Last updated on June 16th, 2023 at 10:16 am
Over the last few years, world-class companies have built their competitive edge around the principles of Account Management. Unfortunately, many companies are yet to up their game in this aspect and master this science. They have either underestimated the power of this concept or they have found it cumbersome and expensive to implement or they struggled to drive its adoption.
Whatever the reasons, organizations cannot afford to ignore this if they want to win market-share and build a strong foundation for sustained profitable growth.
What is Account Management and how does an Account Management CRM help?
Account management refers to a comprehensive approach towards selling and serving customers on an ongoing basis with the primary objective of maximizing lifetime value of a customer.
As a concept, it is much beyond the conventional practices around Relationship Management. Also, it is much more strategic in nature unlike transactional Sales Management.
Framework of Account Management is built on the foundation of two wheels –
INTELLIGENCE & EXECUTION
While execution is focused on getting things done; it will be most effective only when you have the right intelligence and insights in place to channelize the efforts in the right direction. This intelligence could be with respect to market dynamics, customer needs & behavior, competition, overall trends etc.
Like in the case of bike-riding, both these wheels of the framework need to be balanced and rotate in unison to unlock full potential.
World-renowned business advisor & author Ram Charan, in his book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, wrote
“discipline of getting things done was what differentiated companies that succeeded from those that just muddled through or failed.”
Account Management CRM – the ammunition for your warriors
You would agree that any amount of intelligence gathered through secondary research can never replace the first-hand rich intelligence obtained by your front-end warriors who are out there dealing with your customers day in and day out. They are the ones on the ground with all the unique insights about the customers and stakeholders they interact with. The power of this knowledge can provide organizations the competitive edge it requires to outperform. Unfortunately, conventional CRMs make it very difficult for users to engage with technology and capture this intelligence. As per Sales Insights, only 30% of account intelligence gets collected & retained by companies!
The other aspect is to empower your team with a tool that would help them in getting things done and make them more productive. Their efficiency and effectiveness will have a direct impact on your critical success factors. The emphasis should be on a simplified and intuitive user-experience to help them focus on revenue-generating activities. They need to genuinely believe and realize that the tool is going to make a positive difference to their lives.
Only then, one can expect high user-adoption and engagement – a pre-requisite for any transformation initiative.
- Single-version-of-truth of all accounts
- Accurate account categorization and segmentation
- Up-to-date database of all contacts, with business cards
- Stakeholder details like their alignment with your company, their preferences, priorities, etc. – any detail that can help your team to improve customer intimacy and relationship
- Insights in to account’s decision making process as well as buying process
- View in to customer’s org structure
- Visibility in to account’s future business plans for you to better execute your plans
- Ability to capture and collate competition activities so that one knows the trends in the market and is better equipped to counter serious threats
- Easy-to-use and intuitive for easy data capturing by end-users
- Ability to retain account-specific intelligence inspite of reorgs and attrition among reps
- Coverage plan and account team structure
- Ability to measure velocity across critical success factors viz. win-rate, deal value, sales cycle, accounts receivable etc.
- Opportunity & Pipeline management with deal details across rolling four-quarters
- Forecast management
- Constructive reviews – account review and opportunity reviews
- Activity management, assignment and effort analysis
- Follow-ups and reminders for activities, deal closures, collections etc.
- Efficiency and effectiveness of the reps
- Lead assignment with zero leakages
- Quotation management and standardization
- Demo management & customer feedbacks
- Calendar management and synchronization
- Reduce time-to-productivity of new reps
- Compliance through consistent methodology and hygiene
- Easy to implement with minimal training needs
- Drive user-adoption for high success-rate
Single-version-of-truth of all accounts
This is one of the most underrated capabilities of an Account Management CRM. Most companies struggle with inconsistent data about their customers scattered across the Enterprise. They end up with too many versions of excel sheets.
As a result, they miss on a unified view about their customers. This limited view leads to poor decisions taken by the business leaders. Also, juggling multiple excel sheets lead to a lot of operational inefficiencies and costs.
An effective Account Management CRM should provide you with a single unified view with only one version of data across the Enterprise for better decisions and higher operational efficiencies. It also considerably reduces the costs incurred by sales operations. This will only be possible when the CRM app empowers your sales reps to capture accurate customer data with ease.
Accurate Account Categorization & Segmentation
Categorization and segmentation of your accounts will help you to adopt an effective go-to-market (GTM) strategy.
Your accounts could be segmented based on the business potential, industries, past revenue, company size, etc.
It might be a good idea to also have a dedicated sales team focused on a specific segment. A common messaging with adequate domain knowledge of that segment will help your sales team to be more effective and productive.
A good Account Management CRM should help your reps to accurately categorize their customers under specific segments. That will enable you to pull out segment-specific reports for your sales analysis.
Up-to-date database of all contacts, with business cards
Stakeholder management and maintaining relationship with key contacts are a critical aspect of Account Management. The CRM system you implement for your B2B business should enable your sales teams to effectively manage all their customer stakeholders and contacts in an easy way.
A mobile CRM app for account management can help your reps to capture the customer contact details by scanning the business card of the contact. This would reduce the effort and also avoid manual errors.
An up-to-date database goes a long way in understanding your customer’s organization better. It will also help you to run effective campaigns.
It becomes imperative for you to arm your warriors with the right Account Management tool, like HappSales, that will help them win their battles for you to win the war!
This is true for both hunting as well as farming; especially given the fact that repeat sales to existing customers is much more profitable than new acquisitions.
Intelligence coupled with actual execution on the ground is the most effective ammunition for an organization to survive and thrive in a hyper-competitive market; ideally spanning across sales, service and accounts receivable operations to maximize lifetime value of a customer.
Account Management CRM in combination with a mobile CRM app, like the one offered by HappSales, will be most ideal framework B2B organizations can adopt.