There are two important aspects in a business: getting customers and managing these customers. These skills are distinct and completely different from each other which mean that they must be treated differently.
Once your salespeople were able to get an account, there must be a team of people which will help in retaining and developing these accounts. Good management of these accounts can be one major tool in increasing the revenue of your business.
If you are the executive of operation or of marketing, you must have realized that it is a must that an account management is set up so that customers will be given a full time focus.
If you will not know the proper strategy to handle key account, you will not be able to place your company and products in a position which can win more customers. An experienced and mature marketing professional is the best account management person. He must be given free hand in choosing who will be part of his team from the company itself or through recruitment.
Members of the team must have strong interpersonal skills. They must be both excellent in listening and oral communication as they will be responsible for client-facing.
Their skills in this aspect must be something which can lead to building and developing lasting relationships. They must be personable while at the same time keeps the business objectives in mind. They must also be self directed and must be able to thrive even under pressure within a team or individually.
Good account management team must conduct a thorough research about their customers. This can be taken to the point of pulling information on media reports and public records. They must ask for detailed question from their customers and notes if something new about a client has come to his knowledge.
These notes can be made reference when presenting products to them. The more that they understand the client’s objectives, their target and how they go the market, the more value will be acquired to focus the account management strategy.
One way of meeting the accounts needs is by noting those no answers on questions thrown at them. If by asking your customers if they think they can derive some benefits from a new product you intend to launch and you get a no for an answer, you can then devise method to improve it so it will sell.
By having knowledge of your customer’s objections is one great opportunity to pro-actively look for way to improve your product and grow your revenue.
One common mistake committed by some account managers is talking at their customers rather than to their customers. When your client tells you about how he thinks your product can help him, you must come up with a response which is based according to what he told you. Rather than just mindlessly discussing the features of the product, use what the customer has told you to guide him into sale.
Account management team is one responsible for damage control. Certainly problems and issues will present itself to the company and the products and services offered. The team must do its best to understand the needs of their clients so as to preempt the rise of these problems.
The more skilled the management team is the easier that they will be able to avoid possible stumbling blocks or resolved one which has started already.
Another key account management strategy that must be practiced by most businesses is the consistent review of the customers satisfaction with the relationship. From the perspective of the client, was the value that they were able to gain from that relationship satisfactory?
Satisfaction is critical in managing account and every business must go beyond normal distance to achieve this goals. The customers who were given value more than what is expected are likely to continue the relationship. Mastering the art of delivering satisfaction to customers is the key towards raising more revenues.
Account management team must also be well-versed with company’s history, processes and competitors. They must have a good relationship with the key persons responsible for making major company’s decision.
They must be aware what these top people have planned for the future of the business. in addition, they must be aware of the current trends in business and financial situations. this information will help them in formulating the necessary strategies to keep the clients.
If you think that you business relies on some few important customers and the latter makes up for most of your business, then you must device way of locking these customers up. Account management is one effective way of making it impossible for the competitors to take even the tiniest share away. You have just to select the most creative and driven people to do this task for you.