Are the subscription businesses flying blind?


Kiran Mohan

xfactrs Decision Intelligence

That might be too harsh a question, but a relevant one given what we see in the industry.

So, how is your subscription business doing? Are you making the right decisions to grow your business? Chances are might not, optimally. This is because the current systems are neither integrated nor built for subscription intelligence. Organizations are flying blind and might not have complete insight into customer data and intelligence from existing systems to make the right decisions.

Here are some statements we’ve heard which make us feel that things are not right.

“I have an ecosystem of systems and processes built to manage my subscription business.”

In the subscription industry, your company only works if people pay for your products and services. But how often do you get a complete picture of what’s happening with your subscription business? How do you know what is happening in various systems you’ve built, such as marketing, sales, financial management, CPQ, contract, billing, support, service delivery, and so on? How do you know if you are on target or not? Finding the right information in broken or disconnected customer journeys can be time-consuming and expensive, which leads many businesses to make any decision at hand challenging.

Sure, these companies have all the systems, but unfortunately, they are neither configured for the subscription industry nor do they give the right insights as they are working in silos.

“I am tracking all the right metrics, and they seem pretty healthy”

Right metrics are right only until the input data is right. How confident are you that the data coming from multiple systems is 100% accurate and reliable? While you answer that to yourselves, here is the thing about metrics that we normally ignore – benchmarking. In our conversations, many organizations do not have a reference range or benchmarking data to announce that the metrics are healthy. It’s like saying that my platelet count is 90K ml per microliter of blood. Is that good or bad? I can make a better judgment only when I know that for my gender and age the correct range is between 135K to 317 per microliter of blood.

“I have world-class consulting organizations working on my subscription business”

This is classic. We love consulting companies. But, not when they’re squeezing you more than helping you navigate the challenges. These consulting companies complete all their discovery process and integrate the siloed systems. In reality, the subscription business is perhaps the most dynamic industry out there that’s swinging based on the changing customer expectations and technology. What happens in that case? Are you going to reengage the consulting companies spending millions of dollars? See there, the slippery slope? Wouldn’t it be nice if your systems were built with ML and AI capabilities so that they adapt to the changing conditions?


What do subscription businesses need?

Short answer:

A single platform that seamlessly integrates with the current ecosystem that is pre-loaded with subscription industry rules, that is intelligent to adapt to changes, and one that proactively sends real-time signals. All of this, without spending even a dollar on consulting companies.

Long answer:

Subscription businesses need a decision intelligence platform that builds a 360-degree view of the subscription business, including customer behavior, revenue forecasting, churn prediction and much more.

The decision intelligence platform must integrate the silos of the current ecosystem (from CRM to Financial Systems) to create a common stream of data, learn from the existing data points using data observability, machine learning and AI, apply the pre-loaded benchmark KPIs of the subscription industry and your business domain, and proactively gives real-time business signals to make the right decisions and deliver incredible value to the customers.

The subscription business is here to stay and as passionate experts who’ve been in this industry for over three decades, it is our responsibility to ask the hard questions and help organizations to navigate and thrive in the subscription business.

In the next blog, we will talk more about the decision intelligence platform for subscription businesses and how that changes the way businesses operate without a single blind spot.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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