Upselling And Renewing For IT & T – Overcoming The Price Rise Hurdle
As IT decisions become more complex, making your numbers can be hard but there are ways to make it easier for your customers to buy, reduce your stress and retain more business overall.
The traditional IT&T sales strategy theory that it is easier to retain, upsell and cross sell to existing customers was entrenched when there were far fewer vendors and customers were more likely to have more proprietary set-ups.
Today there is more competition than ever and it shows no signs of slowing. IT&T products and services are developed and launched at breakneck speed. Add to this a disrupted means of distribution (cloud) and procurement (XaaS) and the end result is a buyer’s market that makes it easier for customers to choose another option and move.
In this climate, it’s vital to understand that upselling and renewing your IT&T customers is about more than just selling more. It’s a test of how good your overall product and service offerings are and the strength of your relationship with them. It’s about an ongoing consultative approach that means upselling and renewing is a progression, and never something you are anxious about tabling. More than ever, it’s about enabling the purchase as much as educating the choice of what and why to buy.
In this post we look at some of the ways you can deliver more value to your customer and your business through IT&T renewals and upsell cycles.
Know your customer inside and out
It should go without saying, but before any conversations involving a renewal or upsell – you have to know your customer. It’s critical to know what is important to them today. It may have changed since the last time you went through a negotiation with them. The key players and decision makers might have changed and they might be looking to make their mark by skewering a couple of long-term suppliers. Talk to whomever you need to – not about the upsell – but about the state of play and future for your customers business to get a good sense of what you can offer that will align with their future strategy and current state of mind.
Of course if their current state of mind vis-a-vis your IT&T offerings is less than satisfied, you, first, need to know that and second, you need to address it. It doesn’t mean you can’t upsell – in fact it might be the answer to their perceived issues with your offerings. Just be sure you acknowledge their state of dissatisfaction and be sure the upsell will solve it for them and deliver even more.
It’s all in the timing
Knowing your customer also means knowing when the time is right to talk to them about adjusting their service. After you have completed a successful initiative with your product or helped your customer achieve a big milestone (e.g. reaching a customer acquisition goal) can be a good time to ask them – “where to from here”? It’s a natural opportunity to bring up new ideas and projects that align with selling more of your services or renewing your arrangements with them.
Have a flexible financing strategy
Assuming you have hit your customer at the right time and you have done your homework on their current state of mind and future plans – you still might find resistance if you are asking for a price hike. So it’s important you are able to offer them ways to pay that don’t cause them budget stress or create extra work.
A successful financing strategy will help to neutralise objections and accelerate your pipeline. A good financing solution allows you to package up the deal for your customers so they can pay you overtime – like a subscription payment. This avoids any need to raid the budget in order to meet a big upfront payment. It can also help you avoid having to offer upfront discounts to get them over the line.
An extra bonus for your customers can be the possible tax benefits of accounting for your costs as operating not capital expenses. If you can try and get some insight into what’s important to them from an accounting, tax and budget standpoint. It will help you craft a better deal.
Deals can often fall over at the last minute because of the time lapsed to get the financing paperwork approved and signed off. When upselling or renewing – this process has to be even faster and better than when the original deal was inked. Customers expectations for financing approvals and paperwork are very high today. The finance contract process and approvals need to happen on-demand, close to immediately and be online.
Multipli your chances
As we said upfront – upselling and renewing should feel like a progression – not a surprise attack. Everything should be a natural evolution which means staying connected to your customers and talking to them often about their state of mind and their future.
Once you are on this journey together, having a good financing strategy in place will help neutralize objections around pricing changes and accelerate finalizing the deal. These are the key drivers behind Multipli’s financing model. It gives you the ability to offer your clients flexibility in their payment terms along with a purpose-built software solution that allows accredited partners to integrate online sales order processes with our finance approvals and payment systems – and get your deals done fast.
We love working on financing strategies with our customers – so contact us and let’s talk.