A Simple Guide to Account Management

At some point, most business leaders have looked at the list of their best clients as I have looked at my roof repair clients and said ‘it would be really bad if we lost any of these accounts’. There are those customers who represent a disappropriate percentage of your revenue, are good at referring new prospects to your business, and give you a lot of credibility in your business.

Account Management

Account Management refers to the process of building long-term relationships with the most valued accounts of a company. These accounts make up the majority of a business income. To turn buyers into business partners, a key account manager is tasked with the responsibility of providing dedicated resources, offering something unique, and coming up with important meetings.

There are lots of benefits associated with account management. Here are some of the most applicable key account management strategies;

How transactional your current sales process is

If your sales cycle is relatively short and your sales reps have very minimal interaction with prospects, key account management is probably not the right thing for you. Account management requires consultative selling techniques and it becomes increasingly hard to teach your salespeople how to adopt new processes for just a few clients.

If the product has upsold and cross-sells potential

There is no much motivation in continuing a relationship with a customer if they would not be buying more from you. For customers who will be returning to make another purchase from you, you will want to provide excellent customer service and support because these people hold a lot of potential to market your business through word of mouth.

Can you land and expand?

You need to evaluate your potential to land and expand. If you can get your foot at the foot of a potential client, win them, then there is a need to provide account services. You will want to provide excellent customer service and support to these people after you have won them. Any prospect who gives you some hope of winning them is worth doing business with.

When managing any account, there are key skills you need to have, to ensure there is a smooth interaction. You need to get to know the customer. You must initiate an intimate and simple understanding of her account, strategy, finances, products as well as organizational structure. You will need to have this knowledge to make business cases that can help the customer best.

You will also need to develop cross-functional collaboration to benefit the customer. Key account holders will need to have a custom blend of products that are fully tailored for their needs. You will need to demonstrate effective knowledge of account management. The complex account will need proper coordination and planning as they have a lot of moving parts.

The role of the key account manager is to handle the most valuable clients. They work to manage the account, build strong relationships with the client, identify all challenges as well as opportunities, and find the best ways to assist a client in case of any emergent problems.

Understanding the Stages of a Business

During the growth of any business, a company will go through the stages of the business life cycle and encounter different challenges that require different resources and expertise. For example, a Wellington tow truck business may require to come up with a different strategy when it comes to market penetration, retaining market share, or business development. As the business becomes more mature, operations and priorities will change and this calls for different resources to be injected into the business.

Here are the different stages any business will go through, to realize its success.

Development stage

The development stage, also known as the seed stage is the beginning of a business life cycle. It occurs when your brilliant idea is just a though and requires different testing at the initial stages. To test your business idea, you need to conduct research that pertains to your industry, gather feedback, and analyze the reports you get. Doing so will help you determine whether your business idea is worth pursuing or not. The challenges you will face include business idea profitability, market acceptance, establishing business structure, and accounting management.

Startup stage

Now that you have decided your business is worth pursuing and you have made some moves, things start to get interesting. You have already finished developing your products and services and your business starts its marketing as well as selling. At this stage, you will be tweaking your products and service according to the initial feedback you got during the research stage. You will need to learn and adjust your business model accordingly and meet customer expectations. The challenges you will face include managing cash reserves, managing sales expectations, accounting management, establishing a customer base, and establishing market presence.

Growth/Survival stage

Your business has gone through the initial stages of a business life cycle and its now in its growth or survival stage. The business is constantly generating revenue as well as adding new customers. Your business could be operating at a net loss as well. You will need to fine-tune your business model to be in line with your goals and expectations. The challenges you will be facing include; dealing with increased revenue, dealing with increasing customers, accounting management, effective management, and market competition.

Expansion Stage

The expansion stage is also known as a rapid growth stage. Your business has been thriving and has established its presence. You have now reached a stage where your business will expand and spread into new markets. To capitalize on the success, you have been experiencing, you will need to capture a larger market share and find new revenue. Challenges you will face include increasing market competition, accounting management, moving into new markets, adding new products or services, and expanding existing businesses.

Maturity Stage

The last stage of a business is the maturity stage. After a successful expansion, your business will be on top of the industry and will have matured. Your business has a dominating presence in its market. It could still be growing but not at an alarming stage. You will either decide to take a step back towards the expansion stage or think of a possible exit strategy.