Account Management – All You Need To Know
By, Nick Moreno, Sales Trainer
National Sales Center, Sales Training Company
I’m often asked about account management. After all, in this economy account retention is critical so account management is getting a lot of buzz.
Account management is something I usually discuss in my major account sales training sessions but it looks like it’s time for an account management article.
What Exactly Is Account Management?
Account management involves a plan or sales strategy to retain an account and lock out the competition. When a company sells multiple products, account management may also involve an account expansion strategy. The goal is to insure your account is using all your products and not buying some of them from the competition. If your account is also doing business with the competition, your account management strategy is to close that window to your competitor. All this must be part of your account management Major Account Plans and your Major Account Strategies.
How Account Management Works
On account management strategy to consider when your account is also doing business with your competitor is a volume discount. The concept behind this account management technique is, “The more you buy, the less you pay”. Volume discounts are a powerful account management tool and if you are not using them, know your competition will use them as an account management strategy to lock you out. I rather see you make more money.
Account Management Plan
Every “decision maker” must be part of a solid account management plan. Too many salespeople just focus on those that actually use the product and that account management strategy could lead to disaster. While a sales rep is calling on the end user, the competitor may be telling the CFO how their company can save money by using a new supplier. So, insure your account management plan covers everyone from end user to “C” level executives. With that type of account management plan, you are covering all your bases. That’s key to competitive sales strategies when working on complex sales.
Why Account Management Works
Your account management plan must also include periodic account reviews. Include several layers of management from your company and their company when implementing this account management strategy. As pat of this account management technique, you must follow up with a formal document outlining the issues discussed. This account management strategy also provides you an opportunity to present new products to your client during the review. Just another way to use account management to close more sales. All this and more is covered in our free sales resources.
Account Management When Things Go Wrong
Sooner or latter, something will go wrong with the use of your product or service. Obviously, customer satisfaction is a major component of any account management plan. You must react quickly and keep your customer informed as you work to correct the problem. In fact, your account management strategy is to keep multiple layers of management informed and allow them to see that you are properly addressing the issue with urgency. At the appropriate time, remind your account how hard you worked to fix the problem. This reminder must be part of your account management plan. I focus on it in my sales training programs.
Account Management Problems
You need to be aware of a few account management red flags. Stay on top of your account management plan when one of your account’s executives is replaced. The new executive may want to switch to a vendor they previously used. If that vendor is your competitor, know your competitor’s account management plan is all about replacing you. Focus on salesmanship.
Price decreases or new products from your competitor will always be a threat to your account management strategy. For those reasons, sales skills are an important part of any account management plan. Never sell on price but always focus on solution selling. This is key to account management. In know how important account management is to overall sales success.
If you would like to improve your sales skills, let me recommend “The Progressive Sales Process”. It is a complete sales training video so you’ll be sure to get sales skills you’ll need to complete your account management plan. It’s a great account management tool because it covers all the steps in the sales process.
To your great account management success,