How to Protect and Grow Your Recurring Revenue
Both Gartner and Forrester predicted that by 2020, more than 80 percent of the buying process will occur without any direct human-to-human interaction. It’s all part of the massive digital shift that has transformed both product and service delivery models and traditional sales practices.
The challenge for providers and partners today shifted from making that first sale to meeting high customer expectations. Customers want to achieve what they signed up for.
Think about this: traditional sales models assumed that revenue opportunities were most present in the early phases of customer engagement, but new models operate with the understanding that post-sale opportunities after customer adoption are the most lucrative. They are also the most critical for customer retention.
Adoption as the New Gas Pedal
As digital buying and selling processes reshape our world, margins on hardware product sales are shrinking. At the same time, the shift towards cloud brings competitors. The result: partners are facing a tidal wave of emerging challenges in their businesses. Those who are ahead of the game say the answer is to pivot toward recurring revenue streams, the delivery of subscription-based offerings and most importantly—using adoption as the new gas pedal for customer stickiness.
To get adoption on the right track, help customers plan for optimal use of technology in alignment with their goals—whether they’re seeking growth, profit, increased productivity or some other outcome. Next, actively monitor customer health. This means keeping a watchful eye on adoption milestones and assisting clients to maximize value realization.
The good news is that unprecedented levels of connectivity now exist between and across customer, provider and partner relationships. We can use information we already have by virtue of this connectivity to gain insight into the customer journey and then apply analytics and automation to advance customer success.
With product and feature usage data now easily available to us, it is possible to uncover how and when customers are struggling, and detect what is and isn’t working for them. We can use data-driven automation to trigger actions to proactively address these challenges and optimize ROI on an ongoing basis.
Believe in the Power of Data
Data intelligence fuels our ability to monitor customer health and to sell smarter and more effectively. As the digital economy grows, so too should we expand our reliance on these strategies to ensure that every last customer goal is achieved.
The research data that supports this approach is overwhelming. For example, Gartner says 64 percent of buyers indicate that customer service is more important to them than price. And while in the past, unique features drove customer acquisition and retention, in the coming years, customer experience will surpass price and product as the key brand differentiator. What’s even more powerful for Cisco and our partners is that customer experience unlocks the key to growth across recurring revenue and expand selling initiatives.
In this competitive industry, the battle cry has never been greater for a focus on successful adoption strategies and delivering on the promise of our products and services. Let’s all work together to create the best possible outcomes for our mutual installed base and surpass even our own expectations for customer success.
To learn more, join us on May 31 for the Customer Success Talk webinar, “Design a Winning Customer Adoption Strategy.” Register now.