Improve Account Management Experience with These Solutions

Whether you call it Account Planning, Key Account Management, or Strategic Account Planning, there is a simpler term that’s been around for ages: customer service. So, don’t get too distracted by the many available account planning tools.

Account planning starts with your lead’s needs–first, second, and always. Your primary sales goal shouldn’t be to sell to them but to help them achieve their goals (hopefully, but maybe not consistently, with your solutions). In the early days, your sales and account management teams might have used Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations to plan their strategic approaches. 

For the technology back then, it might have been functional, albeit cumbersome. That functional reality is just not enough for your team now. Technology has evolved so far beyond that, so you and your team should take advantage of the new possibilities for productivity and growth in your account management efforts. Just think about how great it will be when your team works smarter, not harder, while producing amazing results? 

Real-time account planning: There’s a reason we exchanged maps for GPS

Static documentation may help sales reps, but decision-makers and sales leaders may find it difficult to plot their sales pipeline and standardize information distribution across the enterprise. So, when you’re managing 25+ salespeople on Salesforce, your team is just wasting their time and yours when you ask them to give you regular progress updates via spreadsheets or slide shows.

It’s like asking a rideshare driver to send you a drawing of their location via regular USPS postal service. They might deliver on your directive, but it wastes everybody’s time and energy. Of course, Salesforce saves your sales team from all that busy work. The data is already there, so all you need to do is map it all out to get your sales team to the promised land. Here’s the BIG secret: you already have the map.

You’re leaving money on the table: The secret value of account planning

The Pareto principle states that “80% of the value comes from 20% of inputs.” That’s a favorite statistic to cite, but it goes beyond just the value. The 80/20 rule also applies to your customer accounts. Top customers’ additional orders typically make up the more significant chunk of revenue for most organizations. 

Unfortunately, most businesses focus on developing their solutions, not their customers. Research from Gartner shows that only about 28% of their sales leaders in account management meet their targets for cross-selling and growth. The problem isn’t that your sales team isn’t selling. It’s that they’re selling too much to new and existing clients. 

Great salespeople listen more than they talk. That’s the secret to account planning best practices. It is codified active listening for salespeople. Even better, account planning solutions successfully automate active listening, so your global sales team can listen and respond to all their leads in a timely and effective manner.

What problems does your team face with account management today?

A lot of people get this next part wrong. A Gartner survey of 750 B2B customer stakeholders found that “while high levels of customer service do increase the likelihood of customer retention, they have no statistical or meaningful impact on growth.” So, given a choice between service-oriented activities and growth, an account manager may want to put their energy toward development, like chasing down new leads.

While the hunt for new leads is exciting, you are six times more likely to sell to a current customer than you are to convert a new (cold) contact. To make the most out of your sales and account management processes, anticipate the pain points and challenges before they adversely affect your customers. With account planning software, you quickly gauge where your customers may have gaps in their current processes and procedures and can see how your existing customers or leads are affected by industry trends.

For example, your customer’s employees may need help with skills or knowledge so that they can fulfill the requirements of new roles and responsibilities within the organization. Instead of watching those employees languish and try to figure it out on their own, your sales staff should act immediately to ensure the employees receives the best possible training and support to embrace their new roles and grow personally and professionally. Such an attentive approach helps with your customer retention strategies, but it also sets the stage for your company’s future growth. 

At Next Quarter, we help sales teams create more value with existing customers and discover new opportunities with our insights-driven account planning solutions. As part of our comprehensive solutions, we help you tailor your plan and feature AI-based real-time insights. So you can better anticipate your customers’ needs and deliver upon their requirements in a more streamlined way. 

Our proven solutions are developed by talented team members who have brought their years of hands-on experience and on-the-ground, work-life experiences. We combine that technical knowledge and expertise with machine learning that’s designed to deliver the results you need for your specific organization, but we don’t stop there. We also incorporate a robust algorithm designed to provide sales professionals with the best account planning experience. We also offer fully immersive tutorials so your teams can more fully maximize their potential.

Contact us to see the demo today! You’ll love the results we deliver.