Total Pageviews

Sunday, July 17, 2016

How to set up Free Trials and Discounts in Zuora!

It happens to every business now and then with the sales numbers - they may not be as optimistic as you would have predicted them or hoped them to be? So you might have launched a new product and are seeing a sluggish adoption by users- how to accelerate user acceptance ?

Discounts are a great way of bringing the consumer back to buying ways and opening the strings of their purse.

Similarly a free trial might go a long way in pursuing the users to try your newly launched product line.
So far so good but how does one setup these constructs :-
1. Discounts
2. Free Trials
in your respective tools - say Zuora -your  Relationship Business Management (RBM) solution which helps enable businesses in any industry to launch or shift products to subscription.

All those who are familiar with Zuora will know that everything revolves around- your Product Catalog ( your product repository in Zuora). Product Catalog is where :-
1. You record / capture your products.
2. Define different Rate Plan for each product.
3. Define various charges and discounts for each rate plan.

Zuora's product catalog provides two discount charge models - Discount-Fixed Amount and Discount-Percentage - which can be used to offer your customers a variety of discount options:
Lets say you launched an online technical magazine called "Tech-Mate" and find  that user adoption is a challenge and say you would like to use the following plan to give a boost to your sales  :-
1. 50% discount for the first 3 months subscription
2. 200 Rupees discount on renewal.

So will go to Product Catalog and Add the Product- "Tech-Mate"
For the above product you need to do the following:-
1. Create the following Rate Plans
Normal Subscription:
 a. Monthly charge of Rs. 500
Promotional Subscription
 a. Monthly charge of Rs. 500
 b. Percentage Discount of 50% for 3 months
Renewal Subscription
 a. Monthly charge of Rs. 500
 b.Fixed Amount Discount of 200 Rupees
How to use them?
When a customer signs up for "Tech-Mate" while creating subscription:-
1. Select the product "Tech-Mate" say initial term of 6 months
2. Select from Rate Plan drop-down - Promotional Subscription
3. Once the customer comes for renewal - create an amendment for:-
    a. Remove the Rate Plan -Promotional Subscription  (Type
    b. Add the Rate Plan - Renewal Subscription
    c. Renew the subscription using another Amendment

Free Trials

 Sometimes it takes more than a discount to make prospective customers try your new product. Free trials come in handy in such situations.
How to handle free trials in Zuora.
I will suggest 2 ways to handle it.

1. Using the Subscription billing trigger dates for providing free trial.
    The billing trigger dates are (You need to control how many are active via settings)
    a. Contract Effective Date (Contract is signed)
    b. Service Activation Date ( Service is made available)
    c. Service Acceptance Date (Customer accepts service)

Now say you want to provide a free trial of 15 days.
You can set the Contract Effective date to say 18th July 2016 but set the Service Activation date to 2nd August 2016.

2. Using Discount Model
In case you want to give free trial of 1 month to your Product -"Tech-Mate"
In that case create another Rate Plan say
Free Trial Subscription
 a. Monthly charge of Rs. 500
 b. Percentage Discount of 100% for 1 months

Zuora has all the features to support the adage - Customer is the king - so use them to increase your sales !!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Customer Accounts in Zuora and how they are different from their SFDC counterparts!

Of late I have been dabbling again with zuora after initial stint couple of years back. It's been ages since I blogged (at least it seems so). Customer accounts are theoretically / functionally similar to Account object in Salesforce.
Or more appropriately in salesforce  "companies that we sold to are Business Accounts".
In salesforce Account Object holds all the critical information like:-
1. Address details
2. Number of employees
3. People associates with that Account as related records like contacts
4. Business done with then as related Opportunities
5. Documents associated with them as attachments
and so forth.....

Similarly in Zuora
 An customer account is a account that collects all of the critical information about the customer, such as contact information, payment terms, and payment methods.
Zuora uses the Account object to track all subscriptions, usage, and transactions for each customer account. Each account is a source of a recurring invoice stream.

Every subscription must be associated with an account. At least one active account must exist before any subscriptions can be created.

You would frown and say well so other than the subscription part where is the difference?
The difference lies in the details of schema or in how zuora works:-

1. Both Salesforce and zuora provide capability to add custom fields

1.The fields that can be added in zuora are of type text, picklist and checkbox only while salesforce provides you an array of options.
2. You cannot create any lookup / master detail based custom field in zuora or as they call it they dont provide "Relationship" fields in zuora
So what happens when you might want to associate an account with another account say as a :-
1. Lead Manager
2. Consultant
3. Decision Maker

Well as of now the most easiest way of such association is using:-
1. Some sort of account hierarchy
2. A custom picklist field to denote type of account.

You might wonder why not provide something as basic as a lookup or relationship field- the answer might lie in the may Zuora works - it synchronizes data back and forth between itself and salesforce hence any modification of relationship schema might make their sync all the more complex.

But if you think a strong case of advocating "Relationship" fields at the "Customer Account" zuora like salesforce has a vibrant community and idea floating platform, you can post your idea and up-vote it here - Zuora Ideas

Watch this space for more in future!!