Account management. Good business is built on good relationships. But nurturing and maintaining relationships is easier said than done, especially in business, where competition for clients is fierce and loyalty is hard-won.
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What is Account management
Het draait in de Masterclass Sales & Account Management om twee begrippen:
Why account management is key to business success
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Posted by: Lucid Content Team
Good business is built on good relationships. But nurturing and maintaining relationships is easier said than done; especially in business, where competition for clients is fierce and loyalty is hard-won.
So how can you compete? Enter account management.
Account managers are essential to maintaining strong client relationships and a healthy bottom line. Below we cover the roles and responsibilities of account managers; and explain how they contribute to the success of their clients; and business.
Account management is a post-sales role that focuses on nurturing client relationships. Account managers have two primary objectives: retain clients’ business and grow those opportunities. They accomplish these objectives by learning what their clients’ goals are; and helping their clients achieve them.
Unlike a traditional sales role, which is short-term and focuses on landing the client; the account manager acts as a long-term liaison and, hopefully; a trusted consultant for the client.
In other words, sales is transactional and account management is relational.
By understanding their clients’ needs, the account manager can help answer their questions, solve their problems (ideally with customized product or service solutions), and develop a long-term strategic partnership with the client that extends beyond the original sale.
Among other tasks, the account manager is responsible for:
- Growing the original business partnership through upsells and cross-sells
- Managing relationships between the client and sales and customer support, and
- Retaining their long-term business through contract renewals by ensuring client satisfaction
In short, account management’s job is to delight the customer.
There are two primary titles surrounding account management: the account manager and the account executive. Both roles are necessary for any business or firm.
However, you will find that the definitions and scope of responsibilities for each position may vary from organization to organization. (In some cases, the two roles may overlap or even be performed by one person.) This overlap is partly due to the lack of standardization for job titles as well as the differing structure and needs from one business or company to the next.
That being said; you’ll generally see the two roles distinguished as follows:
Account executives are on the front end of business and client development. Filling a more traditional sales role; they are responsible for prospecting, cultivating, and following up on leads. Sometimes called “the hunters;” account execs go out and seek new business opportunities and convert those leads into clients.
In other words, the account executive wins the business. but they typically don’t manage the client afterward. After closing a deal. they introduce the new client to the account manager who then nurtures the ongoing client relationship.
Account managers are often called “the farmers.” They manage the client relationship to build a positive partnership; with the client and nurture long-term growth.
The account manager is the point of contact for the assigned accounts (i.e., clients); and the liaison between the clients and the sales; and customer service teams. This role is all about communication and relationships.
Ideally, the same account manager will stay with a client account for the duration of the client’s tenure with the company. Depending on their contract; they might represent C-level clients, mid-management. or even project managers. All relationships, all communication. and all presentations come through the account manager.
The importance of account management
Today, long-term business success depends on creating positive customer experiences and increasing customer retention; because repeat customers are more profitable than new clients.
Long-term clients tend to buy more from the company over time and refer other clients to your business. reducing operating costs (such as prospecting and lead nurturing). In fact, in the financial sector alone; a 5% increase in customer retention results in a 25% increase in profits. And that trend occurs across industries.
For companies looking to improve client retention; building a robust account management team is crucial.
Once the sales team wins a client; account managers are the main point of contact for your clients. They are essential to resolving conflicts with the client. smoothing communications with sales and customer support. and understanding the client’s goals and pain points in order to best meet their needs.
Account managers are the client’s champion within the organization; and one of the biggest influences on a client’s experience with your business.
When 89% of customers