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.
So what is Account Management?
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.