Who Should Own Renewals?

Doug Caviness
Doug Caviness Member | Expert ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Revenue Growth

Is the topic of 'who should own renewals' being debated or controversial within your company?

If yes, I'd enjoy hearing how you're going about solving this question. This seems to be a common challenge for many organizations.

@Jack Johnson gave a really good session today during TSIA Interact, entitled 'Who Should Own Renewals?'

I recommend viewing this to anyone looking to get a fuller understanding of this and the framework Jack recommends using. He did highlight that the topic renewal ownership is relatively controversial in many organizations.

Best Answers

  • PatrickCarmitchel
    PatrickCarmitchel TSIA Administrator | admin
    Answer ✓

    Don't be shy, just open that can of worms 😊! Here's a recent research report on that topic by @Jack Johnson

    In addition to Jack, I think it would be interesting to bring in some expertise from varying roles and perspectives on this topic:

    1. Customer Success perspective: @Carlos Alves, @Peter Larsen, @Kelsey Hunsinger
    2. Sales perspective: @Christine Sei, @Lynn Fraser, @nahin sanchez
    3. TSIA Research: @Phil Nanus from the Customer Success perspective
  • steve tennant
    steve tennant Member | Scholar ✭✭
    Answer ✓

    I like the T-model and @Phil Nanus' blog post - lots of great ideas there that I'm aligned with. The guiding principle to put the right resource at the right point in your customer journey that delivers the best experience in the most cost-effective manner is on the money. I did not see "Expansion Potential" as one of the factors in the white paper that I was thinking to include, but Phil added that in his excellent blog post.

    There's another tradeoff here - a Customer Success team that has renewal responsibility will have more power and authority within the company, because they'll optimize resources cross the customer lifecycle to protect and expand renewals and over time, be accountable for more revenue than Sales (if Sales = new business, Success = renewals). On the flip side, I believe that comes with potential lost customer trust, if CSMs come across to customers as focused on renewals rather than getting the customer to value.

    For those reasons, I am very aligned with the T-model. Give Sales the high value deals, high expansion opportunities, and keep sales "in" on the renewal based on triggering conditions (lost sponsor, etc.). For straightforward, low complexity, lower value renewals, give it to a renewals rep as part of the CS team. I have seen this work well at my clients.


  • Phil Nanus
    Phil Nanus Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    I'll drop this here....

    Put the right resource, at the right point in your customer journey, that delivers the best experience but in the most cost effective manner. The resource that @Patrick Carmitchel put forward is great. The answer will vary for a $50M born in the cloud startup versus a muti-billion dollar company.

    Here are some more thoughts that I put in a blog.

  • Carlos Alves
    Carlos Alves TSIA Administrator, Moderator, Founding Member | admin

    @Patrick Carmitchel , I think CSMs should NOT own renewal quota. Pre-sales and Commercials should have these goals and having the responsibility for commercial negotiations, deals, etc.

    CSM may assist on bringing information in a timely manner about the relationship and the experience the customer is having. Or else they may become "another sales person".

  • StevenForth
    StevenForth Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

    @Carlos Alves That is an interesting thought. I am not sure I agree. I think customer success is more effective when it is accountable for renewals. Having a direct business metric gives more access to resources and focusses behaviors. Are you concerned that the need to sell will interfere with the relationship?