If you are like most B2B companies, Q4 is a busy selling season, which in turn means it also becomes a big renewal period for Customer Success teams. Because so much is on the line, Q4 can be a stressful period. But, if you’re prepared for it ahead of time, you’ll have a better chance of making things work in your favor.
Follow these seven steps to proactively manage your Q4 renewals.
(Within 90 Days Out)
- Conduct Your Preliminary Research – Do preliminary research before reaching out to the customer. Check their product usage, their customer health score, and NPS scores. Understand where there have been gaps in value and also where they’ve met their goals throughout the year.
*Tip* Use data and analytics from your Customer Success Platform and/or CRM to deliver key pieces of information at scale.
- Email the Customer – This step is critical. You have done the research and it is now time to educate your customer on what they’ve done this year. Make things easy on yourself by setting up an email template where you can plug in big wins and major milestones that they’ve reached in their customer journey. You will also want to ask for a meeting in this email.
* Tip* Automate this email by using dynamic content with merge fields for your contact and account attributes.
- Lead a Value Call – Your customer is coming to this meeting expecting you to walk them through what they’ve done this past year. Be prepared with visuals (even if just the email above). You will then want to lead the conversation into what they wish to accomplish in the coming year. This will help them think about how they’ll be using your software moving forward. Be sure to listen to what they say here, because expansion opportunities will present themselves at this time.
*Tip* Ensure all the key players are present for this meeting (department managers, executive sponsors, etc.).
(Within 60 Days Out)
- Acknowledge the Renewal – Send an email explaining what they can look forward to in the upcoming renewal period as your partner. Acknowledge that their renewal is coming up if you haven’t already discussed in the previous call. Detail how you’ll be helping them meet their goals as discussed and how you’ll get them there.
*Tip* Don’t hesitate to bring up the renewal early on. The more time you give yourself to work through negotiations and approvals, the better. You might also want to consider offering an incentive to encourage them to renew early.
(Within 30 Days Out)
- Make the Process Clear – Make the renewal process easy on your customer by making it known exactly what they need to do (if anything at all) to renew. They might renew automatically, via self-service, or by manually signing a new contract. You just have to make all the options clear and help customers choose the most appropriate renewal method for them.
*Tip* Take note of any mandatory processes on the customer side, so when the renewal period comes around next year, you already know how to navigate with the customer.
- Send a Friendly In-App Reminder – Send along a quick reminder to the customer of what they should expect in the coming year. It’s OK to reference upcoming releases, benefits for tenured customers, and other items you feel would add value to the customer’s partnership with you.
*Tip* Make sure the call to action is well-defined in this in-app message, explaining what you want the customer to do in regard to the renewal.
- Send a Thank You – This step is so underrated and underutilized. A quick “thank you” can go miles for a customer. Reiterate that they have made a good decision with the renewal and they will be equally – if not more successful in the coming year.
*Tip* Send this thank you note by hand if/when you can, especially for your high-touch customers.
Q4 doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’ve prepared for it well and you get your efforts started early, you’ll be reaching your goals by the end of the quarter and can kick back and enjoy your holidays in peace.
How to Nail Customer Handoffs between Sales and Customer Success
Wednesday, October 24
2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
The handoff of a new customer between Sales and Customer Success is a critical moment in the customer lifecycle. But for many organizations, this transfer of customer knowledge is a disorganized mess, lacking clear requirements and fraught with tension or even downright distrust between the two teams involved. But it doesn’t need to be this way – and for the sake of your customers, it shouldn’t be this way.
In this webinar, Abby Hammer and Casey Altieri from ChurnZero will share tips to clarify and strengthen your customer handoffs between Sales and Customer Success. While working with Customer Success teams of all types and sizes, Casey and Abby have seen a lot of tactics that work – and a lot of tactics that don’t. They will share their top tips for consistently successful handoffs and building trust between your Sales and CS teams.
Abby Hammer, VP Products & Customer Success, ChurnZero
Casey Altieri, Lead Sales Executive, ChurnZero
Customer Success Around the Web
- How to Get More Value From Your Customer Success Lead – CSMs can drive immediate improvement for you and your business, clients just need to observe these best practices to reap the rewards.
- Customer Service Isn’t Enough – Walk through three reasons why you need to switch to Customer Success.
- How to Say Goodbye to Customers Effectively – Learn how to part ways with customers to leave the door open for positive interactions in the future.
Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero.