It is great to see so many companies training sales teams! Ensuring sales reps have the tools and training to prospect, communicate value, ask effective questions and overcome objections helps move clients through the decision process and generate new business. The focus is on attracting customers and getting new logos.
The competition is training their sales teams, too, and they are sending their best reps to go after new customers… your customers!
The average company loses between 10 and 30% of its customers each year. - Joanna Brandi, public speaker and author of two books on customer loyalty
Once you have acquired a new account, whose job is it to ensure the customer is retained? Is it the sales rep? Or is it an account manager or branch manager? How about the leader?
The truth is account management, the retention and growth of current accounts, is everyone’s responsibility. Not many people can sell a new account, but anyone can lose one.
Gardner research indicates that in many organizations, account management is “one of anti-shrinkage.” Instead of it being oriented towards encouraging growth, rather, it is oriented toward discouraging loss of business already won. They found 88% of account managers believe that servicing account above and beyond customer expectations is the surest way to grow. Given a choice between service-oriented activities and those aimed at growth, account managers often choose the former, believing it will eventually lead to growth. While high levels of customer service do increase the likelihood of customer retention, they have no statistical or meaningful impact on growth.1
If account managers are choosing service-related activities in hopes it will lead to retention and growth, and if everyone has responsibility for the retention of accounts, what training are they receiving in strategies and best practices in account retention and expansion to be successful?
Herein lies the gap! While customer retention and growth responsibilities vary from company to company and role to role, Butler Street’s account management training programs are aligned to both, covering the critical skills to drive account revenue through expansion activities such as cross-selling and upselling as well as ensuring margin growth and increase client retention.
Butler Street’s standard Account Management Virtual Instructor-led curriculum supported by self-paced online learning courses:
There is a different curriculum designed for a Strategic or Key Account Manager who needs to understand the Client’s “Operating Reality,”
Be able to assess relationships and client risk
Generate expansion opportunities and be effective as a collaborative seller
Know how to create and monetize value for Senior Executives to move new opportunities within the account through the decision-making process
Build and manage the account plan
Prepare for and execute successful Quarterly Business Reviews
A Client Experience/Client Services Rep builds relationships and maintains direct interaction with order placers and department managers and needs to know how to recognize, respond to and report potential risks, communicate knowledge and value of the offerings to the client, and identify opportunities to upsell/cross-sell. Butler Street has a curriculum aligned to this role as well.
The training needs for these roles differ, but there is one thing in common:
A need for a consistent account management language, strategy, and approach.
Does everyone in your organization know how to contribute to drive account retention and growth? If not, contact us to discuss training them on the critical skills needed - not just hope that good service will result in keeping the accounts and lead to eventual growth!