Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Account management Best practices

Account Management Plan

Sales Consultants who are involved in Selling Profession realize that account management is key to success of any company. Account Management is in a direct relevance to Pareto principle- 80% of revenues come from 20% of clients.

The key lies in the fact that every sales representative should know what goal he has to achieve with in the each call, before they are going to visit their respective clients. Each sales representative should plan their efforts accordingly to get hold of  potential consumers.

The science of account management has four key elements:-

1. Profitability Management
2. Account Relationship Selection
3. Product Management
4. Account Planning

A. Profitability Management:- Major Components of Profitability Management

1. Secure Most Profitable Business
2. Obtain more of most profitable Business
3. Marginal Business more profitable
4. Downsize inherently unprofitable Business

B. Account Relationship Management:- Major Components of Account Relationship Management

As a Sales Consultant, I have witnessed three major relationships in Selling Process:-

1. Potential Dollars- Potential Revenue out of each account (Customer Life time Value)
2. Operating Fit-   I called them Compatible Customers or Easy Customer - You don't need to customize your products
3. Transactional VS Relationship Accounts 

C. Product Management- Strategic Product Migration Paths

A company should design its product portfolio in a way that it allows its sales consultant to get an easy entry into accounts. For instance, Adobe uses its common use products such as Adobe Writer as an opportunity to get an easy entry into major accounts and then sell their high end products effectively

D. Account Planning Matrix- Key Steps

Let us assume that you are selling an IT Solution and you are given a product portfolio and some accounts. How would you go about it. Let's define some steps to achieve effective selling.

1. Account Profiling--> What kind of account is this one?- Is it potential sales Volume, Margin Potential, Operating Fit, Customer Lifetime Value etc

2. Relationship---> First time Vs Repeat Time----> Acquire Vs Secure Policies

3. Account Mapping:-  Key stakeholders in the Selling Process----> Research on the individual's objectives, criteria of measuring down things for selection. Identify a stakeholder that can become endorser of your products and services.  Ask these questions- How you and your company would benefit out of this transaction?
For example:- What your customers want- Opex Vs Capex ?

4. Key requirements of your clients and required services- Plan a road map to achieve the requirements.

5. Initiate a Demo/ POC of the products

6. Overcome the concerns and present a Solution to customers.

7. Settle down on KPI's for account evaluation and a platform to get concerns from your customers.

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