Stay in the latest updates. Get the latest tips and advice delivered straight to your inbox. Email Guy Nirpaz | December 14, 2011 | 10 Tips for B2B Sales in the Subscription Economy The subscription-based economy is thriving. Netflix’s well-known model (and subsequent public relations mess in changing it), and the recent announcements from Google and Apple have set it in stone. The subscription model, like many of the B2B sales models in the SaaS industry, is all about the customers – listen to your customers and have your service to comply and you’re on the right direction! Here are 10 tips that can assist subscription based companies to get by in the industry: 1. Keep it simple Ease of use is a key aspect of the subscription economy. Subscribers want the one-stop shop, and their attention will not be kept easily. Frustration, which might lead to churn, can be easily ensues if they can’t find what they want or need. 2. Customize to the consumer Bob’s business is not the same as Mary’s. Can you offer flexible payment options (weekly, monthly, annually)? Family versus individual? Basic versus premium? 3. Curate More is better, but more can also be overwhelming. Netflix’s popularity is in part because it offers customized selections based on its subscribers’ viewing history. If the subscriber never, ever watches foreign language films, they don’t want to have to scroll through them to get to the good stuff. 4. Make it social Can your subscribers see what others think of this product? Can they easily share it through social media? Social media has the power to sweep many others and help in distribute your message – and it’s free, so you might as well use in your business favor. 5. Offer continuing value Make sure your offers will always consist of an added value. Can some ancillary information help your subscribers? Partner with other companies that add value. Also, what new thing can you offer? Can you surprise them with how good it will be? 6. Keep it open Remember what we said about the ancillary market? Is your forum open enough to allow add-ons? Don’t keep things so proprietary that spontaneous creation is stifled. Think of Flickr, for example – would it help or hurt their business to team with a photo editing application? It would help, of course, and they’ve allowed just that. 7. Give it away If you still haven’t done so, consider using a free-trial or freemium model for your product. Subscription economy is likely to be ruled by the free-to-join. For example, you can make your overall platform free and have advertising, add-ons or premium offerings in order to make it profitable. Think Facebook – free to join, but not likely to go broke anytime soon. 8. Don’t charge for that which was once free How would you like to have nearly 9000 pages of complaints about your new pricing structure? That’s what Netflix got for their announcement that they were nearly doubling their prices, removing services their subscribers had gotten used to having included, and offering no additional value in the exchange. Calling it a great deal just added fuel to the fire. (If you can’t give it free, keep it as low as possible!) 9. Keep the customer relationship as thy first priority With the Netflix debacle, it’s not just about the pricing. Their customers felt personally betrayed. If you succeed in accomplishing a real relationship with your subscribers, where they recommend your service not for incentives but because they’re real fans, the worst thing you can do is spoil that relationship in a “money grab.” Nurture your relationship. Keep customers in mind as you consider changes. Get feedback on proposed changes. Don’t sell their information to spammers or let slimy advertisers in. Business is more personal than ever. 10. Enjoy Customers in the subscription economy are more savvy than ever. They can tell if you honestly love your own offerings or if you’re just using sales tactics. Let you enthusiasm shine through and it would be a win-win situation! Popular Posts A day in the life of a Customer Success Manager: What do they do? 15,858 views The difference between Customer Success Managers and Account Managers 12,932 views Your 90 day plan as a new VP of Customer Success 5,496 views Guy Nirpaz Guy Nirpaz is a Silicon Valley-based Israeli entrepreneur and CEO of Totango, a Customer Success software platform. A pioneer in the Customer Success field, Guy established the Customer Success Summit and is a well-regarded industry speaker and community contributor. Guy loves people and technology and has dedicated his career to improving the way in which business is done through innovation. Fun Facts: Guy moonlights as the lead guitarist in a rock band based out of his garage in Palo Alto and used to command a tank battalion...as well as having grown oranges. Pingback: B2B Slaes Predictions for 2012() Pingback: B2B Sales Predictions for 2012() You might also like You might also likeBecoming customer centric at an early-stage startupTrials and tribulations: 4 best practices for increasing trial conversionsCustomer Success and the SaaS Time Warp BACK TO BLOG | NEXT ARTICLE Let's stay in touch! We’re passionate about customer success. Sign up to get the latest in thought leadership and to follow our adventures.