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advantages of investing in a robust billing system
Industry Insights5 min read

Go deeper, not bigger to find success in the subscription industry

The ever-evolving subscription industry

Substantial growth & the enabling technologies

The subscription industry has grown exponentially over the last few years, and as it aligns so seamlessly with the increasingly digitized way in which we live and work, its prevalence only continues to evolve. 

Forbes reported that the global subscription e-commerce market size is "expected to reach $904.2 billion by 2026". They noted that "existing subscription brands grew their overall customer base by 31% in 2021 alone."

When it comes to B2B businesses, Gartner reported that overall SaaS spending is projected to grow similarly to the consumer market, at around 20% per year. Total SaaS spend was predicted to grow from $100B in 2020 to $140B in 2022, and a further 40% in the next two years alone.

Logically, this trend makes perfect sense. There's a wealth of business and customer benefits to the subscription industry. For B2B customers in particular, it can provide simplified budgeting, cost savings, value for money, 
predictable revenue, it makes businesses easy to scale and brings flexibility to the business model. 

So, how does the subscription industry drive business success?


User experience, automation, and predictive analytics are the trifecta that's at the pinnacle of subscription business success.



From finance-centric to user-centric

Creating lasting value in subscription businesses through user experience

It's traditional for businesses to think about what they do first—their product and their service—then think about how to sell it to the customer. However, the subscription industry is here to serve, and the best way to do that is to start by thinking about the user and work backwards; create a relationship-first, user-centric mindset within your organization, your systems and processes, and your product/service development. 

For most subscription businesses there are two primary user groups: your customers, and your team. Both should have a great experience with your product or service in order to get the most out of it, be encouraged to use it, keep using it and maximize its potential. If your customers get all of that then you won't just win financially today, but you will keep winning on a cumulative basis as time goes on, through retained customers, customers who become advocates for your brand and, as a result, new customers as well.

In effect, the subscription industry is an inherent problem solver. This is the basis of its appeal for customers and businesses across the board—when it's done well, it makes life easy. Focus on the user, and you will create a business that repeatedly sells itself.


Personalizing the customer journey and sales processes

A truly excellent user experience is impossible to achieve at scale without automation. It is almost counterintuitive to think that automation can increase and optimize personalization, but herein lies one of the most sophisticated and magical aspects of the subscription industry. 

Sophisticated price automation, complete with guided selling and a flexible product catalog, ensures you put the right offer is put in front of each customer. That ultimately converts more sales, facilitates upselling and increases the likelihood of customer stickiness.

Modern CPQ solutions 

Modern CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) supports aligning individual sales goals with your business objectives. Pre-defined product-pricing combinations, discount conditions and rules not only prevent inaccurate quoting but also save time for approval processes.

Guided selling 

Working with CPQ, guided selling is a software solution that enables both sales representatives and customers to make more precise product selections in the sales process, thereby increasing efficiency and conversion rates. 

Elastic product catalog

Given the growing and evolving nature of subscription businesses, having a flexible product catalog, and a platform that supports it, is essential for business growth. An elastic product catalog allows for automated price selections for individual client needs and market requirements, enabling you to constantly reaffirm your place in the market and give your customers reasons to stay with you.

Advanced subscription billing logic

Automate your billing process using advanced rules and conditions tailored to different customer segments and geographical locations. Establish seamless invoicing and payment processes that integrate smoothly into the customer journey, all within a single system. This approach not only ensures an excellent billing experience but also reduces the need for system customization, leading to cost savings.


It's about deep data, not big data

For as long as we can remember now, "big data" has been a marketing industry buzzword, but the key is actually in the depth of your customer understanding. It all goes back to that user-centric approach, where businesses seek to build relationships. In your personal life, the most meaningful relationships are the ones where you really understand another person, and the same goes for business. It's not about knowing that your friend likes chocolate, but what type of chocolate do they like?

For subscription industry success, understanding customers in depth through accurate data is essential. The initial subscription purchase is just the start of a long-term customer relationship. Apart from revenue reports, it's crucial to have a structured approach to collecting data along the entire customer journey to prevent churn and attract new businesses.

Thanks to the ongoing nature of relationships, the right platform can give you real time insights into consumer behavior, analyze the information accurately, and convert it into actions that proactively help you nurture long-term customer relationships, and improve the overall user experience. As a result, it will also support your business growth and success. 

Ultimately, the subscription industry continues to present exciting opportunities for all businesses, and in particular B2B companies, which have only just begun to capitalize on this space. Those who are leading the way find themselves at the vanguard of their sector, providing customers with services that they can't get elsewhere and giving organizations a significant competitive edge. It's this trifecta that's at the pinnacle of subscription business success, and all three elements and more are enabled by the keylight platform.