The Best Times to Talk to Customers About Technology Refreshes

posted by Jackie Schmid on Wednesday, May 01, 2019 in Unified Communications and IT Blog

Four Times to Position Your Tech Refresh

Outdated technology in your customers’ environments is a problem for technology users AND for your business. One of the big questions is: when should Technology Solution Providers have the technology refresh conversation?

Ian Pugh, former president of a cloud communications company and now at GreatAmerica Financial, said recently his company consistently refreshed 80% of their customers on a recommended timeframe, and they did it by talking about the technology refresh during four key phases of the relationship: during the discovery, when you are negotiating, 12 months before the agreement expires and 90 days before the agreement expires.

Watch the Tech Refresh Webinar

The Four Best Times to Talk Tech Refresh

So when is the best time to have the upgrade conversation with customers? Believe it or not, it all starts long before you even make the sale.

Positioning the Technology Upgrade During the Discovery

According to Ian, positioning the technology upgrade during the discovery phase is one of the most important times. It’s here that you get to shape the conversation and influence the customer, not only before they’re ready to buy, but often before they’ve engaged with the competition.

Talking about future upgrades and how long they believe technology will last will start to position future upgrades and the value of having updated technology. We put together these 13 questions to ask during a discovery that will help position a monthly payment as well as a technology refresh.

The Tech Refresh Talk at Negotiation

Use the negotiation as an opportunity to reflect back on all the information you got during the discovery. This is an ideal time to remind the customer how having a refresh strategy will help them leverage technology on an ongoing basis to help them remain competitive.

If you can get your customer to see technology as a differentiator, you can get them to limit the emotion and risk of waiting too long to upgrade their technology.

The Upgrade Conversation 12 Months Out

A year before the agreement ends is a critical time to check in and remind customers about the refresh strategy. Now, this doesn’t mean you don’t meet with them for the first two years. We know you probably conduct QBRs and implement a number of other strategies to educate and stay close to the customer.

Treat the 12 month out appointment like a discovery. Interview as many users and leaders in the business and ask the following questions:

  1. How is the solution working?
  2. Can I educate you on new innovation?
  3. What has changed in your business since we introduced this solution?
  4. What are your business objectives over the next 12 months?

Tech Refresh 90 Days Before Expiration

By the time you get to 90 days prior to the end of their current agreement, you should have determined what you are going to recommend for their refresh strategy.

Check out the four customer refresh strategies by reading this blog.

Take all of the information you learned in the discovery at 12 months and use it to help them understand why you are making the recommendation on a refresh strategy.

Your Technology Refresh Strategy

Curious about what options you have to move the technology refresh along at the end of an agreement? This blog reveals the three mistakes to avoid and three strategies to keep your customers happy with their technology.

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About The Author

Jackie Schmid is the Director of Strategic Marketing of the Unified Communications & IT Group at GreatAmerica Financial Services located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Jackie is responsible for building brand awareness and gaining strategic relationships through creative marketing. Prior to joining GreatAmerica, Jackie worked in the TV News industry as a producer and executive producer at the local CBS and FOX stations where she helped shape the programs delivered to the market. Jackie’s finance career began in 2011 when she joined GreatAmerica to support the sales team serving the Office Equipment space.

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