4 Ways to Jump-Start Renewal Sales

Over the past two years, the sales profession has seen more than a few headlines that turn heads:

“43% of B2B customers prefer a rep-free experience.”

(Gartner)

“86% of reps said they’ve either lost or had a deal delayed because a champion changed roles.”

(LinkedIn)

“Often, B2B buyers don’t buy the best solution but rather choose the lowest-risk solution.”

(Forrester)

“While Gen Xers generally have larger budgets than millennials, the “heads down” generation now dominates B2B purchase decisions.” (Outreach via Selling Power)

What am I trying to illustrate with these diverse data points?

One simple and powerful fact.

Things change.  

That’s the number one thing to remember about renewal sales — and yet, it’s a lesson that’s easily forgotten. Salespeople tend to trust in the fallacy that just because a customer is actively using the solution, value is being realized.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

To successfully renew business — especially in an unpredictable economy — sales professionals must treat existing customers with the same attention and dedication they show to new prospects.

After all, each renewal cycle is an opportunity to identify new ways to deliver value and provide an exceptional experience to your customers.

Let’s dive into four strategies you can use to jump-start renewal sales.

Step 1: Demonstrate Your Commitment

What have you done recently to demonstrate that you are truly invested in your customers’ success?

We all know that it’s key to maintaining the relationship post-sale, and it’s easy to lose sight of. By nature, salespeople are hunters. We’re always going to be drawn to the challenge of the next big deal.

In the same way that you built out

strategic cadences to connect

with the customer in the first place, use the same tactic to create regular touchpoints.

Now, the timeline and approach will be vastly different, but the underlying principles are the same. Use these periodic check-ins as opportunities to add value in small ways and stay up to date on emerging business issues.

That way, when a new business challenge rears its head, you’ll be among the first they come to.

Step 2: Identify the Reasons Customers Leave

Every situation and customer is unique — but the reasons customers leave tend to be eerily similar.  

Maybe they didn’t receive the expected value from your product or service. Or perhaps, the handoff between sales and customer success didn’t go as planned, or a power shift occurred within the organization.

Lean into your tech stack to monitor potential red flags like the above, and don’t be afraid to reach out when you see something.

Step 3: Lean into Your Data

Your customers might be actively using your solution, but how are they using it?

Do they gravitate toward a certain product or feature set? Is there an underutilized part of your product or service that has the potential to generate an impact that’s more closely aligned with their current business issues?

You get the idea. Time to put on your analyst hat and dive into the data that’s available to you.

Look for patterns in the usage data, pay attention to what marketing collateral they’re engaging with, and research recent changes in their marketplace, so that you come to the table with an understanding of the new challenges that are likely top-of-mind for your customers. 

Step 4: Uncover New Problems

Let’s say your product/solution was designed to solve a common problem for your ideal customer, and it’s done its job.

That’s great! Only, what happens now?

Renewal sales are all about giving customers a reason to stay. Go back to the beginning and approach the opportunity with the same rigor you used to win it initially.

That means having the business conversations that

uncover problems worth solving

and never losing sight of three vital questions:

  • Are you differentiated?

Does the prospect believe that your product/solution will continue to significantly impact their unique business challenge?

  • What’s in it for them?

Amid continued uncertainty, clients crave trusted advisors and tend to make rational decisions for emotional reasons. If they continue their agreement, what personal value does this bring?

  • Do they believe in the ROI?

You once provided them a compelling case to change. You’ll now need an equally compelling reason for them to stay.

Review those initial conversations, their latest usage data, and your more recent talks. What’s changed? Was something missed? You’ll need to ensure your new plan to deliver value is impactful and qualified on the customer level.

Ultimately, it’s vital to uncover opportunities for future value realization. Past value will simply not motivate future behavior. To see those renewal rates rise, you must requalify each customer and stop making assumptions that they will automatically renew.

Until next time, happy selling,

Julie

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