Help with Monthly Deals with AutoRenew

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Occasional Contributor

HI All!

 

I am currently attempting to figure out what is the best way to treat our monthly deals.  For context, currently, we put in our monthly deals with a duration of 11 months and update upon completion of contract -- either churn for full year.  We are struggling to come up with a way to capture our monthly deals and are looking for some best practices.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks!

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Top Advisor | Gold Partner

Hi @Arne 

 

Software is annoying – as you've probably learned. Personally I prefer to fit the software around the business processs rather than make the software dictate the business process.

 

(No, I don't get out much)

 

In the example I talked about previously we set a Renewal Date (for the Company) and then enrolled the Primary Contact (of the Company) in a Workflow which creates a new "Renewal" Deal based on the Company Renewal Date. This way we ended up with an annual Deal history which is easy to see in the CRM.

 

When we set up the system there were only HubSpot Workflows for Contacts (now you can create Workflows based on Contacts, Companies or Deals). To overcome this limitation we created a Workflow that triggered a Webhook (a Webhook triggers code on a different server). The Webhook allowed us to write custom code that then added a Deal - via the HubSpot API - with the properties we needed e.g. Renewal Date, Price, etc.

 

Based on your post (and what we've done for our clients) I would use a Webhook - which triggers on "closed won" to create a new Deal with a Close Date in the future (assuming you have an annual renewal – one year in the future).

 

Access to Webhooks and Workflows will depend on what HubSpt subscription you have.

 

Lots of assumptions here... one of which is that it would probably require custom code – HubSpot cannot handle Date math, nor anything else particularly complex with Workflows.

 

Also, I recommend taking propeties from the Company - not the Deal - because over time the Company could change but you want the Deals to represent a particular time. For example if you have a Deal for 2018 based on a Company turnover it could change in 2019 - if you copy the Deal Property it may not reflect the Company change... which all depends on your data and your business process.

 

Happy to meet online and discuss your business process - there are so many subtleties that will make a difference to how you systemise your business process... send me a message and we can arrange a meeting.

 

I'm based in New Zeland which is why I'm replying at an odd hour.

-Mike

 

 

 

7 Replies 7
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HubSpot Product Team

Hello @SnykOps , apologies it looks as if your post was mistakenly filtered as spam! Are you still in need of some support/guidance? @Josh @Mike_Eastwood what would you advise? 

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Top Advisor | Gold Partner

Hi @SnykOps 

 

We haven't found a perfect solution yet... I know HubSpot Marketing Enterprise has some extra features with recurring payments for quotes, but I haven't seen anything that handles recurring deals easily.

 

What we did for a client

 

We have a client (we're a HubSpot Partner Agency) who is a Membership Organisation.

 

To handle New Members or Renewals we have a custom Deal Pipeline with four stages:

1. New or Renewal

2. Invoiced

3. Paid (closed won)

4. Resigned (closed lost)

 

Stage 1 is either a deal generated by a Workflow when someone fills in the join form. Or, it's a deal generated by enrolling a Contact in a Workflow based on a Custom Property with a Renewal Date.

 

Stage 2 is where the Deal is manually moved by the administrator when the invoice has been sent (ideally this could be automated with a modern accounting system).

 

Stage 3 calls a Webhook which runs some custom code to calculate renewal dates and related updated properties. HubSpot's Workflows are unable to handle Date math so we use an external server to handle the updates.

 

Stage 4 calls a Webhook which runs some custom code to resign the member which sets dates, changes Membership Properties, etc.

 

This is a bespoke system that we're continually improving to reduce the work of the administrator.

 

What we do

 

We have 2 pipelines - one for normal Deals and one for Recurring Deals and Commission. While working on a new Deal I use the normal Deal Pipeline. Once the Deal's won I manually move it to the Recurring Deal Pipeline.

 

The second Deal Pipeline has only 2 Deal Stages: Recurring (our monthly retainers) and Commissions (software income). This helps me keep track of our recurring income as a KPI (Key Performance Indidcator).

 

These are two very different scenarios with polar differences in complexity.

 

There's lots of different ways to solve these challenges and it will depend on what version of HubSpot you have i.e. Markeing Pro has Workflows.

 

Happy to jump on a call to discuss your requirements in more detail if that's useful for you?

-Mike


 

 

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Esteemed Contributor
We also sell software subscriptions and maintenance contracts which live in a separate pipeline „Renewal Sales“ owned by the renewal team.

If a deal is closed won, a mandatory field is „renewal date“ in order to enable proper reminder workflows. That’s all fine.

What I am looking for is an option to clone deals and their quotes.

Why cloning?

A) we don’t want go rewrite an identical quote
B) If we just move the won deal back into a lower stage but with the new renewal date, the deal stage „closed won“ of eg 2019 is drying out since the won renewal deals are no longer there.

What would you recommend?
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Top Advisor | Gold Partner

Hi @Arne 

 

Software is annoying – as you've probably learned. Personally I prefer to fit the software around the business processs rather than make the software dictate the business process.

 

(No, I don't get out much)

 

In the example I talked about previously we set a Renewal Date (for the Company) and then enrolled the Primary Contact (of the Company) in a Workflow which creates a new "Renewal" Deal based on the Company Renewal Date. This way we ended up with an annual Deal history which is easy to see in the CRM.

 

When we set up the system there were only HubSpot Workflows for Contacts (now you can create Workflows based on Contacts, Companies or Deals). To overcome this limitation we created a Workflow that triggered a Webhook (a Webhook triggers code on a different server). The Webhook allowed us to write custom code that then added a Deal - via the HubSpot API - with the properties we needed e.g. Renewal Date, Price, etc.

 

Based on your post (and what we've done for our clients) I would use a Webhook - which triggers on "closed won" to create a new Deal with a Close Date in the future (assuming you have an annual renewal – one year in the future).

 

Access to Webhooks and Workflows will depend on what HubSpt subscription you have.

 

Lots of assumptions here... one of which is that it would probably require custom code – HubSpot cannot handle Date math, nor anything else particularly complex with Workflows.

 

Also, I recommend taking propeties from the Company - not the Deal - because over time the Company could change but you want the Deals to represent a particular time. For example if you have a Deal for 2018 based on a Company turnover it could change in 2019 - if you copy the Deal Property it may not reflect the Company change... which all depends on your data and your business process.

 

Happy to meet online and discuss your business process - there are so many subtleties that will make a difference to how you systemise your business process... send me a message and we can arrange a meeting.

 

I'm based in New Zeland which is why I'm replying at an odd hour.

-Mike

 

 

 

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Esteemed Contributor

Hi @Mike_Eastwood 

 

Thanks for your response.

I have created a workflow that "auto-creates" deals in the renewal pipeline.

That´s fine. It´s more the cloning of the quote of standard renewals that would be interesting.

For the new license deals (100%), the creation of a maintenance renewal quote and the respective deal with 25% value of deal amount would be great.

 

Math, you put your finger deeeep into the wound ... I had to learn it the hard way that not even simple +-*/ is included in  SalesHub Pro licensing .... not even a handful of calculation fields... simply 0.

 

I understand that HubSpot would want us all to be Enterprise licensed but if you ask me it is a big mistake and this tiny little feature is certainly not strong enough to motivate a company with 5 users Pro to upgrade to an Enterprise (minimum 10 users at a higher price per user) license that costs them 2x the amount just for elementary math.

 

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New Contributor

Hi SnykOps,

 

Recurring deals are always a nightmare in all CRMs (even Salesforce makes this really hard work). I've spent 15 years working as an accountant and its been a problem at many businesses I've worked with who'd like to forecast from their CRM data.

 

I'd recommend checking out QuarterOne.com, listed on the HubSpot connect store here. The app has a really easy and intutive way to spread deals over months. It even allows users to create a custom "Duration" field in their CRM and spread deals based on that or over ride the spread manually. Its the best and simplicist solution I've seem.

 

Thanks

 

Michael

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Regular Contributor | Partner

This is something I struggled with when I first started tracking deals.

For example, our business has several different revenue streams:

  1. One-off purchases from our store, templates, files, etc.
  2. Retainers on software with a standard, non-changing monthly fee. Things like website hosting and maintenance.
  3. Retainers on software with a standard, non-changing annual fee
  4. Fixed Retainers based on monthly services performed. This is usually done as one retainer contract per client.
  5. Variable retainers - these are longer-term contracts like 6months to a year, but the payment varies month to month based on the type of service being offered in a specific month. This is mostly due to our industry which is cyclical based on a legally set calendar - government and politics election cycles.)

 

The long and short of it is - I have not run across a single CRM (even one as detailed as HubSpot) that adequately tracks income ore revenue across all periods and deal types. I think this falls under the general idea that there is NO CRM that can be everything to everyone.

 

So we customize or make due. The latter, in my experience, leads to abandoning processes or tweaking things to a point where they become so cumbersome it adds too much inefficiency and complexity that salespeople can't follow the process.

 

How I've handled this then is to think about what I really want to analyze or review on a regular basis. The answer is - I prefer to make sure my sales and marketing processes are set up properly and the reporting is then something we can review less often.

 

I've built custom deal fields to track things like annual deals and monthly deals. THat way the amount of the deal corresponds to the deal type. I can then filter pipelines on deal types and have a general idea (read: not perfect but good to go on) of revenue planned for the current month.

 

What this also means is that default contact properties HubSpot uses, like Lifetime Value, will not work as intended. For example, a contact at a company that pays us $3,000 per month gets entered as a single $3,000 deal. So HubSpot records that as lifetime value of $3,000 when in reality it might be $15,000 because they had a 5 month deal with us.  We then use custom dashboards and reports to show the metrics we want to see with the click of a button. The reality is, we don't look at this every day. Maybe once a week, usually less. 

 

You could, of course, model that as a single $15,000 deal and put in the notes the contact length or create custom fields for start and end dates. But then the deal view will not show you accurate monthly numbers.  If you have 3 of those deals at one time, your true monthly income is $9,000 but the closed deals view looks like $45,000.

 

So, for us, the Hubspot deals view is NOT really for projecting cash flow or monthly (or any other period) revenue. Because no matter which way you choose you run into an obstacle - either reporting is insufficient or the deal view is insufficient.

 

Another commenter on this post suggested checking out another app that grabs your deal data and pops it into a separate app of dashboard views and reports.

 

We do something similar. We use intuit quickbooks, which, coincidentally, in my opinion, is neither quick nor intuitive. But that's a conversation for another time.

 

So we use Hubspot to track pure deals and the value of those deals to our company. That is more useful to our sales side of things and more closely models how we track those deals and what our customers are comfortable with. We've found selling a customer on $3,000 a month for five months is more palatable than closing them on $15,000 contract.

 

We then use custom reports and dashboards in Hubspot to show us quick views of estimated monthly or annual deal volume and revenue.  But when we want to look at any real finance projections we model that in quickbooks and use those reports. Those typically become part of larger conversations of future revenue modeling and the subsequent conversations about sales tactics and how to close the deals that might have been lagging.

 

I recognize this super long winded response is probably not what you're looking for, but, in my opinion, the important part is figuring out how you go about your sales processes. Test and figure out what works best and converts best and then design the reporting process around that. That will tell you whether hubspot can do it natively. If not, you know you have to wrap in another app to help with reporting and analysis.

 

But dont get stuck in analysis paralysis. Make an educated guess. Start. Test. Measure. Change up if necessary.  Choose action over inaction.


Good luck!