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Ten Essential Data Points for a Successful Service Annuity Practice

Ten Data Points Ten Essential Data Points for a Successful Service Annuity Practice

So, you’ve got your dedicated service annuity practice up and running and you’re ready to rock it, with new revenue streams looming on the horizon. If you’re ahead of the game, the power of today’s advanced technologies and best practices are behind your initiative, meaning you’re integrating multiple data sources, leveraging analytics and automating sales and marketing processes.

Scalability? You’ve got that covered, too, with next-generation tools that will enable you to quickly extend your reach and achieve a higher return on a much lower investment. The goal is to execute service renewals more efficiently and at a significantly lower cost than alternatives such as hiring more staff or outsourcing.

Don’t Forget the Basics

Whether you’ve established a world-class service annuity practice or you’re still striving to get there, you won’t succeed if you forget the basics. As we’ve posted before, data is the force multiplier behind an effective initiative, and it must be properly mined, aggregated and enriched to provide your sales team with complete and accurate visibility into the opportunities that await them.

Entitlement systems, ERP and CRM platforms, and product and service catalogs – along with your supply chain partners’ systems – represent the sources for this data, so plan on digging deep to extract the information you need. Speaking of which, what are the most important data points to keep in mind as you build and grow your service revenue data core?

Here are the 10 data points that are essential to your success:

1. Product and service serial numbers
2. Product and service description
3. Install site for the product/service
4. Service expiration date and duration
5. Product end of life/service end of life dates
6. End client company name
7. Customer contact information: First/last name, email, phone number
8. Customer-specific discounts
9. Assigned sales rep
10. Supply chain partner information

Next Steps: Go Big!

As your program goes global, you’ll also have to take into account currencies, languages, geographic regions and more. Ultimately, all the data adds up and paints a picture of the sales opportunities that lie ahead. The next step is to add predictive or prescriptive analytics, trend analysis and propensity to buy analysis into the mix and you’ll then be positioned to anticipate customer needs and buying behavior. This will allow you to cast a dramatically wider net and implement a highly targeted marketing campaign. The result? You’ll see service renewals and upsell and cross-sell opportunities skyrocket, and you’ll realize an even better rate of return.

By now, it must be clear that with service annuity programs, the devil is in the details. Focus first on addressing your key data points and you’ll set yourself up for success.

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Posted in Big Data, Campaign Management, Data Quality, Selling, Service Contract Management, Service Revenue, Service Sales | Leave a comment |

Five Reasons to Create a Dedicated Service Annuity Practice Right Now

Position Yourself For Continued Growth During an Economic Slowdown

survive the downturn Five Reasons to Create a Dedicated Service Annuity Practice Right Now

In our last post, we discussed how service renewals represent the silver lining in an economic slowdown, offering opportunities for sales growth when IT product sales are on the decline. Now, we’re taking the conversation a step further and bringing you five reasons to create a dedicated service annuity practice right now – whether you’re facing a down economy or not.

1) Long-Term IT Asset Protection

When IT budgets are slashed, your customers will do what it takes to make their technology investments last longer, which opens the door for more service contract renewals to be sold. Your customers want to protect the products and services they’ve already purchased from you. Your job is to help them do that with service contracts. It’s that simple.

2) Recurring Revenue

Maintenance services represent a high-margin, high-profit recurring business that delivers sales results month after month and year after year. Considering that some manufacturers might have thousands of service contracts up for renewal at a single customer site in any given month, the opportunity we’re talking about is sizeable. Not only that, but service renewals also allow manufacturers to strengthen ties with their customers over the long haul — an important reality in a world in which finding new customers is much more costly than selling and marketing to existing customers.

3) Predictable Revenue Streams

Because businesses today recognize the value of protecting their IT assets with services, they are not about to leave those assets unattached to a service. In other words, if products fail, they don’t want to lose their entire investment due to a lapsed service contract. The purchase of a service renewal is therefore highly predictable, unless of course, the time has come for product refresh.

4) Anticipate Product Refresh Opportunities

The process of monitoring expiring service contracts is ongoing and, when done right, it allows you to prepare your sales team to anticipate customer purchase decisions, whether it’s the need for service renewals, add-on or complementary products, consumables or a product refresh. And because the customer’s connection with your company is already there, the sale – no matter what it might be – is most likely yours for the taking.

5) Gain a Competitive Edge

For even more of a competitive edge when making a commitment to service renewals, give your sales team access to today’s most advanced service revenue automation platforms. The most effective systems in this space are equipped with powerful analytics for targeting the right customer at the right time with the right offer. They also include channel-enablement tools and campaign management capabilities that involve your partners every step of the way, helping you automate and accelerate the sales cycle and turn your opportunities into cash in an instant. The result is potentially millions of dollars in new revenue each month or each quarter.

The bottom line is that a dedicated service annuity practice can give your sales team a chance to shine, even when clouds are hanging over the economy. So don’t stand on the sidelines and let this opportunity pass you by. Make the most of shifts in the economy and good things will happen.

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Want to see more great sales, marketing and business advice from MaintenanceNet? Browse our resource library.

If you need assistance or have questions, please get in touch with us at 760.496.7564 (Toll Free: 866.699.7212) or support@maintenancenet.com.

Posted in Automation, Big Data, Campaign Management, Channel Enablement, Channel Program, Channel Sales, Data Management, Data Quality, Sales Automation, Selling, Service Revenue, Service Sales, Uncategorized | Leave a comment |

How The IT Slowdown Will Speed Up Your Recurring Revenue Programs

It was just a few years ago that parts of Asia, South America and the Middle East were experiencing double- or even triple-digit growth in IT product sales. Back then, businesses across these regions were building out their enterprise IT infrastructures around a new generation of tools to enable better and faster communication and improved productivity.

keep calm and sell more renewals branded 257x300 How The IT Slowdown Will Speed Up Your Recurring Revenue Programs

The economic pendulum has swung back in the other direction, however, and recently, research firm IDC predicted a slowdown in emerging markets for the remainder of 2014. In fact, IDC has lowered its forecasts for IT market growth in Asia Pacific (including China), Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, driving down its forecast from 5% to 4.6% this year.

In spite of these disappointing numbers, there is a silver lining: in a down economy, focusing on service contract renewals can bring recurring revenue streams, sales growth and much more to manufacturers and their channel partners. When IT budgets are slashed, your customers will do what it takes to make their technology investments last longer, which opens the door for more service contract renewals to be sold. Clearly, there’s no time like the present for the supply chain to gain insight into contract expiration dates across their emerging markets customer base.

That’s why a dedicated service renewal practice makes sense today, and why you should consider putting one in place in your organization – no matter which direction the economic climate is headed.

In our next post, we’ll take this conversation a step further and discuss five key ways a service renewal practice can boost sales and strengthen customer service for your business.

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Want to see more great sales, marketing and business advice from MaintenanceNet? Browse our resource library.

If you need assistance or have questions, please get in touch with us at 760.496.7564 (Toll Free: 866.699.7212) or support@maintenancenet.com.

Posted in Channel Sales, Sales Automation, Selling, Service Contract Management, Service Revenue, Service Sales | Leave a comment |

Service Revenue Leakage: Is It Holding Back Sales for Your Company?

IDC recently reported that 80 percent of customer data is wasted. It’s an astounding stat that underscores how businesses today are failing to leverage existing insight to effectively connect with their customers. In this increasingly digital world, it also indicates that marketing and IT disciplines are not aligned, and as a result, they’re falling far short of reaching their full potential. When it comes to service renewals, for example, tapping into customer data is essential to drive success. But without properly leveraging that data, most manufacturers experience revenue leakage and are missing out on a huge ongoing revenue opportunity.

low dollar high volume Service Revenue Leakage: Is It Holding Back Sales for Your Company?

What’s keeping your company from implementing a successful service renewal program? Most likely it’s a data issue – data that hasn’t been collected, data that’s not meaningful, data that’s trapped in an information silo or data that’s simply outdated.

In the sales funnel above, it’s clear that one category of service renewals in particular — low-dollar service renewals — suffers the most from data revenue leakage. Often ignored because businesses just don’t want to expend the time and resources to pursue them, these renewals also represent low-hanging fruit. Today’s forward-looking businesses have recognized the silver lining, and they’ve put the power of smart data to work to uncover what were once lost opportunities and turn them into high-value, long-term revenue generators.

Four Quick Ways to Address Service Revenue Data Issues

If you’re ready to join the ranks of the top businesses that have figured out how low-dollar service renewals can impact the bottom line, here are four quick ways to address the data issues that might be holding you back:

  1. Start by improving your data collection and aggregation practices. Make sure information silos aren’t keeping you from collecting and tracking the customer data that you need to fuel follow-on sales with your customers, whether it’s service renewals, upsell or cross-sell opportunities. Also, integrate important customer information that exists across your data sources including ERP, order processing, CRM and other platforms, and create a single system of record.
  2. Be sure to cleanse the data and enrich it with essential service contract information that might be missing, such as current customer contact data, product and service serial numbers, contract expiration dates and more.
  3. Next, have your data experts spend time uncovering and identifying upcoming low-dollar renewals and other opportunities that your sales team can take action on. Map out these opportunities quarter by quarter or month by month, whatever works best for your business. And once your data is properly assembled, make sure it’s presented in a convenient and centralized way – whether it’s a dashboard, a portal or a mobile app. With time spent on the front end organizing the data, you’ll not only be empowering your sales team to reach out to the right customers at the right time with the right offers, but you’ll also reduce the cost of sale.
  4. Lastly, use automation. Service renewals can number into the thousands each month. Nobody wants to address them with tedious, outdated manual processes. Make it easy on your sales team and impress your customers at the same time by using best practices such as automated email campaigns to send out renewal notices. Add in the option for customers to purchase the renewal with a single click and you’ll see sales skyrocket.

Clearly, a lot goes into creating an effective service renewal program. The first and most important step is getting a handle on your customer data, and the truth is, if your data is in order, everything else will fall into place.

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Want to see more great sales, marketing and business advice from MaintenanceNet? Browse our resource library.

If you need assistance or have questions, please get in touch with us at 760.496.7564 (Toll Free: 866.699.7212) or <http://www.privatedaddy.com?q=UmITKk1EFyRZNGUyfUQ8ZjVKJwpwIVlsMn5sZjQ2_19> .

Posted in Automation, B2B Sales Solutions, Big Data, Channel Sales, Data Management, Data Quality, Sales Automation, Selling, Service Contract Management, Service Revenue, Service Sales | Leave a comment |