This procedure helps on an organizational level and is also referred to as key account management. It is built on the idea of building strategic relationships between a company and its clients whereby both parties will get value. You will agree with me that building such solid relationships has never been easy. This is the case when you do not have a clear way to strengthen those relationships, and your organization can suffer since you will not be in a position to maintain those relationships. In order to have an effective plan, there should be regular reassessments and well-tuned communication and negotiation skills. A successful SAM program is not something you just happen to find. For the purpose of creating and preserving their most important client connections, the most prosperous businesses rely on structured, quantifiable, repeatable processes. If you plan to implement a strategic account management plan or you already have one in place, ensure you use the following practices mentioned below.
The first point is to appoint a strategic account team. Appoint managers who will operate hand in hand with the sales team. Ensure that these managers work closely with the sales team as they conduct their duties too. However, ensure that the account managers have their duties detailed. They should have set goals too. These managers will work hand in hand with the clients through building rapport. They will also be tasked with the mandate to think critically about how they can uplift the organization.
Ensure that you are selective when choosing strategic accounts. Strategic or key accounts are those clients who ensure that they steer the organization towards its goal. Remember, not all clients fit the bill here as much as you value them all. Come up with a list of criteria that will enable you to identify which of your clients match your organization. Some of the criteria are like looking at who has the potential to grow, who is culturally fit, who has good revenue, and maybe others. Ensure that you only focus on the high-level goals.
Ensure that there is a smooth transition of customers to the account managers from the sales team. This is basically a streamlining handoff from sales. There is usually friction caused when sales hand over the clients to the account managers, such as miscommunication. This can create a huge loss of trust and this is why a transition process should be created so that the client expectations are met.
It is important that clients’ portfolios are created. It is the work of the account managers to know their clients. They need to research the strategic accounts carefully. Ensure that you create a key plan. This will be done through listening to your clients’ needs. Then brainstorm and provide solutions for them. This can lead to an increase in trust. Then come up with a plan on how you will assist them in tackling their issues. Let them understand short-term and long-term goals so that they can have benchmarks on which they can base their expectations.