How To Manage Your Sales Accounts
What is the point of spending a lot of time, energy and money in growing your sales network only then to find that as fast as you add a customer to your database others leave without you even knowing why!
That sounds like complete madness!
By adopting a Sales Account Management (SAM) approach to your business you will be able to develop a long-term relationship with the account to ensure that they remain loyal to you and your organisation but also that you develop a long-term and mutually beneficial partnership.
So what makes for good Sales Account Management?
- Having a portfolio of key partnered accounts with joint decision making and mutual benefits
- Having a deep understanding of the customer’s business and long term strategy
- Recognising that this is part of a 3 to 5 year transparent relationship
Increasingly customers expect this form of relationship as they will want to know that they are important: we must recognise that customer retention keeps the business alive and provides much needed innovation and product development. This also means that we can target our resources with more effectiveness and efficiency.
The optimum number of Accounts that a business can service in this way is between 20 and 30 but the collaboration should include the Operations, Finance and Product Development departments of BOTH organisations working collectively and collaboratively to ensure a seamless working model.
The stronger the trust the more effective the collaboration becomes and the less chance there is of the customer wandering off and being tempted by one of your rivals.
It is crucial to really understand the financial aspects of this approach: we can all spend large amounts of time and resource in developing a relationship with a customer but this MUST be tempered with the realisation that unless the link generates profit there is little point to ever starting out along this path!
Always remember that the most profitable customers are those that sit below those that generate the most revenue!
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