Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 45 | Page 68

and re-sign , and a tech refresh . It all starts with optimising sales processes . Nothing erodes customer relationships faster than if these are sluggish or inaccurate . Software can be configured with many different options , making the quoting process complex and time-consuming . This is where configure , price and quote tools that provide accurate pricing with any given product configuration are essential . Partners can speed up their quote-to-sale cycle and build advocacy and trust with end customers by streamlining this process .
Secondly , the purchasing and billing stage of lifecycle management is often overlooked . But this presents an excellent opportunity for partners to enhance the customer experience at an early stage . Digital purchasing and billing platforms can help boost customer satisfaction and set the tone for future relationships . Innovative distributors who adopt integrated tools that allow customers to “ pay as they use ” for multi-year subscriptions walk out the winners . These tools remove the delays , complexity and administrative burden of dealing with separate financing companies . Customers want convenience and choice . Vendors and partners who offer them will boost customer loyalty and retention .
The third milestone is that of adopting and consuming a solution . After all , the wider and faster the adoption of a solution , the more likely a customer is to retain and renew it . The right adoption strategy is , therefore , key to growth . Customers who use a solution and see its value are likely to buy more and be more receptive to complementary solutions . Solution lifecycle management helps partners attain and analyse their customer health scores and solution telemetry to determine how fully a solution has been adopted . Partners who focus on adoption post-sale will align technology to their customers ’ business outcomes , maximise customer lifetime value and increase customer , and revenue retention .
Taking the next step
The second half of the milestones begin with expansion . Expanding a successfully adopted solution will drive better business outcomes for the customer . This can take the form of increasing licences for a single solution or adding new solutions that create additional value . The solution lifecycle management approach provides clear expansion opportunities for further business within an installed base . It gives a clear view of solution gaps and opportunities for new solutions or feature add-ons to complement the current deployment .
Up next is proactive renewals that help ensure service continuity . This management of renewals will extend the customer relationship and reduce risks . Missed or late renewals erode customer trust . Distributors with innovative platforms that can help partners manage their renewals and quoting from within the platform will present a significant competitive advantage .
And finally , a technology refresh that offers the latest innovation becomes a crucial component to complete the solution lifecycle management . Running legacy equipment that is no longer supported leaves the customer at risk of security breaches and operational inefficiencies . Partners can proactively manage the design , planning and implementation of replacement solutions through awareness and preparation and bring innovation through the latest technology .
However , such a refresh is not reserved only for end-of-life products but can be successfully initiated when a customer reaches a renewal anniversary . As customer needs change regularly , ensuring an existing deployment is still fulfilling its purpose is essential . A refresh provides channel partners with the opportunity to extend the customer relationship for another solution lifecycle , maximising the customer lifetime value and improving retention .
Therefore , the channel value chain must embrace this fundamental change and become more adaptive to today ’ s digitally driven customer needs . •