Gone are the days of maintenance contracts, and in are the days of subscription based product offerings, services, and B2B technology.

There’s no doubt stakes are high for the companies forging our future. Using bleeding-edge technology and taking huge risks, today’s SaaS companies face a climate as cutthroat as it is competitive.

Gone are the days of maintenance contracts, and in are the days of subscription-based products, services, and technology.

In this post, we explore the ‘why’ of this new norm and outline how YOU can stay on top of your business by investing in the all-mighty Customer Experience (CX).

Enter the Subscription economy, where the cloud rules and recurring revenue management is the strategic lifeblood of longevity and success. Subscription-based revenue powers the bottom lines of today and tomorrow’s influential technology companies.

History of SaaS:

We can thank Salesforce.com, and Steve Benioff, for pioneering the SaaS model widely used and adopted today. We recommend reading the book, “Behind the Cloud” to learn more about how Salesforce forever changed the way technology is used, bought and sold.

In early 2018, Sales Hacker reported that over 700 new SaaS businesses, across 32 categories, launched in 2017. Meaning more options are available today than ever before. And for buyer’s and seller’s, the sheer volume of options is already prett-y prett-y overwhelmingly.

This new reality has catapulted CX to the forefront of what it takes to win. Companies are willing to spend more for a better experience then spending more for bells and whistles with no product support.

“Pretty Good” and “Prit-tay Good” Customer Experiences won’t cut it in 2018.

What strategies or measures have you taken for customer acquisition, growth and retention this year?

For buyer’s and seller’s, the sheer volume of SaaS product offerings are already prett-y prett-y overwhelmingly.

Why Customer Experience (CX) matters

We can thank the cloud race and Salesforce’s rise to fame for fueling this obsession with the Customer Experience, or CX. Having strong CX has gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” for long-term business success.

With the cloud, it’s never been easier to replace a product or service with a solution of similar or equal value.

Give the customer a reason to leave, and they will. Don’t give them a reason to stay and they may go find a better experience at a better price point. The fact of the matter is there’s a flavor for everyone in 2018 and subscription businesses have to adapt and evolve.

Baking CX into your Renewal Sales Process

Today’s underdog of success for subscription-based businesses has to be building and executing Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM). Existing customers are more likely to spend more, extend referrals, provide real-time feedback and participate in case studies for marketing, etc…the list goes on. Check out more on the topic here: where I write about why existing customers are so important to the long-term success of your business.

CX + Renewal Sales = Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM)

It’s all about owning the customer lifecycle for an optimized user experience. Do it well and reap the rewards of win-wins all day. Don’t and watch churn eat away at your business. It’s not enough to have a ‘sticky’ product anymore.

What is Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM)? 

CLM is a process and methodology-based discipline. Completely customer-centric, CLM is used to improve the user experience by establishing a cadence, or touch-point schedule, to strategically add value and drive adoption at the right time with the right customer.

CLM is Alive!

For your CLM process to grow and prosper, keep in mind:

  • CLM is living breathing organism that will grow with your company and customers alike.
  • Delivering a delightful Customer Experience must be ingrained in company culture.
  • Behaviors, usage trends and end-user feedback are the holy grail.
  • Allow outside-in feedback to act like the code of your CLM algorithm, tailoring the process based off commonalities of your users.

In the future, CLM will no longer be a by-product of your Customer Success or Inside Sales teams efforts to book business. The entire company will be focused on achieving (at least) one common goal: an incredible customer experience.

Passionate about this topic?

Check out best practices and key insights here for effectively managing the customer experience and lifecycle.