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6 Key Automations That Make Renewals Quoting Easier

Scott Frew
Scott Frew

Automation is all the rage lately. From self-driving cars to smart homes that open the blinds when you wake and turn off the lights to regulate energy usage, the role technology can play in relieving us of manual and repetitive tasks so we can focus on more interesting and engaging tasks is appealing, to say the least.

So what role can automation play in making renewal quotes not only easier, but more effective and enjoyable as well? If it can limit the time and effort taken on repetitive tasks like sending renewal quotes and confirming pricing and product data, the channel can reallocate resources to closing more renewal deals and increasing revenues.

How to Get Started Automating Your Renewals Business

Automation will help renewals teams establish a proactive approach to renewal quotes, which will benefit your customers – they won't be saddled with a last-minute decision of whether to renew or face losing a potentially integral tool, which they will appreciate, and means you are more likely to close a renewal. You will also be better able to address possible upsell/cross-sell opportunities.

To get started, brainstorm a comprehensive list of repetitive processes that could be automated. Then prioritize this list from those that are used most frequently (tackle these first) to least frequently. Begin creating workflows and integrating technology to minimize the time and manual actions needed to accomplish these tasks.

#1: Identifying Contracts That are Due for Renewal

Wading through long spreadsheets trying to identify which customers are coming up for renewal is inefficient and unpleasant. Instead, automate this task. When a net new sale is processed, the contract end date should be entered in the data as well (whether your organization uses a spreadsheet or a data management system). This may be as simple as creating a reminder in your calendar of the end date, with a notification 90 days in advance to reach out to the customer. Then you can be confident that you will automatically receive notification in advance of every customer's end date.

#2: Validate Product and Pricing Data

By using a data management system that is integrated across the channel, VARs can validate product and pricing data automatically without time-consuming manual emails to distributors and manufacturers.

#3: Create Email Templates for Standard Customer Communications

Email templates can be used to replace emails that are sent at specific stages of the renewals process. Templates can be used for these repetitive interactions using standard language to save you the time and energy that you're spending on all of those "quick, short" communications.

Email templates can be used for:

  • Sending renewal quotes
  • Sending renewal purchase orders
  • Acknowledging when an order is received
  • Sending invoices
  • Multiple renewal reminders (e.g. at 120, 90, 60 and 30 days out)
#4: Coordinate Renewal Quotes Revisions and Reviews

By establishing business rules in advance that create guidelines for changes that can be made without requiring vendor review, VARs can respond to customer change requests immediately. These rules may include:

  • The discount cannot change from its pre-agreed level
  • Self-service quotes are limited to renewal opportunities of, say, $20k and less
  • Controls that ensure resellers focus on renewals due in the current period and not skip over smaller opportunities due now
  • Special bids at low dollar levels should be eliminated

Technology can provide the structure to automate these rules and enable on-the-spot re-quotes while maintaining the vendor's visibility across the entire renewal business.

#5: Record the New Contract Data Using Batch Processing Tools

When a contract renewal is closed, who wants to spend hours entering multiple quote lines or updating a pricing change on several hundred line items? Batch upload or bulk processing tools can be a useful way to minimize any manual entry. Bulk updates can be performed in MS Excel, but may be easier to process using an appropriate data management platform.

#6: Cancel Accidental Duplicate Renewal Quotes

When multiple quote options are presented to customers, the ones that aren't renewed often remain in the data, creating future confusion and errors. Set up a system to automatically cancel non-renewing quotes upon the customer's acceptance of the offer.

Automating the renewal quoting process means your renewals team can spend more time nurturing customer relationships and less time dealing with repetitive manual tasks.

Get more easy tips to streamline your renewals business with our "Shockingly Easy and Successful Renewal Quoting."
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