Renewal Selling – Top Tips
Let’s begin with an obvious truth: renewal selling should be treated with the same importance as winning new clients. Yet we see that the responsibility for renewals often falls to staff who don’t have the skills to do it well. This is potentially costing you money.
Let’s talk about how to sell more successfully in the renewal space, firstly by exploring some challenges, and secondly with some sales training techniques to help your team succeed:
Top 3 Renewal Selling Challenges:
1. Surge in Renewal Selling = Sign of the Times
In recent times there has been an explosion in the number of software/Saas products and services in the market. They are all vying for new business, and an automatic (or easy) renewal sale is no longer guaranteed. Renewal selling is not just a ‘nice to have’. It’s now a prime driver of many companies’ sales engines.
2. Reactive Sales Mindset
It’s no longer ok to adopt a reactive, ‘wait and see’ mindset. Instead, many businesses need to shift their renewals team’s skills, techniques and behaviours into a more proactive mindset to ensure renewals are not lost to their competitors. The companies that master the renewal selling game will be the long-term winners in the battle for significant share of wallet with clients.
3. Pricing & Value Perception
Pricing is a critical factor in renewals. Customers may perceive the product or service to be overpriced or not providing enough value to justify the cost. You need to communicate the value of your products and services effectively to increase the likelihood of renewals.
Renewal sales training tips to meet these challenges:
1. Begin with your team’s Mind-set, Strategy and Behaviour
The first question to answer is “Do my team currently care about renewals?” If not, you need to work on a communications plan that motivates and inspires, even when you feel that they should do it ‘as part of their job’. Your team must understand the importance of renewal selling and how it is the lifeblood of your company.
2. Increase visibility
There needs to be a system in place to ensure everyone is aware of customer lifecycle and upcoming renewals dates – and likely challenges and roadblocks. Customers may be tempted to switch to a company offering better pricing or more features. To combat this, your renewals sales team needs to stay up-to-date on industry trends and provide unique value propositions to stand out from the competition.
Having a proactive and strategic approach to your client is essential. You need to know the industry, their business and be ahead of the game in terms of a renewal date approaching. They cannot sit back and expect a client to renew!
3. Measure & Present Value
Be able to measure the ROI gained to date for the customer and articulate the future value to be gained from renewing. This value proposition is important to get right, and even more important to articulate in a clear and memorable way. This takes practice, and is a big focus in our renewal selling training.
4. Stay close to your clients
It’s not good enough for clients to only hear from you when you want something such as a renewal. It’s better to show an interest in their business, with great questioning & listening skills that show the customer you care. You don’t have to call them weekly, but a consistent (say quarterly) cadence leading up to the renewal date is best practice selling. If your sales or account service teams are call-shy, then they must be encouraged to call, and not rely on email.
5. Practice the renewal conversation
Practice in a room with your team with some role play to ensure that they have the skills to perform renewal selling at a high level. Focus primiarly on the Big Three Sales Skills:
- Think of 3 Questions to ask to get the customer thinking in the right way
- A value-based elevator pitch answering the question: “For X customer/s, why should they renew?” (tip: don’t think like ‘you’, think like ‘them’).
- Brainstorm 3 likely objections and how to handle them
Renewal Selling rightfully should be a prime focus in your sales engine. If you feel your people aren’t converting renewals at a 75%+ rate, then we suggest you utilise our renewal sales training programme. Renewal Sales Training will give your team the mindset, confidence, tools, skills and practice to perform at a high level.
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