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In Enterprise SaaS, who should send the recurring invoices, accounting or account managers?

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JASON LEMKIN

If:

  • your customer are happy — i.e., your NPS/CSAT is high — and
  • your app is mission critical and used often (every day or more), then
  • I like accounting to own renewals and invoices.

Most SaaS companies approach renewals as something they have to “re-sell”. They have to go back to the customer 60, 90 days before the term ends, and sell them again to get the customer to pay again.

I haven’t found this actually to be all that necessary if you are a mission-critical app customer love.

Instead, if you just nicely remind them 90, 60, 30, 15 and 5 days out they have to pay .. and then in-app let them know their account is overdue and will be shut down in T-14 days they are late … this tends to work pretty well.

Even for large deals, allowing customer success to 90-100% focus on “success” and accounting to manage the renewal itself allies the success team better with the customer.

Customer success and sales definitely will need to be involved in some renewals. If your renewal rate is 95%+ and your app is used all the time, don’t spend huge human resources — and sales commissions — on renewals. Make it a semi-automated process and focus the CS team on the exceptions and at-risk accounts.

But — if your app is used only episodically, and only by a small number of users, this approach won’t work well. Apps that are used seldomly are always at renewal risk even if the NPS/CSAT is super high. You just won’t have strong enough champions.

So assume any software which is used infrequently (< once a week) by only a segment of a company always has to be re-sold at each renewal.

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Published on August 27, 2017
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