Successful account managers usually have many things in common when it comes to taking care of their clients. And, like most things in business, they are not a secret. A great account manager has a desire to not only make sure their client is happy when they first sign on but that they receive the services or products they were promised during the sales process.
Below are 12 of the top principles that successful account managers need to know.
1) It’s all about the customer’s business and industry. Understanding the customer’s business drivers, structure, and strategies will ensure solutions have maximum business impact.
2) Account growth comes from customer growth and helping the customer WIN. Seeking opportunities to help the customer compete must be a daily discipline.
3) Providing thought leadership, superior value, and solution innovation “through the eyes of the customer” form the cornerstones to build profitable long-term relationships.
4) Understanding how decisions are made and aligning to the value drivers influencing each key player is instrumental in winning opportunities.
5) Involving the customer closely in the planning, execution, and periodic review of the business relationship builds customer loyalty and retention.
6) Creating a common language of consultative behaviors is the foundation of successful account management.
7) Account Management must operate in a “living,” continuously updated framework. It must be tightly integrated within the sales process.
8) Superior knowledge of competitive tactics and strategies will drive unique differentiation and enable the core account team to reinforce exclusive benefits.
9) Account Team dynamics and meetings must challenge and provoke action-oriented thinking.
10) Technology can be a powerful enabler as a means of reinforcement, idea exchange, and accelerating core account team effectiveness.
11) Executive Leadership must continuously champion and reinforce the value of Account Management to ensure its adoption into the sales culture.
12) Nothing works without superior EXECUTION. A bias for realistic, quantifiable, results oriented implementation is essential.
The amazing thing is none of these principles are difficult to learn or do. They are all geared towards building a great relationship with the customer that looks after their best interest and not just the fact they are paying your company some money in exchange for some services or goods.
Like building a strong relationship with a family member or friend, building a strong relationship with your customer to where you know every detail of their company, their strengths and their pains, is key to being a top account manager.