I shape my thinking about how to rocket retention by speaking with b2b subscription leaders. It’s research and development for the Substribe framework to rocket retention.
How do I know when I’m speaking with a subscription leader? It boils down to this. They are open to new ways to tackle retention performance.
No matter how much data they have, from in house, to PE, to big management consultancies, or other sources…they know that a marginal gain in net revenue retention is worth their attention.
And frankly, they struggle because of the amount of data they have.
data not intelligence
Performance comes from transforming data into intelligence. To fuel decisions about where to go next. And what to do.
And even then, when you know what to do next, performance is reliant on leaders and their teams across the business.
Because this is a team sport.
So how do you embed a high performance subscription mindset across your organisation?
Like other high performance settings, participants need to know: What they should be doing. How things join up. A method to think about making improvements. And to learn from other high performance teams and experts.
Subscription growth is no different. Retention is the goal. And it needs deliberate designing to keep customers and grow revenues. And to find new customers who will be kept and will grow.
To avoid the treadmill of replacing losses with new business (rinse and repeat).
This takes deliberate design across product, marketing, tech, and commercial teams. It takes sharing and collaboration across internal teams, and with people from the wider ecosystem.
the low performance mindset
Sorry (not sorry) to rattle the b2b subscription cage, but looking at theses stats…
- 8/10 cross functional leaders don’t align their efforts to retention metrics and customer sentiment
- 9/10 don’t use retention metrics across their functions.
- 9/10 don’t use stats from their customers to understand how they are performing.
I see the makings of a low performance mindset.
Imagine a player in a professional sports team saying, “scoring the goal isn’t on me, I can’t be measured by goals.”
- In a game where success is defined by scoring more goals, it wouldn’t happen. But isn’t that the same as cross functional leaders avoiding revenue and customer sentiment measures?
And the results of each game, critical stats, and the standing in the league is only revealed to the board, and senior team.
- In a high performance setting, it’s on the management to define their strategy and ensure everyone “gets it.” Aligning cross functional team on subscription performance and knowing what success looks like.
High performance requires a measure of performance to see improvements being made. I’m no football expert, but the stat I look at during a game is ‘attempts on target.’ When that stat is at – or near to 0 – then I know the likely outcome.
- It gets harder to think of a sporting analogy for not using customer sentiment measures to understand performance levels. But when most organisations aren’t measuring sentiment in a useful way or at all, it shouts at lost opportunity for improvements.
Key Opinion Leader perspective
“It’s ******* nuts. Why would they do that?” asked an industry veteran, after spitting his coffee out after hearing those stats.
Another industry expert explains, “in the industrialisation of processes, in the pursuit of efficiency, our teams have been institutionalised and get on with the tasks they have been given. And they won’t, or can’t, break out of it.”
I started off by sharing how I know when I’m speaking with a b2b subscription leader.
When I hear, “Our business is different. Every business is different.”
It’s the same when the, “If Henry Ford asked customers they would have asked for a faster horse” line is trotted out. It rationalises not running customer discovery.
It blocks a high performance mindset.
It blocks growth.
It’s a car bumper sticker excuse for replacing the effort of being connected with customers.
Leaders know that high performance is about continual resets and reboots.
So…how do we reboot subscriptions to create the high performance mindset?
We simplify the goal, and clarify the rules.
And we bring players together from defence, to midfield, to attack, and we use their brilliant minds to innovate and iterate and collaborate.
The critical moment is enlightening and empowering our teams to improve performance.
Starting with learning and development.
And factoring in data to inform innovation.
And sharing insights from other high performance teams.
It’s time to change the game.
contact email@example.com to guide your teams to a performance mindset. With training, intelligent data, and the Substribe expert network.