10 questions to ask subscription management vendors before you buy
Choosing the right software for your business is tough. There’s a lot of competition out there and which one’s right depends on your business, what you need the software to be able to do, and how it will fit into your revenue delivery infrastructure.
To help you navigate your way through the decision making process, here are ten questions to ask before you buy:
1. How does the software manage subscription pauses, cancelations, and refunds? Can customers manage these requests themselves?
The software should have functionality that enables you to create a flexible experience that meets the needs of your business and customers. For example, the ability to easily pause a subscription could reduce churn in the long run.
2. Can I easily manage promotions, discounts, coupons, and trial periods?
The software should support any campaigns you run to acquire new customers. Trials, coupons and discounts should be easy for your customers to access and for your team to implement.
3. Can I build subscription plans with different billing frequencies and how does the software manage proration?
Subscription plans with different billing frequencies (e.g. monthly or annually) are more flexible for your customers and can actually help you capture more revenue. Proration enables you to facilitate upgrades, downgrades and plan changes in the middle of a billing cycle, ensuring the customer only pays for what they use.
4. What does the customer see when they set up an account or need to renew their subscription? Can these communications be branded?
A purchase flow that integrates seamlessly with your website and other branded communications removes friction in the process, helps boost conversion at checkout, and reduces churn at the point of renewal.
5. How does subscription data sync with my customer support workflows? Do you offer services for customer issues relating to subscriptions?
You need a trusted source for your customer and subscription data, which requires your support and subscription systems to be connected. Some providers also offer additional services, allowing you to offload support queries relating to subscriptions, billing and payments.
6. What metrics can I track and in what level of detail?
Subscription management software should provide you with a reliable data on the metrics that matter to your business. This data can be useful for your finance and revenue teams but also to your sales and marketing teams to develop insight in to your users and the most popular subscription plans.
7. What support does the software offer regarding sales tax compliance?
Support for sales tax compliance varies from partnerships with other tools that you can integrate to help with tax calculations to fully tax liability management that leaves you free from registering, filing and remittance. Sales tax is complex to manage, so consider your internal resources and think about what level of support your business needs to ensure compliance.
8. Can I test different subscription plans or pricing against each other?
Testing is a great way to discover what works and what doesn’t in real time. Choose a software that makes it easy for you to test against the markets and segments that matter to your business.
9. What level of protection does the software offer against fraud and chargebacks?
Fraud prevention and chargeback support varies from standard protection as required by local regulations, to additional integrations for another level of protection, to built-in technology and extra support for managing chargeback disputes. Again, consider your internal resource to determine what you need from a provider.
10. What third-party integrations are available? How can this software connect to my existing payment and billing workflows?
Subscription management software is only part of your complete revenue delivery infrastructure. You need to choose a software that offers seamless integrations with your payments, tax, accounting and support systems (to name a few).
Keep these questions in mind as we unpack the features and benefits of the top 10 subscription management solutions below.