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The key to winning in the services economy: managing service renewals

February 20, 2018

The key to winning in the services economy: managing service renewals

In a recent blog, we talked about the importance of attaching services to sales, including five benefits to customers and 5 benefits for your company. If you already know the importance of selling services, we'd like to focus on a topic that's crucial to your sales success—renewals.

In the former sales model, which focused on selling hardware and software products, the primary focus was on the initial sale. Once a prospect became a customer, the attention turned toward the next candidate. In today's subscription-based services economy, however, the key to success is actively managing customers throughout the post-sales relationship, with a commitment to helping them achieve their desired business outcomes.

 As Ingram Micro Cisco partners pivot toward recurring revenue streams and the delivery of subscription-based offerings, they must build a sales model that nurtures the end-to-end customer experience from the initial sale to adoption and renewal. The most successful partners excel in four distinct “motions” of the sales process:

  • Land. The first motion is the initial sale and includes all products and services attached, plus ownership for integrated account management and delivery of business outcomes.
  • Adopt. In the second phase, customers use the services they purchased, and they begin to see their value. In some cases, the partner may need to provide training to ensure users understand how to properly use the services to ensure adoption takes place.
  • Expand. This motion entails the ongoing process of delivering incremental value during which customers consume more offers, features and functionalities, and they buy more capabilities or seats to enhance or expand the implementation.
  • Renew. The fourth motion is the point at which partners revisit technology installs and options and maximize annuity revenues. Renewals should be a non-event as customers realize the value of the solutions and services they purchased.

 

Two invaluable resources: Cisco Lifecycle Advantage and the Ingram Micro Reseller Services Portal 

Cisco Lifecycle Advantage is one of the first partner programs of its kind, combining analytics, automation and personalized content to help partners digitally manage the customer relationship. Lifecycle Advantage makes it easier to develop more in-depth customer engagements, maximizing the value customers get from their solutions and the revenue partners earn. 

Using a combination of Cisco and partner data, Lifecycle Advantage automatically sends personalized, cobranded messages at specific milestones over the life of the customer's purchases. By contacting customers with relevant information about solutions they own at the appropriate time, they’re more likely to realize the full value of their investments and become more loyal. Automated notifications include:

  • A second chance at attaching services
  • Onboarding information
  • Adoption of features they may not be using
  • Recommendations for additional solutions that are relevant to them
  • Reminders of expiring contracts and subscriptions (which can also include autogenerated, ready-to-book quotes)
  • Refresh notifications when products near end of life

Additionally, messages can be configured to communicate the most relevant content to help customers achieve their most important business outcomes.

The Ingram Micro Reseller Services Portal (RSP) is the perfect complement to the Cisco Lifecycle Advantage program. The RSP is a web-enabled application that simplifies the process of tracking maintenance contracts, warranties and leases, ensuring partners capture 100% of the contract annuity revenue available.

To get started, log on to the RSP and receive immediate notification of any warnings, product updates or pending approvals that require attention. Then use the portal's interface to:

  •  Renew services contracts—receive automatic emails 30, 60 and 90 days before the contract expiration date.
  •  Register new products for future renewal revenue. 
  •  Attach new services to uncovered assets. 
  •  Refresh products for growth opportunities. 
  •  Increase your Cisco Smart Net Total Care revenue with real-time pricing via Cisco Online Quoting.
  •  Manage customer accounts more efficiently. 

You also can give your customers the option of viewing their services portfolios and previous maintenance contract purchases. This helps them forecast and budget more effectively while strengthening their relationships with you by positioning your company as a trusted business partner. 

To find out how the Ingram Micro Reseller Services Portal can help you build and manage your service business, contact the Ingram Micro Cisco Services team and schedule a consultation today: (800) 456-8000, ext. 76475, or via the web at http://aim-ciscoservices-ebook.businesscatalyst.com