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What's It Costing You Not To Train Your Account Managers?

As my Butler Street colleague Mary Ann McLaughlin frequently says, “100% of a company’s revenue comes from their existing customers.

That is what we call a “Simple Truth.”

Ok, so how much does your company invest in client retention and expansion through Account Management Training?

Before you answer, consider some of the things I have heard/read from account managers:

“I was put in charge of one of the biggest accounts in the agency. With zero training!” - Stephen A.

“I probably received more guidance in how to find the kitchen than how to manage and grow a client relationship. It was a matter of ‘just give the client what they want’ kinda management. I was clueless. No training. No guidance.” - Jenny P

“Our previous account manager resigned, and I was given a $2.9 million account to manage with the following training from my manager: work hard to meet your Service Level Agreements.” - Tammy J

Unfortunately, these are not anomalies, these are mainstream challenges for account managers all across the country.

Here are a couple more simple truths:

  1. The toughest thing to do in B2B sales is to acquire a customer.

  2. The second toughest thing is to retain an existing customer.

Let's review a few of the stats that make the case for best-in-class account management training:

It has been said, client retention is the new acquisition. So, if the most difficult thing in business to do is to acquire a new customer, doesn’t it make sense to start your focused efforts on client retention and expansion? We believe it does. Unfortunately, our research shows nearly 91% of companies do not have a formal key account management program and 97% do not effectively measure client risk.

Acquiring a new key account is one of your company's most valuable assets. If implemented and managed correctly, these customers can provide significant value in the following ways:

  • They provide a disproportionate amount of revenue. But let’s make it personal: let’s refer to revenue as customer money and let’s never forget our customers have choices

  • They positively impact our brand—big-name customers that people in their market recognize and relate to—that creates positive brand awareness

  • They can provide referrals to help you grow your business. Remember, we get paid to say how great we are—our customers do not—that creates instant legitimacy

So, if 100% of your customer money comes from existing customers, why is it that 91% of companies do not provide their Account Managers with the training, tools, and key account management plan to be successful in retaining and expanding their existing accounts? From my perspective:

  1. Because most companies value the skills of “hunter” who brings in new business and take for granted that their Account Managers know how to deliver on client expectations

  2. Because it is hard, and most sales/operations leaders have never been taught how to do it.

When it comes to running a successful business, account management and client retention are two of the most important aspects to focus on. Without a solid foundation in these areas, your business will struggle to grow and achieve long-term success.

We can help with our best-in-class Key Account Management Virtual Training supported by e-learning. Here are a few snippets from our Account Management e-learning for your review:

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you improve client retention and expansion while simultaneously advancing your client relationships to cooperative and collaborative.


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