Like with preparing a meal or anything with some degree of complexity, proper preparation prevents poor performance. Preparation takes time.

This is also the case with renewing a contract. Your competition knows exactly when your contract is up for renewal and they have their best team working on it. The most successful companies start working on contract renewal at the same time the competition is increasing their efforts.

When you are the currently contracted partner, you have a huge benefit over the competition. You have access to people and information with more ease. But you can only leverage that advantage when you start in time.

When should you start then, you ask? As a rule of thumb, we would say 18 months before the contract will end. When the contract term is less than 2 years, you should start when half of the contract time has passed. At that point in time you can still influence a lot of things when needed.

Considering everything that is important in renewing a contract, starting in time is the easiest thing to do right. But how can you make starting in time a common practice in your organization?

Start by determining when the renewal process should start: The contract end date minus X-months. And make sure that everybody knows that this will be your standard way of working. And monitor whether everyone is actually starting in time. Remember; your competition is certainly looking for opportunities to step in. Don’t give them a head start.

Next, see how you can automate that people get a reminder when they are about to start the renewal process. Your CRM-system can probably be set to automatically send a reminder to the account manager.

Another best practice is to appoint a person or department with the responsible for the contract renewal process. A bit manager or tender desk is a logical department to hand that responsibility.

When you do not work with a CRM-system, a manual reminder by the process owner will do just as well.

As Woody Allen said: 80% of success is showing up in time. You have that covered now. But of course, it matters what you will do next. Read our blog: ‘The first question’ to get inspired.