Summer Series: Perfect your account management strategy
Now is the time to get your sales and account management strategy in place for the year ahead. We speak to Doug Mathlin of FrontRunner Consulting Group for his top tips on getting it right.
Video transcript below:
IBO: Now is the time to start planning for the year ahead in your business. Doug Mathlin of FrontRunner Consulting Group says the summer break presents a great opportunity for business owners and managers to have a close look at their sales and account strategies.
Doug Mathlin, FrontRunner Consulting Group
Doug Mathlin: There is a couple of things they can do. First thing I would do would be to review the current relationships from 2012, sit down with your key accounts and say, “hey what did we do well, what’s not working well?”; before we start putting a plan in place for the next year. When we do that, maybe that’s a good time for us to set some targets or goals for the relationship or the account partnership if you like and specifically identify what are the things we need to work on and do differently next year to get a better result or improve the relationship we’ve got between our two businesses.
IBO: Confused on where to get started, Doug Mathlin shares his top three tips on how to develop an effective sales management strategy.
Doug Mathlin: Top three tips, first one to really ensure that your key account knows clearly and can articulate your value proposition. So whatever it is that you do is great, we need them to be able to articulate that. But what are the value adds, what are the things that you do that your clients will get that they don’t expect. What are the things that you can do to over deliver I guess is what I am saying.
Second thing is to make sure that you do deliver value add for every single one of your key accounts and pretty much every one of your clients to make them ambassadors for your business, that is complete the transaction, fulfil their needs, but then find something that’s going to absolutely wow them, impress them beyond what their expectation was. That’s the way that people are going to actually end up talking about you in a positive way rather than just giving good service and delivering what they wanted. There is nothing really to talk about that.
Third tip, post transaction, post over delivery, it could be one month, it could be 3 months or even 6 months after you have delivered the service or another transaction to your key account, my recommendation is to go back to them either personally or through an independent party to say, “hey how did we do, were you impressed with what we delivered in the first place?” “What could we have done differently to improve the service we offered?”; and any other question that might be related to the transaction. I think that’s the way that would really confirm for your client that you are not there just for sales, you are there for the ongoing relationship.
IBO: It is this last point where businesses often come undone. Doug Mathlin says the biggest error made in account strategies is only doing the bare minimum.
Dough Mathlin: It’s probably the notion of just doing enough, meeting customer needs, just being enough for your clients which is never going to get them excited and never going to get them to talk about your services to somebody else, assuming you are trying to build a repeat and referral business, doing just enough is a quick way to get people not to talk about you. Yep, they are satisfied, but satisfied customers don’t talk about their service providers.