SUBSCRIPTION MANAGEMENT: Best Practices & Software Solutions


Subscriptions come with an immense promise: the promise to build clients for life and promote predictable growth. Yet promises are not reality, and developing a subscription business is no guarantee that you’ll experience its rewards. Enter subscription management. It puts your subscription business on a launchpad. Then it sparks a flame.
Below we’ll look at how subscription management helps CFOs and CROs build world-class buying and paying experiences – generating loyalty, renewals, and growth.
You don’t have to do anything regarding subscriptions manually. You can automate all these operations. What you need is solid subscription management software.

What is Subscription Management?

Subscription management is the practice of handling consumer subscriptions, generally for a recurring service or product. This can encompass responsibilities such as keeping client profiles, updating billing information, and providing customer support.

Handling subscriptions efficiently is critical for organizations that employ a subscription business model and rely on recurring revenue, as it can assist ensure that customers remain satisfied with the service and continue to subscribe. Bad subscription management, on the other side, can lead to client attrition and lost income.

What is a Subscription Management Software?

Subscription management software lets organizations power up the sales and billing of services and products on a regular basis.
This helps the organizations manage revenue and give better services to clients.

Stages of Subscription Management

Subscription management software can help account and sales reps managers handle the subscription management and manage subscriptions throughout the client’s lifetime.

#1. Pre-Signup

Before clients sign up, subscription management tools can be used to give clear information regarding the various price structures that an organization supports.

#2. Add-Ons, Discount

Sometimes, prospects need that little extra push to get over the line. Using subscription management tools, users can arrange discounts and add-ons which can be presented to sweeten the deal for resistant prospects that are resisting clicking on the purchase button.

#3. Upgrade Management

For customers that are already using the software, a seamless upgrade process must be offered. If consumers have previously paid for a month and wish to upgrade, subscription management software should be able to automatically compute and apply pro-rata fees based on your pricing plan.

#4. Renewals

Earning revenue from existing clients maximizes your subscription revenue. Avoid revenue leakage by identifying churn candidates and ensuring you are increasing the number of customers that renew their contracts. Automate your subscription renewals, and employ upsells, cross-sells, packages, and incentives while renewing subscriptions. Incentives provide added value and can also add a sense of urgency to assist reinforce and accelerate buying choices. These renewal options assist sales teams in closing deals more quickly and fostering long-term customer loyalty.

#5. Subscription Expiration

Just because a customer’s subscription has expired does not mean that customer management should call it quits. Subscription management tools can integrate with email marketing and CRM systems to send out post-subscription touchpoint collateral. One example would be sending out customer feedback surveys automatically for closed accounts. Don’t let customers slip away into the night without leaving one parting message!

Recurrent Billing vs. Subscription Management

What is the distinction between a subscription management solution and a platform for recurring billing? Subscription management tools, on the other hand, frequently include functionality designed to assist recurring billing and payment collection.

Subscription management tools, on the other hand, are primarily intended to prioritize the management of all interactions between businesses and customers.

Recurring billing tools, strictly speaking, focus on everything required to ensure that every stage of the billing process operates smoothly and efficiently. Invoice production, payment tracking, and secure storage of payment information may be required (often in the cloud).

The Benefits of Subscription Management

Instead of wondering what you can do for your subscription management software, consider what it can do for you.
So, what’s on the menu? Most subscription management tools support a variety of subscription business models and include features such as:

  • Enable users to track subscription revenue by drilling down into total revenue statistics, monitoring trends, and instantly exporting reports.
  • Contain or integrate with payment processing tools designed to accept subscription payments swiftly and automatically.
  • Offer comprehensive lookup functionality for subscriber accounts. Few things are more likely to make support reps appear clueless than not knowing when a subscriber signed up or the status of their subscription.

Combined, these advantages enable SaaS companies to provide a substantially richer user experience to their customers while lowering churn.

What Are the Most Important Features of Subscription Management Software?

Success with subscriptions requires putting the consumer first in all you do. The best subscription management software facilitates this by providing capabilities such as deal and transaction management to assist sales reps in closing deals quickly and growing connections. Then, built-in automation, billing, and revenue management tools give finance the ability to remain on top of payments.
The following are the most important subscription management software features to look for:

🛒 Self-service Purchasing

Consumers want B2B purchasing to be as simple as ordering cat food online. That is the essence of self-service. Additionally, as customers purchase through self-service channels such as your website, all associated transactions — from the order to the bill — should be generated automatically on the back end. Also, your self-service engine should be able to accommodate numerous pricing models.

🤝 Deal Administration

Controlling subscriptions is excellent, but you must first sell them. Subscription management software should have deal management features that allow sales reps to step in and rescue stalled prospects and close them quickly, such as tools that allow you to apply discounts and automate approvals within guardrails.

🔎 Reports and Dashboards

Something you can’t see can’t grow. Subscription management should enable cross-team visibility into crucial customer data and performance indicators (KPIs). The greatest dashboard visualizations transform live data into quick snapshots of consumer behavior and corporate performance, allowing you to move from insight to action within the same system. Billing engine that is unified

Every subscription activity has a corresponding financial reaction. That’s a lot of responses. By integrating up-to-date data from across the purchasing path, a unified billing engine can help you accelerate cash collection and improve the customer experience. Every transaction generates and applies aggregated invoices, regardless of charge type, sales order, or payment schedule.

💡 Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI is a fancy word. It’s really just arithmetic that predicts the next best offer to send, who’s due for an upgrade, or who’s about to fall behind on payments. Sales and finance can use AI as a freakishly brilliant coworker to capitalize on possibilities and avoid risk.

The Top 10 Subscription Management Software in 2023

There are several tools available on the market. To locate a good subscription management tool, you have to actually scour the market. We have, however, making your job easier.
Here are some of the top subscription management tools discovered via extensive study. Plunge right in!

  • Chargebee
  • Stripe
  • Chargify
  • Profitwell
  • SaaSOptics
  • 2Checkout
  • Sage Intacct
  • Zuora
  • Zoho
  • Recurly

#1. Chargebee

Chargebee’s subscription management and recurring billing technology will help you streamline your billing operations. This subscription management software is ideal for subscription-based enterprises such as SaaS, PaaS, eCommerce, and others.

With Chargebee’s sophisticated interfaces with popular payment gateways, you can automate your invoicing, payment collection, and alerts.

Integrations with third-party tools like Xero, QuickBooks Online, NetSuite, MailChimp, Zendesk, Slack, Salesforce, and others ensure a simple subscription payment procedure.
Chargebee’s best features include dunning management, a product catalog, cancellation management, m-revenue recognition, tax management, a self-service portal, usage tracking, revenue recovery tools, trial management, and so on.
Furthermore, Chargebee offers a very responsive customer care system, which makes it even more appealing to clients.

#2. Stripe

Stripe no longer requires an introduction. It is undoubtedly the most popular subscription management software, with thousands of businesses of all sizes using it.

Stripe’s robust range of connections has made accepting credit cards and other forms of payment a breeze. As a result, they can legitimately claim that “we develop everything that is required to build websites that collect payments and transmit payouts globally.”

And the best thing is… All of this is accomplished by prioritizing data security. As a result, businesses may quickly defeat any efforts at fraud, send invoices, and manage their subscription activity.

Stripe’s features make it simple to accept mobile payments, handle ACH payments, and manage recurring billing. It’s ridiculously simple to automate payments and collect customer feedback at the checkout by combining Stripe and SurveySparrow.
You may test it out by creating a free account.

#3. Chargify

Chargify is a subscription management software that looks far beyond the billing tip of the iceberg. The software is designed specifically for B2B SaaS businesses, making subscription management a breeze for them.

Elastic Billing from Chargify allows you to modify your subscription and price mix while staying ahead of the competition. With the help of Chargify, you can use event-based billing, gain a thorough insight into your recurring revenue business, and automate your quote-to-cash process.

Furthermore, our subscription management application allows you to simply trace payments and reverse duplicate payments as required.
Given all of these features, Chargify appears to be a subscription management software worth investigating for your company.

#4. ProfitWell

ProfitWell is a subscription management platform that provides outcome-driven products to assist improve pricing and manage subscriptions.

Price Audit measures the growth of your pricing plan, whereas Retention Audit analyzes and pinpoints revenue leakage. ProfitWell’s subscription reporting and analytics may also provide you with crystal-clear details.

The user-friendly subscription management software has a simple learning curve and is simple to set up. ProfitWell’s rapid customer support team may also provide immediate assistance with issues.

#5. SaaSOptics

SaaSOptics, as the name suggests, is a great subscription management software for B2B SaaS and other subscription-based organizations. This low-cost subscription management software allows you to use interfaces with platforms such as Quickbooks, Salesforce, and others.

Purchase and share error-free invoice and revenue schedules in seconds, and seamlessly sync orders between your CRM and GL. In addition, SaaSOptics analytics and reports provide correct subscription plan insights.

With SaaSOptics’ outstanding set of tools, you can totally eliminate the need for spreadsheets and manage subscriptions painlessly.

#6. Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct is a financial management tool that allows you to easily monitor and track subscriptions.

SageIntacct, which primarily serves midsize businesses, serves approximately 11,000 businesses worldwide. The cloud-based subscription management software provides you with real-time financial visibility at every stage of your business, all while being protected by a powerful security system.

SageIntacct’s popular features include dunning management, payment processing, recurring billing, deferred billing, multi-currency, recurring invoicing, a self-service portal, multi-period recurring billing, online invoicing, and configurable invoicing, among others.
With so many features and more, SageIntaact remains one of the most formidable competitors to its rivals.

#7. Zuora

Zuora is a premier subscription management software that assists in the real-time synchronization of your subscription order-to-cash activities. The software provides a number of dependable services as a central point for managing subscriptions and keeping up with ever-changing marketing trends.

Monitor and monitor the lifecycle of your subscriptions, and automate payment and billing calculations for each customer. Compute the major subscription indicators and gain valuable insights into subscriber engagement and revenue operations.

Zuora’s popular features include dunning management, revenue recognition, tax management, usage tracking, coupon management, recurring billing, trial management, and so on.

#8. 2Checkout (Now Verifone)

2Checkout, a comprehensive subscription management software, can help you optimize and manage subscription billing. This user-friendly solution allows you to manage every revenue activity in your customer’s lifecycle, including first orders, upgrades, bills, and renewals.

2Checkout provides strong payment support for recurring billing. You can also make the most of this subscription management tool’s reports by leveraging the insights to reduce churn and increase active customers and subscriptions.

2Checkout offers dunning management, online invoicing, a billing portal, a contact database, hourly billing, customizable invoices, and mobile payments.

#9. Zoho Subscriptions

Zoho Subscriptions is a subscription management software that helps you track subscription billing and invoicing throughout the customer journey. The platform also boasts a distinguished clientele, which includes well-known brands such as EuroBox, HeadApp, Opiniion, and others.

With such a subscription management technology in place, you can effortlessly organize billing frequencies, automate proration, stay tax compliant, and securely store credit card information.
Deferred billing, usage tracking, a self-service portal, tax management, cancellation management, and trial management are also available on the platform.

Furthermore, the software is connected with the full Zoho ecosystem, including Zoho CRM and projects. Hence, if you’re a regular user of Zoho’s products, Zoho Subscriptions could be the perfect solution for you.

#10. Recurly

Recurly is a subscription management software that allows you to delve deep into the potential of the subscription model. It is suitable for all types of organizations, ranging from SMBs to worldwide enterprises.

With Recurly, you can generate predicted revenue, uncover critical consumer data, and automate subscription billing. Use Revenue Optimization Machine learning-powered engine reduces subscriber churn while increasing monthly income by 12%.

Cancellation management, dunning management, a self-service portal, revenue recovery tools, recurring invoicing, multi-period recurring billing, and deferred billing are all elements of Recurly.
Recurly is a fantastic tool, but be aware of its steep learning curve.

What is Subscription Pricing?

Customers pay a recurring fee for access to a product or service under the subscription pricing model. This can be done weekly, monthly, or annually. Generally, the smaller the price per period, the longer the commitment.

This price model is widespread in software-as-a-service (SaaS) products, because consumers require continual access to the product to derive value from it. It is also typical for physical commodities that are regularly consumed, like food or coffee subscriptions.
Both businesses and customers profit from the subscription pricing model.

It provides a consistent and recurring revenue stream for firms, which can help with cash flow planning. It also leads to increased customer lifetime value (CLV) because customers are more inclined to continue with a product or service for which they already pay.

Subscription pricing can be more convenient for customers than purchasing a product altogether. They don’t have to worry about re-purchasing the product every time they want to use it, and they frequently receive a discount for commitment.
Yet, there are several drawbacks to subscription pricing. When customers only use a product on occasion, it can be difficult for firms to scale. Customers may find it inconvenient to continue paying for a product or service that they are not using.

Generally, subscription pricing is a popular method of pricing products and services, particularly those that are used frequently. Before introducing this type of pricing for your company, weigh the benefits and drawbacks.

Subscription Pricing vs. Subscription Management

Subscription services have two major components: the subscription management process and subscription pricing. The management of consumer subscriptions, from sign-ups through cancellations, is referred to as subscription management. Subscription pricing, on the other hand, is all about determining the appropriate price for your service.

When it comes to subscription management vs. price, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The optimum technique is determined by your company’s unique requirements. Yet, some broad recommendations might assist you in making the best selection for your business.

The most crucial aspect of subscription management is ensuring a positive client experience. This includes making it simple for clients to sign up for your service and giving them the tools they need to manage their subscriptions. You could, for example, provide a self-service portal via which clients can amend their payment details or cancel their subscriptions.

Finding the correct balance between revenue and customer acquisition is important to subscription pricing. You may not be able to cover your expenditures if you price your service too cheap. On the other hand, if you overprice it, you may have difficulty attracting new clients. Starting with a competitive price strategy and then adjusting based on consumer feedback is the best approach.

How to Manage Subscription Revenue Recurring

Building up recurring income streams from subscriptions is critical for SaaS companies looking to grow their revenue. Managing recurring revenue, on the other hand, might be difficult. Here’s how to manage recurring revenue properly to optimize profitability.

#1. Maintain a list of your subscribers.

To handle your recurring revenue successfully, you must keep track of who is subscribing to what and for how long.

#2. Provide incentives for renewing your contract early.

Provide incentives to encourage your users to renew their subscriptions early. This could be a discount on their next subscription month or special access to content or services.

#3. Provide value for every billing cycle.

Keep in mind that your subscribers are paying you on a regular basis, therefore you must ensure that they are getting their money’s worth. Every billing cycle, provide them with valuable content or services.

#4. Maintain regular contact with your subscribers.

Utilize email, social media, or a monthly newsletter to keep members up to date on what’s new with your service and to remind them of the value they receive as a subscriber.

#5. Provide a variety of payment alternatives.

Provide several payment alternatives to your subscribers to make it easier for them to pay. Credit cards, PayPal, or direct debit are all options. The more options you provide, the more likely your subscribers are to pay you on time.

#6. Make use of automated billing.

To make things even easier for you and your subscribers, choose automated recurring billing, which charges your subscribers automatically for their subscriptions.

#7. Provide incentives for referrals.

Provide discounts for referrals to encourage your subscribers to spread the word about your service. This is an excellent strategy to increase the number of people that sign up for your service, hence increasing your revenue.

#8. Examine your price.

As your company expands, you may need to modify your price to keep up with market trends and competition.

#9. Examine your subscription service on a regular basis.

It is critical to do regular reviews of your subscription service to ensure that it is still satisfying the needs of your users.

This could include polling your subscribers to see what they think or simply monitoring your cancellation rate. It’s time to make some changes if you see that people are canceling their subscriptions at a larger rate than usual.


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