In a recent blog post, we discussed how modern enterprise sales teams could increase engagement and decrease drop-offs. In it, we identified that one of the biggest problems faced by sales teams is that they don’t have the right tools available to them to keep clients interested throughout the sales funnel.
Although 70% of high-performing sales teams are using predictive intelligence, such as recommended next steps and relevant insights from data analysis, 48% of lost deals are simply due to improper follow-ups with customers.
So, what’s the #1 way to effectively create a process-based changed within your modern account management organization? The answer: more efficient use of technology.
The account manager within a sales organization drives revenue forward, as it is their role to interact with the key decision maker in a business, while upselling and retaining current accounts.
This follow-up post will highlight the types of tools account managers can use to lock-down and retain their clientele, whether you’re part of a growing, forward-thinking account management organization, or you’re an established account manager wanting to build an increasingly personalized communication pattern with your existing clientele.
Improving Account Management Processes with Technology
33% of sales teams reported that enhancing their sales technology use was one of their most important sales objectives. Improved sales technology allows sales teams and account managers to streamline sales processes and manage existing client accounts since it is six times more expensive to get new customers than to keep your current clients happy.
Within organizations that focus on account management, there are four main types of technologies that account managers need in their sales stack to maintain solid and valuable client relationships, including:
A Tool For Insights
Account managers require technologies that let them know when things are going right, and when they’re going wrong. Insight-providing tools allow you to gain a deeper understanding of how you’re spending your time, and whether or not problems that you may be having are, or are not, actual issues that you should be spending time on.
GainSight: Known as a “Customer Success Technology”, GainSight allows account managers to create communications with clients at scale while boosting efficiency and saving valuable time.
Totango: This customer success solution makes valuable client information accessible to members of the sales team who require these customer insights to make meaningful impacts. With the ability to monitor the health of your client accounts, you can drive proactive change as soon as you notice negative patterns.
A Tool for Following Up
Successful account managers know that follow-ups are a part of their cadence with clients, and use sales communication tools to streamline the follow-up process.
SalesLoft: As mentioned in our blog “The Secret of Great Enterprise Sales: Multi-Touch Tools that Reps will use”, sales engagement platforms allow you to transform members of your sales team “into mini custom-marketers” and makes communication feels effortless, creating efficient timelines for communication touch-points with your clients. With the ability to personalize your communication and drive sales forward based on actionable data, this platform helps you understand what follow-up’s are working, and which aren’t.
Following up is a crucial part of client retention, and these technologies help account managers create well-placed drip campaigns for their accounts, such as a 12 month, 24 touch-point cadences. With tech like SalesLoft, these drips can be automated and tweaked by sales reps as needed.
Although customer onboarding is a continuous process, being proactive from the first communication touch-point with your client will go miles in maintaining a healthy, value-filled experience for the account manager and client both.
For account managers maintaining strong and positive relationships with their clients are critical to establish and foster feelings of professional trust. However, managing these relationships can become a challenge once a manager has 20, 50, or even 100s of different customer accounts to manage and stay in touch with at the same time.
Sales engagement platforms are equipped with communications, content, analytics, and CRM integration capabilities, allowing sales teams to engage with multiple qualified leads with speed, and sell better overall. Additionally, these tools provide lists of what clients need and what follow-ups are expected, and when, on any given day, allowing account managers to create cadences with ease.
Instead of looking at sales engagement and CRM tools as inefficient or “spammy,” sales account managers should start looking at them as ways to better manage their workflow and maintain better relationships with their clients.
For proactive, successful customer onboarding, account managers should be discussing what their relationship will look like over the next year from the start. For those who utilize a tier system to organize their accounts, they can give a general outline of how they’ll be maintaining communications with their clients, such as:
Example touch points for a Tier 2 Client
- On a monthly basis, you’ll be receiving a report or some thought-leadership.
- Once a quarter, we’ll have a sit-down meeting where we discuss what tactics and processes are working, what’s not, and I’ll share some best practices with you surrounding what I’m seeing works well with other similar clients.
Getting these meetings into your calendar from the start allows your client to see the value in your services over the long-term, while decreasing the stress levels by having a set communication base to ensure that you don’t lose touch with clients.
A Tool for Upselling
As an account manager, upselling is a major factor in maintaining high KPI’s with existing clients.
Technologies like DiscoverOrg have been developed to help sales teams gain the information they need to find and connect with their target buyers. By using this tool to discover other decision makers in an organization, account management teams with upsell goals can generate more successful leads and manage them with tools like comprehensive org charts, outlining key members of a company’s leadership before contact is made.
Personalize Communications By Getting Face-to-Face
For account managers, maintaining a well-rounded and well-timed communicative presence can be hard as the open-rates of emails are quite dependant on the subject line of the email. For example, if you’re attempting to set up a meeting to review reports, emails which contain “meeting” within the subject line are opened 7% less than those without.
It’s at this point where personalized communications come in, as research has shown that using the word “video” in the subject line of an email can boost open rates by 19%. Rather than attempting to set up a phone meeting, plugging in a personalized video into your monthly report sharing these results over a video chat, allows you to deliver a more comprehensive overview of the information, while saving time.
In addition to emails, personalized content is essential in maintaining trusting relationships with an account managers client base. Videos and video-conferencing solutions, such as Zoom, provide a platform for instant and optimized information sharing with clients.
To nurture successful client relationships from the very beginning, account managers need to develop a better relationship with the technology designed to make account management processes more effective and efficient.
Looking for more information on how account managers and other members of a sales team are increasing their success with technology? Download our free eBook, Hiring Superior Salespeople.