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6 Tips for Conducting Better On-Site Sales Meetings

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The Software-as-a-Service (Saas) industry has revolutionized B2B sales teams and the selling process. Today, more than ever, opportunities are being sold – from start to finish – remotely and sales reps are leveraging new technology to facilitate virtual meetings (such as webinar and video conferencing). By eliminating the time and cost of travel, salespeople are able to reach significantly more prospects in a shorter period of time – leading to greater revenues at lower costs.

That said, oftentimes your largest potential customers will still request a face-to-face meeting; particularly if you’re selling complex solutions. We run into this a lot with our telecom billing platform – imagine replacing your system for managing customers, collecting revenue, tax calculation, ticketing, and automating workflows. At Rev.io, we’ve found that on-site meetings can be a critical component of moving large opportunities to closure. And, if done correctly, on-site meetings can become a powerful tool for a sales rep.

Before you take the time and expense (and ask your prospect to invest their time) to travel to an on-site sales meeting, it’s important to plan for the interaction. Here are some planning tips for conducting effective on-site sales meetings:

1. HOLD AN INITIAL MEETING REMOTELY

Before committing your company resources to travel to the potential customer, hold an initial discovery call to learn about your prospect’s business and qualify the opportunity. The qualifying meeting can help you gauge the prospect’s interest, identify if there is a need, and quantify the value associated with your solution. In addition, ask your executive contact/ sponsor to champion you holding interview calls with the key stakeholders in the project – you’ll want to gain their perspective prior to an on-site meeting as well.

2. PROPOSE A MEETING AGENDA IN ADVANCE

The most effective sales meetings have a clearly outlined agenda and topics to be communicated. When traveling to a prospect’s office, you should create a meeting agenda, share the written schedule with your prospect, and discuss the proposed topics in advance. Getting feedback before the meeting will help you cater the meeting to the potential customer’s specific concerns or questions, allow you to schedule outside resources to call into parts of the meeting (such as a technical sales engineer or onboarding expert), and show that you’re confident the meeting will be worth their time. Bring hard copies of the agenda to the meeting and hand these out to each of the attendees. This sets the tone of the meeting early on and sets the audience’s expectations of the topics and timeline.

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3. keep presentations focused on business initiatives

Use the intelligence gained from initial remote meetings to craft the message of your on-site presentation.  All presentations and product demonstrations should show how your solution will directly impact your prospect’s revenue growth, expense reduction, competitive advantage, or risk mitigation. If the content you’re sharing doesn’t tie back to one of those business initiatives, leave it out!

When you’re in the prospect’s office it can be easy to relinquish control of the meeting, but it’s imperative that you stick to the plan.

4. ask for feedback

On-site meetings with potential customers will typically involve stakeholders from multiple functional areas. Keep in mind, each person will have their own agenda and frame of reference when evaluating your solution. Near the end of the meeting, ask each attendee to write down at least one area of your solution that could benefit their functional department and at least one concern they have about your solution. Prior to concluding the presentation, go around the room and ask each individual to share those thoughts. It’s a beneficial exercise for you and for your audience.

5. SET ASIDE TIME WITH EXECUTIVE DECISION MAKERS

Don’t be alarmed if your executive decision makers don’t attend the entire on-site meeting. It’s very common for top executives to skip out on the detailed product demonstration or a deep-dive on implementation processes. While it’s okay for your executives to be absent for the detailed discussions, it is vital to set aside time with them to review business terms. When discussing the relationship between your two companies with an executive decision maker, bring in members of your executive team, whenever possible, so you can create executive alignment.

6. FOLLOW UP

Follow up your on-site meeting with a personal touch. Where most companies (and probably your competitors) will follow up with an email, stand out from the crowd by sending a handwritten thank you note to each attendee. For an even bigger impact, make the note personal by addressing a question they asked or specific use case they brought up – the extra time you spend on these notes will go a long way.  Lastly, send the notes with a small, branded gift from your marketing department, like a branded notebook or mug. Not only will you stand out from the competition, but you’ll also leave behind a little reminder of your solution.


Now that you know the 6 best practices to facilitate better on-site sales meetings, you’re ready to go out and start selling your UCaaS solution! We hope our effective sales meeting tips will help you improve close ratios and make a great impression on your prospects. Good luck!  For more information about the sales process or our IoT & telecom billing platform, please Contact Rev.io for more information about the sales process or our IoT & telecom billing platform. We’re here to chat.

 

How to Prevent Churn of Your Most Valuable Customers

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Churn (or cancellation) rate refers to the percentage of customers who leave your product or service. For usage or subscription-based businesses, it is arguably THE most important metric to monitor. A high churn rate is a classic sign that the business you are running is no longer sustainable. The good news? Taking action to both identify your most valuable customers and improve user experience can quickly remedy the problem.

Here are seven strategies to reduce customer churn and, ultimately, increase revenue.

Streamline Your Onboarding

Just like your website may provide the first impression before a sale, your onboarding experience sets the tone for the quality of service you provide to customers. If your onboarding experience is negative, choppy or unprofessional, your customers will expect the same level of support throughout your partnership. In fact, new customers are most likely to churn in the early days of onboarding, so creating a smooth platform transition is vital to your relationship. An effective onboarding process will build your customer’s trust, demonstrate the value of the product or service, and set the foundation for the remainder of the partnership.

Pro Tip: Earn your customer’s affection in the early days and win them for a lifetime.

Improve User Experience

While user experience (UX) typically refers to how easy or intuitive a product or website is to use, good UX really comes down to meeting the needs of your customers. Our customer retention tip? Encourage new hires to interact with your product and service before getting your official training. Their fresh eyes will give you visibility into how new customers might approach your product or service. This will help you identify gaps, watch user patterns, and determine what may be less than intuitive.

Pro Tip: Talk to your support team and make sure these gaps directly influence your roadmap.

Offer Additional Services

What kind of technology are you providing for your customers? In today’s competitive market, the answer to this question could make or break your churn rates. Add over-the-top value by offering services above and beyond basic connectivity and data connection. For example, self-service capabilities can empower your most valuable customers to take charge of their accounts and help you stand out in the market.

Pro Tip: Learn about how to effectively roll out a new product or service, right here.

Proactive Customer Monitoring

Thanks to modern APIs, business intelligence is no longer exclusive to enterprise companies. Organizations of all sizes can access predictive analytics to detect early warning signs of at-risk customers. Recurring revenue and subscription-based businesses can avoid churn by tracking metrics like frequency of user engagement, customer satisfaction scores, and more.

Pro Tip: Look for a customer management tool that offers custom reporting to track the information that matters most to your business.

Provide Better Billing

Adopting a modern, automated billing system can improve accuracy, build trust, and, ultimately, improve retention. Billing is personal for your customers. One small mistake can trigger a major chasm of trust between you and your customers. Whether your customers are facing an inaccurate charge or unpredictable billing rates, chances are that trust will not only get lost in the billing process but also in your product or service as a whole.

Pro Tip: You can’t afford to make billing mistakes. Read more about how better billing can drive your client retention strategy.

Increase Quality of Customer Care

Mistakes happen, but the quality of your customer support can reverse, or exacerbate, these issues. Almost 70% of the identifiable reasons why customers left typical companies had nothing to do with the product. The prevailing reason for switching was poor quality of service. Make sure your support team is prepared and empowered to deliver quality care and views each trouble ticket as an opportunity to deliver world-class care.

Pro Tip: Choose a service provider that keep their development and customer support in-house to prevent this pitfall.

Businesses spend 5x more to acquire a new customer versus what they spend to retain an existing customer. To see how Rev.io can help you predict and prevent churn of your most valuable customers, request a demo or contact us today.

Adopting a New Business Technology? 10 Things NOT To Do

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Gartner predicts that IT spending will reach $3.5 trillion dollars in 2017. Companies of all sizes across industries are looking to deliver sound technology investments to meet business goals. While most executives realize the impact technology could have on their bottom line, many are delaying adoption. For example, in one study, 90% of executives recognized that big data was relevant to their business, yet only 39% reported implementing new technology in their own business.

So, why are organizations slow to adopt new business technology?

The truth? Adopting new technology in business is a huge decision with major financial implications. Getting buy-in and implementing a new technology across an organization isn’t easy. So, to smooth the adoption process, we’re giving you our top 10 common pitfalls to avoid:

1. Buying solely based on price tag

Budget is important. In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest factors driving your purchasing decision. Make sure you know your budget before searching for a solution. Think about the challenges you’re facing and what solving them would do for your bottom line. If you go into buying mode without a clear picture of the problem you’re trying to solve and what a solution would be worth to your organization, you’ll be tempted to purchase the cheapest option… and you’ll get what you paid for.

2. Forgetting about your actual business needs

Before you adopt a new system, ask yourself, “What is the need?” The solution you choose should directly meet that need.

All too often, we hear horror stories of organizations that were implementing new technology only to realize it was a waste of their time and money. Typically, the technology itself was not ineffective; it simply failed to address the actual business need. While cost is the primary driver of apprehension toward adoption, it’s important for companies to remember that business technology can have an impact that extends well beyond a simple return on investment. It might seem obvious, but choose the solution that will actually meet your needs.

3. Expecting it to be the same as your current solution

Adopting new technology in business is not a plug-and-chug process. If you’re expecting nothing to change, there’s a good chance you’re not ready for a new solution in the first place. Innovation takes flexibility, and having a “this is how we’ve always done things” mentality will hinder the impact of the implementation. You’re adopting a new process to maximize the benefits of the solution, so keep an open mind and your eyes on the prize.

4. Placing solutions in silos

Historically, centralized IT groups would implement new technology within a business. Now, things are changing. Line leaders of individual departments are making their own tech purchase decisions. This can lead to chaos when those technologies don’t integrate with each other. Make sure your technologies can work together, and be mindful of how a new solution will work with the rest of your tools. Siloed solutions will only take you so far, so opt for a full-service solution when possible.

5. Buying JUST the technology

Today’s technology can provide some pretty spectacular gains for businesses, but implementing a new solution requires a human element. Make sure you love not only the technology but also the company and team that comes with it. What are their culture and customer service policies? Remember, from onboarding to training to ongoing support, you’ll (hopefully) be working closely with the team behind the technology.

6. Forgetting about your roadmap

One of the biggest mistakes made by organizations implementing new technology is focusing only on the here and now. While leveraging technology to solve just your immediate business challenges is tempting, think big picture and be mindful of what’s coming next. As your business evolves your needs will change, so find a system that can grow with you.

7. Diving in blind

In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of technology solutions on the market. There’s no need to dive into a relationship you’re not sure about. Check the right references (within your particular segment or industry, especially) to make sure the solution you’re considering is worth your time and money. Take plenty of time to speak with the potential solution provider and your partners. That short investment of your time will pay dividends down the road.

8. Avoiding the data

The decision to adopt a new business technology should be data-driven. A recent study found that companies in the top third of their industry that used data-driven decision-making were, on average, 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors. Consider both your internal data as well as the projections that your new solution provides.

9. Getting discouraged by downtime

When you’re implementing new technology, you’ll inevitably face some growing pains. Systems must be updated, processes must be reworked, and your team must be trained. If the solution itself is too complex or the onboarding process too demanding, the team may push back. When searching for a solution, make usability and support a top priority to avoid this lag in productivity.

10. Forgetting about your team

You’ve researched the new solution for hours on end, received buy-in from the higher-ups and are ready to make the jump. Not so fast… The simple fact of the matter is that even the most powerful business solutions won’t work if your employees are unwilling or unable to use them. Discuss the transition with your team and walk them through the strategy driving the decision. If the new technology will ultimately make their jobs easier—even better. Be sure that expectations are set before implementation begins.

Adopting a new business technology can be a major headache. We’re here to make it easy. Subscribe to receive growth tips like this, delivered straight to your inbox. Or, request a demo to see how Rev.io can help you reach that next level of success.

Rev.io Agent Portal: Happy Agents = Happy Customers

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Ready to Maximize Your Agent Channel?

Whether you’re considering an indirect sales channel or are already working with agents today, Rev.io’s Agent Portal can improve sales outcomes and end-customer experiences.

After surveying a group of VARs using telecom agents, Channel Insider reported one half to two-thirds of resellers’ annual revenue comes from partnerships with agents. While working with a distribution channel can boost revenue growth, it can also create several operational challenges. For instance, your agents will need access to their end-user data and you’ll want a way to manage agent commissions and communication.

Enter Rev.io Agent Portal

Using Rev.io’s robust Agent Module, your agents will enjoy around-the-clock visibility into their customers’ details – from usage, invoices, payment history, trouble tickets, contact information, and reporting. With these powerful insights at their fingertips, agents will be better equipped to serve your customers. The best news? Your clients will notice (and appreciate) the white-glove support and improved user experience, leading to better customer retention.

In addition to account visibility, Rev.io Agent Portal streamlines agent relationship management. We make it possible to provide your agents with everything from customer data to communication – all in one place. You’ll find that it’s easier to provide training resources, documentation, agent alerts, commission reports, and more! Why wait? Check out our one-stop shop for managing agents, customers, and commissions.

Ready to Maximize your Channel and Improve Customer Experience?

If you’re a current Rev.io user, you can enable this feature at any time. Just contact us with your request. If you’re not a current Rev.io client and would like to see the Agent Portal in action, please fill out the form below. We’d love to show you what Rev.io could do for your business.

Learn More About Rev.io Agent Portal

Bill-On-Behalf-Of Your Resellers With Rev.io

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Ready to win more resellers?

Rev.io’s white label billing solution can help. Our powerful suite of billing, reporting, and tax management tools are flexible, scalable, and secure – giving you everything you need to enable partners and win more business. If you’re a technology service provider looking for a complete recurring revenue and integrated customer platform, you’ve come to the right place.

Billing-on-behalf of your customers shouldn’t be a headache. Rev.io’s white label programs give you the power to provide a sophisticated billing and customer management system. Empower your current clients (and attract new ones) with an easier way to bill and manage data, all while generating an additional stream of revenue for your business.

Whether you’re starting a new white label program or are looking to complement your existing reseller offering, Rev.io is ready to help.

Key Features:

  • Customizable and scalable
  • Access to full account details and online payment options
  • Unified customer profiles, unique customer tagging, and detailed customer support notes
  • Dependable, automated taxation, and compliance
  • Powerful business intelligence through integrated reporting

Key Benefits:

  • Enhanced service offering
  • Accelerated revenue capture, increased efficiency, and reduced overhead
  • Faster onboarding and improved customer retention
  • Stronger business agility
  • Boosted recurring revenue
  • Flexibility to configure pricing and bill for any service

Our system works in real time to keep your operations running smoothly. Getting started is easy, and Rev.io is ready to team up to design your perfect solution. We’re ready to take an active partnership role and grow with your business.

Want to see it in action? Learn more here, or, schedule a demo below.

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How Better Billing Can Help Your Customer Retention Strategy

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You have an excellent product that stands apart in your market. Conversion metrics are looking good and your business clearly has a solid handle on turning leads into paying customers. But once you win those customers, are you doing a good job of keeping them around?

Enter customer retention.

Customer retention refers to the actions a company takes to reduce the number of customer defections. It begins the moment a customer interacts with a company and continues throughout the lifetime of the relationship. Every service, product and interaction accumulates to determine the status of the relationship.

While customer retention is a critical metric for any business endeavor, it is especially important for subscription businesses relying on recurring revenue. Retaining the customer base you already have promotes sustainable growth. In fact, some say that customer retention is even more beneficial to a company’s financial health than new business.

Thanks to ever-evolving technology, rising customer expectations, and easy access to other options, maintaining customers is more challenging than ever and requires an all-encompassing, strategic approach.

Proof is in the numbers.

According to research from Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% – 95%. Managed properly, that is a huge return on investment. Finally, the likelihood of converting an existing customer into a repeat customer is 60% – 70%, while the probability of converting a new lead is 5% – 20%, at best. Whether you’re looking to grow your customer base by winning new deals or add new offerings to your existing portfolio, effective client retention strategies are just as important as these new initiatives.

In response to these glaring statistics, providing a more personalized and seamless user experience is the new approach that many Communications and Technology service providers are adopting. By combining billing, agile reporting, customized support, and a self-service customer portal, we’re creating a toolkit to provide your base with a better customer experience. Our sophisticated, quote-to-cash subscription billing software is helping businesses, like yours, grow by more than double the industry average by improving customer service, reducing churn, and increasing retention.

Why better billing should matter to you.

When you’re working hard to retain customers, but still noticing a gap in your revenue, there’s a good chance that revenue leakage is the problem. By overlooking or missing monthly recurring payments, you are creating involuntary churn – ouch.

With a strategic billing partner, you can make decisions with confidence, reduce errors, and manage customers, devices, and payments. Rev.io can help you provide a simplified onboarding experience, improve customer support, and reduce churn. We enable solutions providers to bill for any recurring, metered, or one-time service.

Whether you’re losing a customer to a competitor, or simply lack the customer service necessary to maintain happy customers, our subscription billing platform can help. Streamline and automate the entire customer experience with Rev.io. To learn more, schedule a demo or contact Rev.io today.

Rev.io’s Enterprise Portal: Your Ticket to Bigger Business

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What makes enterprise customers happy?

If you are managing multi-location customers, you know the above is a million dollar question. The answer, in our opinion, is enhancing users’ experience through a seamless system. That’s why we developed Rev.io’s Enterprise Portal, making it easier than ever to provide enterprise customers with an optimal user experience.

The needs of a multi-location customer are vastly different than smaller customers, and our telecom billing management portal can be customized to fit unique goals. With around-the-clock visibility into all account details, you’ll empower enterprise customers to take control of their own accounts while providing total clarity and transparency with our UCaaS solution. Your customers will love the self-service capabilities for requesting new orders, creating reports, and adding new locations.

You’ll enjoy the power to manage relationship hierarchies (whether it’s parent-to-child or cousin-to-cousin) while leveraging usage reporting, request for new orders, and support tickets. Your one portal away from providing your complex customers with an optimal user experience. You can read more about Rev.io’s Enterprise Portal here.

“Rev.io has helped us grow tremendously. Since implementing the Enterprise Customer Portal, our revenues have nearly doubled – truly helping us crack the enterprise space.”

– Ross, President and CEO of Spectrotel

Ready to win and retain more enterprise business?

If you’re a current Rev.io user, you can enable this feature at any time. Just contact us with your request. If you’re not a current Rev.io client and would like to see the Enterprise Portal in action, fill out the form below. We’d love to show you what the Enterprise Portal could do for your business.

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Optimizing Your Subscription and Recurring-Revenue Business

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If you’re a subscription business owner, you know how critical revenue optimization is to your bottom line. Perhaps you often wonder whether you are offering the right subscription at the right time for the right price. Or, once you lock in those customers, how you will encourage them to stick around for the long haul.

It all comes down to the numbers for recurring revenue businesses. Metrics should empower subscription businesses to gain a better understanding of their customer base while keeping a close eye on the overall health of the business. So we wanted to know – what metrics are the most important for a SaaS or subscription based business?

Since Rev.io is the system that powers billing, we took a look at all of the top reports used by our most successful clients. Interestingly, we found a fairly clear trend on which reports are used on a weekly, if not daily, basis… and we want to share them with you. Here are five critical metrics to optimize your subscription-based business for the very best results.

Keep a Close Eye on MRR

Your MRR (or Monthly Recurring Revenue) is the average of your pricing plans and billing periods, normalized to a monthly total.. Additional MRR will typically stem from new customers’ purchases or current customers upgrading. Check in with this number often to determine what lead to the change over previous months and be sure to watch trending data. If you notice a decrease month-over-month, you may have a bigger problem with customer retention. MRR gives you a clear view of your revenue stream and will point you in the right direction for further optimization.

Minimize Your Billing Errors

It may seem obvious but, without doubt, there is a correlation between increased billing errors and decreased customer LTV. Why? Modern customers expect flawless relationships with their service providers. One slip up on the back end could cause a lack of trust and eventual churn for recurring revenue businesses. There are plenty of service providers out there – make sure your customers have plenty of reasons to stick around.

Get Comfortable With A/R Aging

Don’t worry, we’re not going to take you back to accounting class, but the status of your accounts receivable is critical for optimization. These numbers will give you an idea of the overall effectiveness of your collections department and help you determine whether action is needed.

For subscription businesses, bills are sent and collected on a regular basis, making AR a critical part of operational success. Rev.io’s AR aging reports shows each customer’s current balance, 30-day balance, 60-day balance, 90-day balance, 120-day balance, and total balance. Having all of this data in one place makes monthly reconciliation faster and more effective.

Make LTV Your Best Friend

As your subscription business grows, you’ll start to turn your focus more to a customer’s LTV, the revenue a customer is expected to bring in over the course of their subscription. The goal of any recurring revenue business is to turn subscribers into lifelong customers, and LTV is the best way to track this long-term value. Increased LTV for a subscription business comes down to the product and the way you take care of your customers. Our integrated customer profiles make it easy to communicate and deliver with confidence.

Ready to optimize your revenue models at lightening speed? Don’t go at it alone – a powerful subscription billing system will give you all the insights and data you need to scale faster. Rev.io allows you to easily customize and manage your service offerings so you can upsell and cross-sell smarter. Check back in for more tips to grow and optimize your recurring revenue or subscription business.

A Look Into the Future of Communications

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“It’s rare that a technology company can remain innovative years after the partnership begins…But Rev.io is always thinking ahead.” – Tom Tharrington, President of Broadsmart

For many of us, the way we communicate has evolved tremendously over the years. From landlines to mobile, snail mail to email, and face-to-face to face time, the transformation has been substantial. This disruptive technology is paving the way for new companies to develop and deliver new products and services to enhance the lives of consumers. It’s also becoming more important to pay attention to the future of technology and its impact on communications.

As personal communication transforms, the communications industry as a whole has seen some major shifts. According to Deloitte, the communications industry continues to be at “the epicenter for growth, innovation and disruption for virtually any industry.” This is because the way we connect directly impacts everything – from mobile, to wearables, to IoT, to Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and so much more.

While it’s impossible to predict the future, here are three technologies carving a clear path to shape the future of communications:

1) Internet of Things

IoT is the ability of a device to connect, collect and exchange data with other devices. Smart products are on the rise and soon enough, consumers will wonder how they ever lived without IoT products and services. IoT has truly opened the door for companies to develop new business models and push a technological revolution to the forefront. This increased connectivity represents a major opportunity for the businesses ready and able to handle its massive backoffice implications.

2) 5G Wireless

While IoT is presenting major opportunities for growth, the internet will remain as a key component of the communication landscape. As IoT grows, stability and speed will be a key driver for internet connectivity. 5th generation mobile networks will become the next standard in the communications industry. According to The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance, 5G should be rolled out by 2020.

3) Streamlined Customer Management

Modern technology is changing the way businesses interact with their customers, as well as what consumers have come to expect from their service providers. From painless activation to streamlined management, new and highly accessible platforms are empowering end-users to take more control over their buying and billing experience. Whether you’re focused on client retention, winning multi-location customers or reducing churn, check out our recent whitepaper: “Is Your Billing System Ready for Modern Business?

So what does all this mean for you?

It means that in order to compete in this ever-evolving market, communications companies must make a choice: adapt or get left behind. With a mission to be the best back office company in the world, we are privileged to work alongside with leaders in the communication industry to prepare for the future. If you have questions about how Rev.io can help you stay ahead of the curve, get in touch with us.

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