By Kyle Lynch, Director of Sales, SmartFlow
Many software sales teams are just getting back from the excitement of the annual kick-off meetings. All of the new products, strategies, competitive analysis, and motivational speeches are fading into the background and the realization that January has come and gone, and the quotas are higher than ever is settling in!
One of the tangible actions companies can take to truly impact change is to make better use of the data on hand to drive the sales process. SmartFlow’s software usage analytics can help you optimize trial evaluations, discover technical support issues, and re-negotiate enterprise license agreements from a position of strength.
Don’t think you have the right data? Precise telemetry data may or may not be on hand, but it’s easy to get using SmartFlow, and in most cases there is pre-existing data that just needs to be loaded and visualized in the right way to drive revenue growth. The SmartFlow business intelligence and custom reporting module helps you make sense of the patterns that emerge from the usage data gathered through the SmartFlow platform. Completely customizable dashboards offer multiple summary business intelligence and reporting views of event, case, and opportunity data that provide deep insights, enabling you to make more informed decisions about addressing non-compliance issues, generating revenue, and staying ahead of the competition.
We are living in a data-driven world and the companies that use data most effectively today will be the market leaders tomorrow. At SmartFlow we see many opportunities to use data, not just for license compliance, but to drive the behavior of the entire software enterprise, and especially the sales organization. Below we share a few best practices SmartFlow customers are using to drive sales revenue growth and maximize customer engagements.
Trials and evaluations are a great way to generate leads. The only data collected on the download form is typically a name, company name, and email address. SmartFlow can help companies qualify trials by tracking actual software usage to better understand if a customer evaluated the software during a trial period and how many times, as well as what modules were used.
Tracking evaluations ensures prospective clients are actually using their 30-day evaluation period to their greatest advantage. Oftentimes prospective customers download trials, but fail to see the evaluation through to completion. With SmartFlow, applications engineers (AEs) can become involved with the active benchmarks and encourage the inactive ones to get started. Salespeople can also see if a request for an “additional 30 days to complete the evaluation” is a real need, or if it is time to ask for the order based on actual daily use of the product.
Cloud application renewals representatives have a distinct advantage because data usage is available to help them understand volumes, users, and modules. For renewal representatives who are selling on-premise software this data must be collected through multiple conversations. SmartFlow can help provide on-premise renewal representatives with the same advantage as cloud renewal sales people.
Understanding the current usage and deployments of all your customers is essential for developing strategies for converting white space or executing a successful account-based marketing plan.
Support and Customer Success Representatives
Having a clear deployment picture helps decrease the time to onboard new customers and resolve support issues.
Having visibility across entire installed base enables you to understand the modules used, popular features, and most common deployments. Usage statics are critical for the development of a roadmap and R&D funding.
Understanding usage behavior by software type, location, and user type provides valuable insight for developing marketing strategies on actual usage of licenses rather than only by licenses sold.
SmartFlow enables a virtual audit of installed software, eliminating need to run an on-site audit that burdens your customer and could cause a negative customer experience. You only need to engage with customers who are known to be out of compliance rather than ones that “may” be out of compliance.
One of the first cost-cutting measures companies may take is to cancel software maintenance and upgrades. This can drive users to unlicensed or counterfeit versions, or to over-deploy the subset of licenses that may still be under a support contract. SmartFlow gathers the usage data needed to ensure customers are staying compliant with license terms.
Understanding usage and potential expansion for a customer helps sell the value of moving to a new license model. Without this visibility salespeople can struggle trying to convert existing customers, customers not replacing maintenance one for one, and even growing the customer footprint.
Review Usage Statistics
Reviewing usage statistics can maximize revenues on an upcoming renewal. For years software companies have been upselling large clients with “all-you-can-eat” pricing plans that are intended to increase adoption and maximize revenue. Having the detailed usage analytics that measure actual usage is a good way to prove benefits to skeptical clients who want to pay as little as possible.
Often companies do not know that their legal licenses have been over deployed by employees who are sharing single licenses or have made unlicensed copies of legal licenses. Armed with the detailed usage data that SmartFlow provides, sales people can turn those illegal licenses into additional revenue.
SmartFlow is the industry leader in detecting software piracy and under compliance and turning it into an opportunity to recover revenues from unlicensed use. This best practices document has detailed the many proactive ways you can also organize and visualize data within SmartFlow to analyze usage and generate revenue from evaluators and licensed and unlicensed users while at the same time driving strong, positive customer relationships.
Yes, 2019 is going to be a challenging year for software sales. The economy may be slowing and the drive to cut costs is relentless. However, harnessing the data you already have, and adding new pieces to gather business intelligence can sharpen your organization and drive activity to the right opportunities. Talk to SmartFlow about best practices in using a data-driven approach to software sales today.