Hi Everyone-I've recently taken responsibility for renewals in the business due to organizational gaps in a growing startup. While I've been in the customer space for 15 years, I have never run renewals as a core responsibility. I have developed a journey to assist in the customer experience leading up to the renewal, which includes education, outcome-based conversations, business reviews, and product/service feedback, but the strategic conversations/sales conversations around this activity are a gap. Does anyone have a solid, yet simple, process + tips/tricks to follow for renewals (most contracts are 1 year in length and <75k)? The CS team typically has a relationship with the day-to-day users, less so on the buying side and we do not have an RM team (only hunters) that nurtures the buyer relationship. I'm curious if others have this engagement model, and if you have implemented other tactics to get to the buyer or executive, who may not "know" the CSM.
Great topic and thanks for starting this discussion! At our user conference in October 2020, we actually held a fun and lively debate on this exact topic. I did my best to summarize the arguments from both sides below (but apologies that even the summary is quite long). Hope this helps as you navigate the best decision for your own organization. Personally, I really enjoy owning the renewal as a CSM, and hope others agree!
If you want to listen to the full recording of the debate (the debate was delivered in a webinar-like format), you can find it here.
Arguments FOR Customer Success owning the renewal:
Argument #1: Respect the rule of reciprocity
Argument #2: Don't reinvent the car buying experience
Argument #3: Renewal separation dehumanizes the customer relationship
Arguments AGAINST Customer Success owning the renewal:
Argument #1: Focus on the journey, not the destination
Argument #2: Scaling Customer Success and driving performance demand specialization
Argument #3: Customer Success and Sales are more effective together than apart