The Expanded Role of the SaaS Renewals Team in Assuring Success through Partners
In most organizations that depend on partners to deliver a significant percent of SaaS renewals revenue, the renewals team faces tremendous day-to-day pressure. After all renewals rate targets must be met in order for the business to be profitable. However, the “right” resources must be identified and deployed to secure strategic wins and defend against competitive encroachment. Loyal partners that delivered revenue for years now need to be convinced to adapt to a new business model. And at the same time, key information must be up-to-date and immediately accessible.
These are huge challenges to an organization that is only now beginning to gain the visibility it needs. Not to mention the visibility it deserves. Furthermore, with that visibility comes an opportunity to stop…take a breath…and redefine not only your own role, but how the team needs to interact with the rest of the organization.
Channel Mechanics recognizes this opportunity as an imperative. Thereby reaching out to industry leaders – your colleagues – to act as coaches and guides. With these leaders, we developed a three-part series of whitepapers designed to guide the renewals team through the work of role refinement. Entitled “How to Engage the Channel for Successful SaaS Renewals,” these papers also provide a series of exercises and examples of tactics necessary to generate profitable, sustainable SaaS renewal growth through the partner ecosystem. In the first paper of the series: “SaaS Renewals: A Primer,” we begin by challenging the team to think about its expanded role.
Expanded Role of the SaaS Renewals Team
The Renewals Team as Change Managers: Communication and Collaboration Lead the Way
Unless your organization was “born in the cloud,” it probably doesn’t fully recognize the differences between a SaaS business model and traditional perpetual models. Consequently, it’s largely up to the renewals team to educate and help the company transition successfully by:
- Firstly, helping senior management understand the importance of renewals to the business
- Secondly, identifying necessary resources and creating the business cases that will secure company-wide buy-in, investment and support
- Helping functional teams understand what the renewals team needs from them – how and why you may need to work together differently
- Finally, communicating the value of a SaaS renewals business to the existing partner ecosystem and developing the support and operational infrastructure necessary for mutual success
The Renewals Team as Risk Managers: 5 Key Risks to a Healthy Renewals Business
Your team knows that a renewals rate that consistently falls below 95% can represent a major challenge to SaaS business over the long term. Therefore, our team had a laser focus on identifying the key risks that impact this important performance metric. They include:
1. Uninterested, Incompetent Partners for reasons including:
- Existing partners do not align well with your new SaaS offer
- Partners see no value in evolving to SaaS
- Partners may be evolving to SaaS and do not fully possess the required competencies, organization structure and operational infrastructure
2. Unsustainable Cost of Renewals: Using a high cost resource to perform an activity – or series of activities – that can be performed by a lower cost resource
3. Preventable Churn caused by factors including:
- Under deployment of the offer
- Pricing issues
- Poor product support
- Channel switch-out to a competitive offer and/or “business deal”
4. Organizational dissonance describes an environment of conflicting goals and objectives, mixed messages, hand-off gaps, etc.
5. Lastly, incomplete and untimely information: failure to capture, review, “package” and communicate key information for all critical stakeholders of the SaaS business
Our Whitepaper Series, “How to Engage the Channel for Successful SaaS Renewals,” addresses each of these challenges with real-world learning and advice
Our team of experts, representing different functions in companies representing different stages of evolution, has put together a practical, tactical guide for renewals teams and their organizations.
Finally, we look forward to sharing our collective wisdom with you as these whitepapers are released. And – equally important – we look forward to your comments and discussions as we all strive to improve your SaaS business!