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Planning to Implement a Renewals Platform? Prepare Your Data in Advance for a Smooth Process + Effective Results

Scott Frew
Scott Frew

Base install data is the keystone to every renewals function. Possessing and maintaining accurate customer data is critical to processing renewals efficiently and fostering customer satisfaction. Yet manual tools like spreadsheets are ineffective and inefficient for storing and sharing data. A simple wrong keystroke can alter or delete important information, and minimal batch processing and security functions make spreadsheets both highly time-consuming and risky.

And these problems only get worse with more and more data. A recent article in Forbes stated that "experts are predicting a 4,300 percent increase in annual data production by 2020," and "on average, companies use only a fraction of the data they collect and store."

Companies that implement a renewals management platform that provides a secure, accurate and efficient means to store and use renewals data will have a significant leg-up as the onslaught of data continues.

As with any system that relies heavily on data, the quality of what goes in relates directly to the quality of what comes out. By doing the work up-front to ensure your company's data is properly prepared, you can be up and running with a renewals platform that will return positive ROI quickly following the implementation.

Your Data: What You Need to Know

In order to affect change, you need to understand the current state of things. Reviewing your existing data and understanding what works well and where the failures lie is important information going into a renewals platform implementation.

Some questions to ask are:

  • What is the current state of your data?
  • What are the data problems your company faces today?
  • What data do you need to manage your business?
  • Where does your data currently reside?
  • Is data cleansing necessary? This may include:
    • De-duplication
    • Field mapping to auto-correct errors
    • Replacing missing field data
    • Removing irrelevant information

These questions seem simple, but the answers are likely to be complex. Take the time to gather feedback from different stakeholders within the company and conduct some basic competitive research. How do other companies in your market manage their data? Are you collecting the right kind of data to meet your business goals?

How Does Your Data Function?

Once you know what kinds of data you have and where it is stored, you can consider how it needs to function. This may include:

  • How your data is formatted
  • Whether the data is flexible or rigid
  • Data exchange requirements (e.g. interfaces to CRM, CPQ or ERP)

This information will be important to maximize the effectiveness of the platform.

How to Prepare Your Systems

Finally, the corporate systems that are in place to put guidelines and procedures around all of this data should also be documented, including:

  • Security policies
  • Data transfer policies
  • Who is responsible for collecting and preparing data
  • Which channel partners are running their own renewals platform to be integrated into yours

All of this will be important to help configure the renewals management platform to your specific needs and business goals. Having it prepared in advance will make the implementation process go more smoothly, and will result in a highly effective renewals platform. Read more about what to expect from the implementation process in our newest eBook, "Implementing a Renewals Platform: What You Need to Know."

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