You’re probably familiar with the Pareto principle — the idea that 80 percent of your sales come from just 20 percent of current customers. Identifying that 20 percent — and devising a plan to keep them — is critical.
To identify your best customers and boost customer retention, you need an account management strategy. Landing a one-time customer is not enough. You must have a plan to keep the customers you have and continue growing customer relationships that benefit your business.
We’ll explore essential tips for developing a successful account management strategy and share account management strategy best practices.
Here are three straightforward ways to develop an effective account management strategy in your organization.
A successful account management strategy focuses on building relationships with your most important customers. Relationship-building means investing time and effort into each client. Instead of looking at what you can gain from their account, consider how you can contribute to their success.
You can cultivate customer relationships by regularly checking in with your clients and scheduling one-on-one meetings. Ensure there’s a seamless customer onboarding strategy in place so your clients start off on the right foot with your company.
Ensure the client knows they have a liaison to contact if any issues arise. If you set them up with a dedicated account manager they’re comfortable with to address customer service concerns, you can quickly resolve any problems before they turn into major issues.
To ensure your clients receive consistently excellent customer service, treat them as a vital business asset, strive to give them an unforgettable experience, and learn to apologize when mistakes are made.
During the sales process, you established yourself as an advisor and consultant for the client. After the sale, you don’t want your client to see you as just another sales team member. Your relationship with them is not about upselling and cross-selling at this point. As an account manager, you should act as a trusted advisor, always looking for solutions that will benefit the client.
One way to establish yourself as a consultant with your client’s best interests at heart is to recommend solutions even if they’re not directly related to your business’s products or services. For example, let your client know about an upcoming industry trade show you think they could benefit from. Share information about an ancillary service that could improve their operations.
Finding ways for your clients to thrive establishes your status as a trusted advisor they can count on.
The best way to build customer loyalty and solid, long-term accounts is to let your clients know you care about them and their business. To show you care about their success, look past commissions and understand that your job is to help.
Helping your clients means trying to upsell or cross-sell only if you have additional products and services that align with their business goals and objectives. Never try to upsell a client until you’ve done the groundwork and built trust.
What works for one client may not work for another, so personalizing your approach is crucial. Look for ways to anticipate what your clients will need in the future and prepare to address their needs before they happen.
An account management strategy involves managing and growing your company’s relationships with its most valuable and essential clients. Business-to-business (B2B) organizations typically prioritize an account management strategy.
A successful account management strategy benefits your business and clients in the following ways:
An account management strategy starts by identifying your most valuable clients and determining the approaches that work best for them. Pinpoint the team members that can best serve the account’s needs and goals. The end goal is to create long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial.
Account management strategy is a multifaceted process. What works for one client may not work for another, so personalization and flexibility are key.
Here are some essential account management strategy best practices: