners. To conclude, the ultimate goal is a good fit with your organization and team. Certainly, we can all learn from the story of Goldilocks!