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3 Steps and 7 Tips to Turn Your Software Products into Subscriptions

I recently read an article on how shifting to subscriptions has affected Adobe products. Basically, the company saw a decrease in revenues in the short term, but current signs lead to a good prognosis on medium and long-term revenues.

This is just an example of the current trend of monetizing products and services via subscriptions, which is happening in many more verticals than just software and digital goods. A pay-per-use business model (subscriptions) has multiple advantages:

  • More customizable for individuals (consumers, small businesses, enterprises) in terms of the packaging and price
  • More predictable source of revenue for owners
  • More attractive to customers given the seamless product upgrades and uninterrupted service they benefit from as subscribers

So how can you take advantage of a subscription revenue model for your company? Here are 3 simple steps that will help you turn your product into a subscription.

1. Run competitive analysis. Don’t head into this endeavor without first finding out if your competitors have experimented with subscription products – and how that shift has worked for them. Try to uncover the complete context of their subscription efforts. How have subscriptions affected their revenues (very easy to discover if they’re public companies)? What effect have subscriptions had on distribution channels, such as affiliates, resellers, and more? Based on your research, you can anticipate how subscriptions might work for your company.

Tip: Don’t stop at your direct competitors – go a little broader with the analysis and make sure you look at merchants that work in your geographical “sweet spot”, as this will tell you a lot about regional payment preferences.

2. Draft subscription plans. Take into account the competitive analysis and, where possible, create a better offer than your competitors in terms of both functionality and price. Based on your research, you will be in a position to do some accurate estimates for your business plan. Experiment with different monthly packages and figure out how long it will take for the subscription model to pay off in the medium to long term.

Tip: Try running subscriptions in parallel with your current lifetime licensing to help your company absorb the immediate revenue shock of shifting to subscriptions.

Be sure to clearly outline the advantages of subscriptions to customers (like always having the products updated without extra cost and being able to use the service when needed most) and constantly monitor the evolution of sales between the lifetime licenses vs. subscriptions. You don’t want your existing options to cannibalize subscriptions, if you plan to fully shift to subscriptions in the future.

3. Ensure your payment processing solution is compatible with subscriptions. Be sure the digital commerce solution you use can help you with everything that’s needed to successfully launch and manage subscriptions for your products and services, including at the channel level – resellers and affiliates. Here are some of the many business needs you must take into account when choosing the right payment processing solution for your shift to subscriptions:

  • Will you be offering a trial before converting the customer to a subscription?

Tip: Most merchants use some type of “hook” to get a pool of potential customers on board and increase their conversion rates.

  • Will this trial be paid (small amount) or free?

Tip: Big brands with high awareness can go with paid trials; small ones should start free. If you start free, you may want to ask for customer payment data when beginning the trial, but only issue charges after the trial period is over.

  • Are you willing to offer discounts for potential customers who don’t buy a subscription?

Tip: Look for lead management solutions. These may be part of the eCommerce platform (as with Avangate), or an affiliate option (such as VeInteractive), and can help you convert uncertain customers who may need a custom offer.

  • If you’re shifting payment providers, import your existing subscriptions to the new platform.

Tip: This will make sure you can create compelling promotions for your existing customer base and offer them the level of service they’ve come to expect in terms of subscription payments or cancellations.

  • Do you want to credit affiliates for the subscription renewals their referred clients generate?

Tip: This is a great incentive for affiliates, especially for subscriptions that recur weekly or monthly. As affiliates are looking for fast money, they will be highly motivated by this incentive policy for short-term subscriptions.

Going from zero to profitable with subscriptions can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to months or even years, but the shift is almost certainly going to be worth it in the long term. Use our tips to evaluate your subscription potential, and you’ll be on your way to subscription success.

Bottom line: anything that’s a digital good (especially access to information) can easily be translated into a subscription. That’s good in the long run, but may affect your revenue in the short term – but you’ll be prepared if you do the right analysis.

 

Security Update on Heartbleed

The web has been abuzz since the disclosure of CVE-2014-0160 , also known as the “heartbleed” OpenSSL bug. Given its potential impact, we wanted to make sure you all heard and understood its implications to youheartbleed

First, what is it?

For those less technical, it is a vulnerability that could expose what you thought was secure information from your servers. For those a bit more technical, “Heartbleed” is a security vulnerability that exploits a programming bug in the OpenSSL library that makes the remote process (web server, for instance) leak a random block of memory. Through repeating the malformed call, attackers could search for data patterns of sensitive information (passwords, credit cards, even private keys for the SSL certificates). Since this bug has been present in all the OpenSSL releases between March 14th 2012 and April 7th 2014 (versions 1.0.1 to 1.0.1g), a potential attacker that was aware of the bug could have extracted sensitive data during all this time from affected servers.

So what did we do about it for our customers?

As soon as the security bulletin broke, we have re-checked all our external-facing SSL-secured services against this vulnerability. None of the services related to the payment processing were found to be susceptible to this bug, as none of them were setup in a way to be ever vulnerable. This means that neither the private keys nor other sensitive information were leaked at any point of time due to this vulnerability, even to potential attackers that had knowledge of this exploit before its disclosure on April 7th 2014. Rest assured that our security team continues to work hard to keep your data secure.

So what should you do about this?

Changing your login passwords for Avangate Control Panels or API communication is not necessary due to the Heartbleed bug, however our recommendation is to change your passwords regularly to minimize the attack window for similar issues in the future.

We recommend to all our customers, many of whom have web services exposed to the Internet, to review their commerce, as well as other server setups to ensure that all sensitive materials potentially compromised are renewed. If you have SSL-secured services of your own, you should investigate if you had this bug at any point and consider updating keys and passwords.

For more information: http://heartbleed.com/.

The Avangate Operations Team

The Mac Exclusive Contest is Now Open

affiliate mac contest

Our Exclusive Mac Affiliate Contest is Now Open!

Our Mac lovers’ affiliates have another reason to smile this April! The entire month is dedicated totally to Mac tools and merchants, and we have prepared a very special contest in which affiliates can win $1500 worth of Apple vouchers!

The sole condition to win these prizes is to have a minimum of $5000 total sales during the contest timeframe (April 1 – April 30). This is going to be super easy for you, because top-selling Mac titles are granted by our appraised partners: Absolute Software, Aiseesoft, Bitdefender, Bitex, Cartographica, DEVONtechnologies, Iobit, Markzware, Retrospect, Wondershare and more.

Act now! Join the competition and those Apple vouchers could be yours!

Learn more about the Mac Affiliate Contest!

 

Leverage Recurring Revenue Alliance to Increase Renewal Sales

RRA_blog_banner

In March 2014, Avangate joined the Recurring Revenue Alliance. This is a great initiative by ServiceSource, designed to help business make more money and hold on to more customers by creating best practices for subscription billing and recurring revenues.

What does the #RRAlliance mean for you?   

  • If you’re new to the subscription billing/recurring revenue model, the Recurring Revenue Alliance and its members can provide framework to help you better understand the complexities and necessities of a recurring revenue model with some real world examples of successful integrations and implementations.
  • For those of you already there, you’ll learn how to go beyond subscriptions and build a stronger, more powerful, and more resilient recurring revenue business.

As part of the Alliance, Avangate will partner with other digital companies to help solve key issues related to the recurring revenues and renewals market.

Understanding the Renewals Space

The renewals market falls into 2 categories in general:

  1. High Value, Low Volume and
  2. Low Value, High Volumes.

B2B contracts typically are the former, and B2sB (small business) and B2C contracts are typically the latter.

Increasing renewals by automating low dollar value, high volume contracts while retaining customers, is just one of the key issues that Avangate will look to address as part of the Alliance.

Avangate brings a wealth of subscription billing and recurring revenue knowledge to the table with its complete and powerful digital commerce platform.  The platform offers several automated renewal features to achieve that balance of increasing revenue with automation while reducing churn and retaining customer, such as:

  • Account Updater – automatically updates credit card numbers so you never miss a billing cycle
  • Global Notifications – notify customers of when subscriptions are about to expire, with grace periods, and integrated promotions
  • Custom Retry Logic – determine the best time to improve authorization rates
  • Intelligent Payment Routing – route to the most likely-to-succeed payment gateway with a sophisticated rules engine

Just the tip of the iceberg

The key point here is how to combine these recurring revenue-specific features with advanced marketing tools, smarter payments with worldwide coverage, distribution and fulfillment management, anti-fraud and charge-back/refund management. How do you service customers across all touchpoints? What is the right balance between automatic and personal engagement? How do you test and experiment with new things and how do you do this quickly so you can succeed or even fail fast, back-up and try again. All this while keeping a focus on your core business and your customers.

Customer-Centric Commerce

This is where Avangate really comes in. This post is the first in a series, with more to follow, as well as webinars, whitepapers and other tools you can leverage to dive deep into this topic. We’ll talk about what it means and what it takes to be customer-centric in a recurring business environment, why you need to go beyond just subscriptions or payments to improve retention and how to do it.

Between Avangate, ServiceSource and other members (such as BigMachines, Centrify, GoodData, MuleSoft, Okta, Pactera, Salesforce and Xactly) of the #RRAlliance, I’m confident we’ll share best practices and turn those challenges into recurring revenue opportunities.

Learn more about Avangate joining the Recurring Revenue Alliance.

4 Major Reasons to Sell Digital Goods as an Affiliate

You might already be an active affiliate, but are you making as much money as you could? Here are four big reasons to start selling digital goods to maximize your affiliate revenue.

  • The payouts remain high for software affiliates and can hit as high as 85% CPS. For example, last year the average commission across the Avangate network was 40%, which is far above other verticals. For comparison, here are the average commissions for certain sectors:

Sell digital goods as an aff1

  • Recurring revenues have significant potential. The $30 billion SaaS market represents a huge opportunity for fast-moving affiliates and may also bring a bonus reward, such as a payout structure based on recurrent commissions. The following is a real example of the commission scheme applied by an Avangate vendor that illustrates how, after one year of a non-interrupted automatic renewal cycle, the affiliate gets paid three times the value of the initial commission.

Sell digital goods as an aff2

Unit price = $99
New sale commission (CPS) = 30%
Commission for renewals (CPS) = 10%

  • An evolving array of niche products and services that affiliates can explore, leverage and ultimately dominate. More and more affiliates, both newcomers and veterans, are becoming interested in the less competitive niches on the affiliate marketing battleground. These attractive new sub-verticals can often fall under the category of professional tools, such as project management, graphic design apps, or online marketing tools, just to name a few.

Top Selling Professional Tools in January 2014 (Avangate Affiliate Network)

Sell digital goods as an aff3

Here you can see the top 10 products from January 2014.

  • Geographical expansion opportunities are significant. Right now, the majority of software and online services affiliate programs are open internationally, without territory or language restrictions, and affiliates from home and foreign countries can always launch into less saturated markets or territories they are familiar with from a language and cultural perspective. This creates opportunities for affiliates to easily test and successfully sell worldwide with merchants that already have localized their marketing materials and products. In our network, affiliates outside the US and mature markets of Western Europe (UK, Germany, France) and APAC (Japan) represent 12% of total sales and it’s growing yearly. The top 10 countries are as follows:

Sell digital goods as an aff4

From the affiliate perspective, the digital goods vertical is one of the easiest to scale internationally and this is thanks mainly to the electronic delivery model that can serve several markets with a minimal investment

We’ve given you four major reasons to explore selling digital goods as an affiliate. What are some others you can think of?

 

Meet Avangate at CeBIT 2014

a4Once again, Avangate will be exhibiting at CeBIT, demonstrating its continued commitment to the global software industry. CeBIT is Germany’s premiere software conference and a highly influential international event, and Avangate will exhibit in Booth K18 in Hall 6 from March 10-14.

This year, Avangate will focus on explaining why there is a need to go beyond just payments and embrace a customer-centric approach to commerce in order to truly focus on the customer . For this, we’ll kick things off with a presentation about “Customer-Centric Commerce – Customer-Focused Strategy as a Success Factor” on Tuesday, March 11, at 10 am. Attend the session to better understand the customer-centric commerce concept, which is a core reason why Avangate is such a trusted commerce provider for more than 3000+ Software, SaaS and online services providers worldwide.

To schedule a meeting with Avangate at CeBIT, please fill in the form on this page. Our first 100 registered visitors will receive a free ticket to attend the event, and everyone who comes to our booth and leaves a business card will be entered into a raffle to win a drone (yes, really). How can you say no?

 

Get Your Product Ready For Self-Service – The 30-60-90 Day Plan

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.

Keep Your Affiliate Relationships Fresh with Retention Campaigns

Many vendors have encountered this problem: affiliates start out strong, with high motivation and great sales, but their enthusiasm for your products fades over time, and your revenue stream shrinks. This article answers common questions about affiliate fatigue and teaches you how to run retention campaigns that help affiliates spark sales, benefiting your bottom line and their affiliate business.

Why do some affiliates stop promoting my products or services?

There are many reasons affiliates might stop promoting your products or services. The affiliate may have left the affiliate business, found a similar product with a better commission, or simply run out of good ways to promote your product. In order to combat affiliate fatigue, every successful affiliate program must conduct a series of retention campaigns to maintain a close relationship with power affiliates and give them ways to sell actively.

How should I relate to my affiliates?

The most successful affiliate programs rely on intimacy. Being in close contact with top affiliates is crucial to retaining them, helping the relationship move forward, and mending any issues that might arise. Don’t put yourself in the situation of “reacting” to a problem, but be proactive: keep your affiliates happy with your product and let them know if something is about to change.

What matters most to my affiliates?

Start by finding out what factors affiliates consider when choosing a product to promote, since these will be the main drivers of their behavior on an ongoing basis. According to the AffStat 2012 affiliate survey, the key drivers for affiliate retention are commission (cited by 19% of respondents), merchant reputation (13%), brand awareness (10%), and affiliate program reputation (9%). Other elements can also make a difference when comparing similar affiliate brands and products, such as ad unit availability and optimized landing pages (2%) or payment terms and methods (5%). Knowing  what your top affiliates need from you will help prioritize ways to improve your program and retention campaigns.

affiliates retention

 

How do I craft retention campaigns?

Let’s use each of the key affiliate drivers listed above, plus a few others, to create some effective retention campaigns:

Driver Retention campaign examples
Commission
(affiliates look for higher commission rates)
Run a tiered affiliate program and offer performance incentives to affiliates.At minimum, try to match your main competitor’s affiliate offer; you can go even higher than that in the case of top affiliates. If you can’t find how much your competitors are offering from your affiliates themselves, just go to the competitor’s website and check the affiliate info page. Also check the affiliate networks your competitors are working with for more details on commissions.Offer your affiliates a steady commission flow by crediting them for subscription/license renewals as well as initial sales. Your subscription offers should be valid for software, services and digital goods.
Merchant reputation
(affiliates seek merchants with better reputations)
Compensate for a less prominent reputation by offering higher commission, special promotions (exclusive products, discounts, etc.), and better tools to boost conversion, such as landing pages, promotional materials, and other content.
Brand awareness
(higher brand awareness converts better)
Offer affiliates a list of keywords to bid on in pay-per-click advertising. Work to help them understand your product and segment, including relevant competitive brands that can drive traffic.For top affiliates in digital goods, services, and software, send part of the download traffic through their websites to build brand awareness within their communities and online. Since the affiliates should be better positioned in the search engines than your website, you will get more traffic (and sales) through their website. In return, they can get additional members to join their community.
IObit, for example, uses CNet as one of the download mirrors for their Advanced SystemCare title.
Affiliate program reputation Run contests for affiliates to keep them excited about your products and services and differentiate your program from others. Here’s a nice example of an affiliate contest from Paretologic , who offered appealing prizes for their top affiliates.
Communication / relationship Communicate with your affiliates at least on a monthly basis, sending them relevant updates about your program, products, and services. Call top affiliates from time to time and meet them in person at industry events. Or, if you’re “in the neighborhood,” see if your affiliates are available for a quick meeting. Face-to-face contact builds up business relationships much faster than anything else.

The above ideas are just a few examples of retention campaigns. The important thing to remember, above all, is to understand what drives your top affiliates, communicate with them constantly, and keep them actively engaged.

After all those ideas, I’m curious to hear from you. How do you make sure your affiliates don’t leave your program?

Give Your Sales A Fresh Boost – Transact at Every Touchpoint with the Avangate ‘13 Spring Release

We are all looking to enhance customer experience, engage with clients in the context of their usage, where and how they want to interact. How do you bring commerce into the equation? How can you engage AND transact at every touchpoint and, going beyond this, be consistent across touchpoints and channels?

This is what the latest release from Avangate is about – helping software and cloud services companies unify siloed cross-touchpoint commerce experiences. Although it sounds complicated, it really is not. With more flexibility and control brought into the platform, you can take mobile to the next level, make better use of integrations via API, enhance customer support and interaction with partners to fuel extra revenue.

Transact at Every Touchpoint

Fully Branded Mobile Shopping Cart

Adapting your engagement strategy to keep up with touchpoint diversification requires a mature set of tools designed to power customer experiences that can be accessed on any screen. Avangate’s advanced mobile shopping cart not only enables you to reach smartphone and tablet users, but to increase conversion rates with tailored mobile shopping experiences. You’ll be able to use a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editor to personalize the mobile cart, or write your own CSS and JavaScript code for full customization.

Enhance billing flexibility with API updates

Avangate continues to invest in the evolution of our ecommerce API, providing you with a constant flow of enhancements designed to ensure that no touchpoint is unreachable. Using the Avangate API, it’s now easier than ever to extract product info based on stock keeping unit (SKU) details, retrieve subscription information, access payment data for shoppers, and resend invoices, even in multi-refund scenarios. In addition, the API supports the seamless transition of customers from the Avangate myAccount to your own shopper hubs, creating a superior experience that boosts sales.

The API enhancements also simplify other tasks, like monitoring subscriptions as they evolve through billing and contract cycles, tracking orders by source, managing multiple refunds, and even extracting complex ordering data stored by the Avangate system.

Salesforce.com Connector multi-currency and bundle support capabilities

Are you using both Salesforce.com and Avangate? Then why not use the two together? With Avangate’s Salesforce Direct Connector (SFDC), you can extract data from the Avangate system and send it into Salesforce.com automatically. The latest update to the SFDC delivers extra support to global businesses that sell in multiple currencies. Avangate handles advanced localization and more than 139 currencies, and now your international organization can take advantage of these multiple currencies for Salesforce’s opportunities, forecasts, reports, and more.

Selling your products or services in bundles? Then you’ll be happy to know that Avangate – Salesforce integrations now break down bundles and report order data for each product or service that actually reaches customers. This fine-tunes your analysis of what’s most popular with customers.

Drive Successful Interactions with the Avangate Customer Service Solution

Refund management expands to include partial refunds

Support customer loyalty by leveraging out-of-the-box assisted service functionality at your disposal with the updated Avangate platform. The latest upgrades empower customer service representatives to deliver the kind of superior support that increases user satisfaction. We’ve expanded the service resolution process with Extended Refund Management, offering you more control over resolving issues related to reimbursements. Total and multiple partial refunds can now be managed more efficiently, helping you deliver personalized service that meets customer needs.

Easy invoice management: resend invoices from the control panel

To enhance customer relationships further, Avangate produced assisted service enhancements that optimize invoice processing. On top of the automation options already available, new on-demand invoicing capabilities simplify the process of manually transmitting and re-transmitting invoices to customers so you’re working with consistent information.

User Activity Insights

The Avangate system has been enhanced with new self-service functionality, simplifying the tracking and logging of key actions performed by your cPanel users. This helps provide advanced insight into the activities of users such as customer service representatives. The new user activity reporting capabilities enable you to monitor a complex range of activities performed in the Avangate cPanel, segmented by cPanel user or action type, while enjoying data portability functionality for the info logged.

Grow Sales – Any Channel

Combine sales efforts across touchpoints with powerful, optimized distribution channels that diversify your reach and build new revenue streams.

With Customizable Partner Portals, Avangate is upgrading your channel commerce capabilities, enabling you to create branded, personalized experiences when selling to partner companies.

Even as partner relationships grow, it has never been easier to leverage the Avangate network of 37,000 affiliates. We’ve just introduced Enhanced Affiliate Newsletters that support advanced brand communication through customizable HTML messages. And to improve your relationships with affiliates, new cookie-less tracking capabilities ensure that your partners are rewarded for the sales and revenue they generate for your business.

Avangate is always ready to lend a helping hand, as illustrated by Outsourced Program Management (OPM) for Affiliates. Essentially, you’ll be able to tap Avangate experts for fully managed affiliate services, both multi-network and in the Avangate network, effortlessly building your partner base.

Express Payments Checkout Flow

Avangate has upgraded its collection of ordering flows with a new purchase process focused on streamlining payments. The new optimized payment flow minimizes billing data entry, and specifically facilitates high payment volumes through PayPal.

We recommend that you test the compatibility of existing shopping cart templates with the ‘Express payments checkout’ flow to ensure smooth purchase experiences for customers.

Sell More with Avangate Platform Enhancements

  • Automated campaigns for upselling and cross-selling: Subscription commerce is just a part of what Avangate offers. A healthy consumer base can be monetized well beyond the recurring payments that come from subscription renewals, with only minimal investment. Upselling and cross-selling provide excellent opportunities to create revenue streams that not only offset any subscriber churn, but also drive profits. New automated campaigns for upselling and cross-sell ing provide additional flexibility in offering your customers appealing ways to buy more.
  • Upselling with trials: Avangate’s upselling capabilities now include free trial offers for which payment details are collected. Whether used for promotional purposes, incentives, or as a spin on the traditional upsell, upselling with trials helps increase your revenue. Offer shoppers free trials of one product when they’re purchasing another, while also supporting seamless conversion to paid status at the end of the trial.
  • Promotion enhancements: Speaking of incentivizing shoppers, order promotions and multi-currency discounts are also live, reflecting Avangate’s continuous commitment to providing the right tools to convert users into customers and support localization efforts.
  • Direct Debit for Netherlands: To simplify payments even further, customers in the Netherlands can take advantage of a new way to pay for products. Avangate now supports Direct Debit for the Netherlands, having previously supported this payment method in Germany and Austria.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the new features in the Avangate 2013 Spring Release. Now it’s time to try them out! To get started, explore our documentation of these new ways to engage with customers and grow your sales.

 

A Kick in the Teeth to Channel Critics?

webinar-channel-saas-forresterAt least ChannelBiz boldly commented along these lines – pointing to research that proves channel critics wrong – in any case, those “who have longed for the day when resellers are cut out of the equation”.

It’s a fact that power is shifting into the customers’ hands and purchasing habits are changing due to “online-first”, while the channel ecosystem is struggling to adapt to the new cloud challenges. This may make it seem like the only way to distribute SaaS products is to sell direct.

Yet a recent Forrester research, commissioned by Avangate, contradicts this assumption: 66% of software vendors surveyed say that channel partners are of strategic importance to their SaaS revenues. The channel is here to stay, although it is and will continue to undergo major disruptions as the software industry shifts from on-premise installation to SaaS delivery and from perpetual licenses to pay-as-you-go subscriptions.

In the next Avangate webinar, on April 16th, we are attempting to answer this question: “Are Channels Any Good at Selling SaaS and Cloud Services?”, together with Peter Sheldon, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. More than this, we’ll look at what it takes to develop and optimize your channels to increase SaaS and cloud sales. As software companies need to work harder than ever before at retaining their customers, it is critical to leverage the power of the channel to increase retention rate and reach further out in the market. Coverage of the topics below will help you get started using channels for customer acquisition and retention:

  • Partner performance: Challenges your peers face enabling channels to sell SaaS products
  • Revenue mix: Upcoming shift of the revenue mix between direct and indirect channels – how that mix (and your channel strategy) differs based on target market
  • Channel tools: Technology investments, such as self-service tools, necessary to support channels and equip them to build long-term relationships with end-customers (and how to prioritize these/ benefits of partner order and revenue management)

All webinar participants will receive the supporting whitepaper “As SaaS Goes Mainstream, ISVs Invest in Channel Support Tools” conducted by Forrester Consulting (and commissioned by Avangate), which reflects the importance of channel sales to SaaS.

Sign up now to learn how channels can revolutionize your SaaS revenues. Feel free to share from your experience, or ask a question for the presenters below.

 

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