Are You A Renewals Trendsetter?


Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn were talking about trends on one of my favorite shows, Project Runway. They agreed that there is a rule among high-brow fashionistas: set the trends, don’t wear them.

Now I am by no means a fashion trendsetter, but I do relate to her advice as I think it applies to a lot in life. Lead, don’t follow. Do what’s right for you. Individualise what’s popular.

I especially like this rule when thinking about business today. The big data and advanced-analytics management revolution is on, and everyone is talking about it, thinking about it, and figuring out their place in it. The discussion is a hot topic.


According to a recent article by McKinsey & Company, Big Data: What’s Your Plan?, the excitement about big data and advanced-analytics management is rooted in the mounting successful case studies and research that show “when companies inject data and analytics deep into their operations, they can deliver productivity and profit gains that are 5 to 6 percent higher than those of the competition.” For a renewals business, it’s often a 15% gain.

It’s an exciting time, and everyone is jumping on the data bandwagon making #bigdata an often-trending conversation on Twitter.

What I’ve noticed, though, is that if you drill in to the data conversations, you start to see the same advice given over and over again about the solution to data management with the same three trends surfacing as core elements.

The solution? A plan. The three core elements of the plan? Clean data, analytics, and the right tools.

In fact, almost every company that delivers a data solution today talks about how their product offers data insight, analytics, and the right tools. But, these trends aren’t cutting-edge anymore. They’re standard.

I liken this to going to a hotel as seeing Wi-Fi as a featured amenity. Really? I expect it now, so I always ask what else they offer. Cable TV?

Looking at trends is a good way to frame your solutions for your renewal business. It’s important to understand what buzz is going on around problems and solutions, but you have to find a way to be ahead of the discussion. You need a tool that gives you the ability to predict and seize financial opportunities instead of just following along, waiting to see what comes next.

Ask yourself what is that next step beyond the trend? What are you doing to lead your business? How are you individualising your solution for your business needs? Do you have a solution that is trendsetting or that follows trends?

I’m not sure what insight Heidi Klum or Tim Gunn would have into the renewals business or recurring revenue management, but reworking their advice about being a leader is applicable to your renewals process. Drive your business. Don’t follow. And most of all, get started. Good execution trumps great strategy every time.

As Tim Gunn is famous for saying, “Make it work!”

Are you driving trends with your renewals business?

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Christine Heckart

Christine Heckart is responsible for all aspects of global marketing at ServiceSource. Christine brings over twenty years experience to the position, spanning business and consumer markets in high tech software, subscription services and hardware. She has served previously as chief marketing officer of NetApp, general manager in Microsoft's TV, video and music business and chief marketing officer of Juniper Networks. She is currently on the Board of Directors at Lam Research, a leading supplier of wafer fabrication equipment for the semiconductor industry. Under Christine's leadership, NetApp was awarded the prestigious American Business "Stevie" Gold Award for best Business-to-Business marketing campaign in 2012 and Juniper received a Stevie award for Best Marketing Team in 2004.