Why I’m excited about the Subscribed Strategy Group

March 30, 2020

By Frank Ernst, VP of Subscribed Strategy Group, Zuora

With more than a decade working in the Subscription Economy, it’s safe to say that I bet my career on this new business model. As I took on different roles and challenges over the years, one thing remained constant–there was no single magic formula for success in this new world.

In a way, the Subscription Economy has been a leveler – every company I’ve worked with, big and small, tech and non-tech is trying to figure it out. As companies launch new subscription businesses or transform their business from a product-based sales model to subscription-based services, they find themselves seeking to understand how others in their industry have tackled similar challenges, what they should be thinking of next, and what new innovative strategies they can learn from other industries.

At Zuora, we have primarily focused on the technology enabling subscriptions – after all, we are a technology solution company and have the best solution in the market. As a Sales Executive, I found that over the years, many of our customers turned to us with more strategic questions:
What solutions/services should we launch first?

  • How to best test and iterate on pricing and packaging?
  • How to align the entire organization to move from building great products to great customer outcomes?
  • How to move forward with subscription offerings without cannibalizing the core business?

“We get the technological value but can you also help us with strategy?” has been a constant ask from many companies.

This is why I’m so excited to join the Subscribed Strategy Group (SSG) at Zuora! Created solely to help our customers chart a strategic path towards a successful subscription business, the SSG works one-on-one with executives from our customer organizations to help them identify and remove business obstacles and build internal alignment.

As the company that coined the term ‘Subscription Economy’, Zuora is uniquely positioned to guide companies on how to succeed with this new business model. Best practices gleaned from our work with over a thousand subscription companies around the world and benchmarks based on our unique database of subscription businesses will help companies make critical business decisions, adopt new strategies, and measure their success. As an action-oriented endeavor, the team is dedicated to understanding our customers’ business vision and holding both teams accountable for delivering on that vision through executive engagement and guidance.

The mental picture that I have is of businesses on their subscription journey encountering a boulder. At this point in their journey, they don’t need to pave the whole highway. Instead, they just need to remove that boulder so they can be on their way. And that’s precisely what we’ll help them do – unlock a company’s potential to chart out their path and help them overcome their immediate challenges.

Personally, this is a perfect way for me to take my learnings and share it with executives and help them successfully apply it at their companies. I’m looking forward to working with bold leaders who are ready to champion change and see subscriptions as an opportunity rather than a risk. These are leaders who are playing a pivotal role in transforming not just their companies, but entire industries. I have no doubt that the guidance that we provide will be as valuable as the technology that we’re going to put in place to help them achieve their goals.

Curious about how the SSG can help you? Reach out to us at ssg@zuora.com.