Over the past few weeks, we’ve probably convinced you that self-service is an option worth exploring. Self-service can increase customer satisfaction, pull leads out of “purgatory” and into active product use, and deliver more qualified leads back to the sales team. It’s clearly a win-win – but how can you make it happen?
Avangate has a simple 30-60-90 day plan for embedding self-service commerce into the sales process at any organization. It starts with preparation, continues with refinement, and ends by inserting usage-qualified leads back into the sales process. Here’s the process in brief – to dive into more detail, check out our lead-to-revenue management whitepaper.
30 days: Prepare the product for successful self-service
The first step in the self-service process involves breaking down a product into manageable modules. In order for customers to adopt self-service, there needs to be an extremely simple way for them to get started. By dividing the product into specific modules that cater to self-service, and pricing those modules appropriately, companies will set themselves up for success with the self-service channel. Product breakdown should be based on existing marketing data about customer signups, usage, and retention.
In addition to dividing the product up into manageable pieces, it’s extremely important to automate everything behind the scenes. Self-service can’t become just another route toward managed services, such that customers will have to wait for responses or assistance. Everything from currency adjustments to product changes should populate automatically, making sure self-service truly provides a service for users.
60 days: Get the self-service train running smoothly
After the product has been divided into parts that are manageable with self-service tools, and the behind-the-scenes aspects of the product are running smoothly, it’s time to expand self-service and make it more appealing to specific audiences. By combining the self-service usage data available from initial testing and early adopters with existing customer data, companies should be able to create and market to specific personas who can benefit from self-service in different ways. Understanding the self-service customer’s needs will help companies expand the self-service channel and drive more customers this route.
90 days: Recapture UQLs for direct sales
Following a period of extended product usage, self-service customers will often be ready to upgrade to a more advanced version of the software. Depending on the self-service modules available, they may be able to do this on their own, which is obviously desirable. However, customers may also reach the point where they need something more than what’s available through self-service. These customers should be passed back to the sales team as usage-qualified leads, or UQLs.
UQLs are uniquely qualified because they have done something that few other prospective customers do: told the sales team exactly what they want, without saying a word. Simply by looking at what the customers do with the product and how often they use it, the sales team has a wealth of information that can be used to develop a customized upgrade plan for these usage-qualified leads. And while usage information is most relevant for customers who have used the product, it can also be extended to other prospects, giving salespeople a better understanding of all of their leads, across the board.
This easy 30-60-90 day plan can take almost any organization from zero to self-service in just three short months. Combining the tips in this blog post with the in-depth advice from Avangate’s lead-to-revenue management whitepaper will help all kind of software companies transform their sales process and increase customer satisfaction.