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Want to grow your business without the head count?


The million-dollar question for subscription businesses has always been “how can I scale up and increase my subscriber base but keep team sizes at a manageable level?”

In subscription-based customer relationships, keeping up with customer demand and service is vital.


In subscription-based customer relationships, keeping up with customer demand and service is vital. Ensuring customers get what they need will ensure a long-lasting relationship, resulting in desirable customer lifetime value metrics. 

At the same time, running subscriptions has intrinsic complexities to deal with.

Here are some of those:

  • Commercial flexibility in price models
  • Dealing with cross- and upselling whilst producing clear invoices and renewals
  • Financial compliance 
  • Dealing with customer service to ensure low churn and high satisfaction 
  • Subscription eco-system and partnership management
  • Price lift-ups and indexing 
  • Deprecating old plans and transitioning to new ones
  • System integration to connect sales to finance and customer services


How to master subscription challenges


Whether you’re a SaaS business or a box subscription retailer, dealing with the challenges above requires you to build a clear view of your subscription lifecycle from both the customer, and internal team member, point of view. We have seen many companies scale up fast, but when your subscription automation does not slipstream your scale, your customers will face the brunt.

Let’s review some of the foundational elements you need to master to prevent massive to support your scale-up:

#1 — Provide transparent and clear pricing models

When you define your subscription offering, you will need to provide simplicity, and attractive offers, such as a free trial or discounts to your customer. Seems easy, but commercial flexibility can be a root cause of inefficiency. It is therefore highly recommended to build a strong pricing model, implement the pricing model in a structured business application and eCommerce or customer portals to create a single version of the truth. Ensuring transparent pricing and sticking to it might seem a hard change for sales teams, but once it settles your finance and operation teams will thank you for it, and so will your customers. Years ago, Microsoft sold their ERP and CRM apps via manually operated order desks, which allowed discounting and negotiations. Each order was unique, but due to the uniqueness, various manual steps had to be operated to ensure everyone understood each single subscription price. As Microsoft moved their business apps to the cloud, they introduced a price model, and stuck to it. The results? Just have a look at their stock value, surely that pricing model helped them get where they are today.

#2 — Step into your customers’ and team members’ shoes

Subscription is a “forever transaction”, but it is also a relationship between your teams and your customers. Since it is not a one-off sale, but a long term agreement, interaction between your team and your customers or members is the lifeblood of scaling up. We all know the frustration of not being able to contact a supplier. And having angry customers on the phone as a customer service expert. In order to create a balance between customer service investments and customer satisfaction, you need to determine how you communicate with customers. High volume subscription with low prices at scale requires a different approach then low volume, high value subscriptions.

Building an omni-channel customer service approach helps you plan workloads efficiently, helping you to not just hire but scale out faster and better ways to communicate to your customers as well.

Allowing multiple ways for your customers to communicate with you gives a personal touch, but also allows you to funnel all requests into a case workload and use smart elements to route cases to agents in the best way possible.

These business capabilities will help you to gain more customers but keep control of your services level as well.

#3 — Subscription lifecycle automation

Once subscriptions are in place, various actions need to be performed. Actions that continuously reoccur are:

  1. Generating billing 
  2. Revenue recognition
  3. Generating security deposit request
  4. Requesting for deposit payment  
  5. Generating purchase order lines
  6. Cost recognition 
  7. Renewal approval  
  8. Price uplifting 
  9. Monitoring of entitlements

A key element of keeping your finance team concise and focused is to ensure the above tasks are as automated as possible. Failing to automate will lead to hiring more people to perform manual tasks.

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