I have never seen a quarterback catch a 70 yard touchdown pass. Wait, let me add some context. I have never seen a quarterback catch a 70 yard touchdown that they threw. (ok, for you probability geeks, it is possible if the ball is deflected, caught by the quarterback, and they run 70 yards…oh, never mind)
After the final play in a football game, the players are left sweaty, exhausted, and feeling like they have been in a vicious fight (kickers and punters aside, they don’t even need to shower). But, you are not a kicker or a punter and you just finished your EA renewal. And after that final play/negotiation, you are feeling just like a left tackle (if you worked with our team at Green Cabbage, you may be feeling a bit fresher, more on that later). You are exhausted and don’t want to hear the word “renewal” for another 3 years. BUT, rest up for a month and let’s start (gasp) prepping for that next renewal.
Back to the quarterback. You need help, you need a team, you need a receiver or a couple of them. They need to make this game easier and this is where the collaboration between procurement and IT can really shine. Before we get into this, be sure to secure End Customer Investment Funds (ECIF) from Microsoft during your renewal. These can assist you and your IT team to deploy the software that they just purchased. Without ECIF, Microsoft MAY help but don’t be surprised if they don’t as everyone is focused on sales opportunities and not providing you with free consulting. To be fair, every sales organization functions in this manner so Microsoft isn’t unique in that regard.
So, what can you do now that will make that renewal in 35 months (remember, you already wasted a month while resting) less painful? Here are some bullets:
If the relationship between procurement and IT isn’t healthy, start there. Remember, you are on the same team.
Review what has been purchased and set up timelines for deployment. You secured a great deal, IT can make it better by using everything that has been purchased, most notably, the bundles software
Set up post renewal reviews at 6, 12, and 18 months. Push, push, and push more that you are using everything that has been purchased.
If progress isn’t made by the 18 month mark, start discussing what a reduced EA renewal looks like in 18 months. This is a win-win as software purchased either gets deployed or cut out of the renewal budget. Tell IT to catch the ball or future passes i.e. $$$, won’t be coming their way.
Push sales pitches to be made between 12- 18 prior to the renewal. Again, collaboration with IT is crucial here as IT needs time to evaluate and deploy products. That M365 E5 hard sell, 2 months prior to expiration, doesn’t work.
Sound easy, right? Nope. A former boss used to say that short term planning is easy, long term is easy but combining the 2 is difficult. Warning – quick sales pitch!!! We help customers post renewal, day 1. Our most successful customers are entering their 2nd renewal cycle and we can’t wait for their 3rd!
Click here to contact Green Cabbage and learn more about our playbook and let us help you to win.
Written by: Dan Pavlick VP of Cloud Services, at Green Cabbage