Client relationships are critical for almost every manufacturing organization where typically 80% or more of their ongoing revenue comes from existing customers. The key question for Manufacturers is how they can improve the way that they do Account Management with the resources that they have.
Here are 4 Ways to help the Sales Team do better Account Management:
Get Visibility across the Entire Account
One of the first steps for Manufacturers looking to improve Account Management is getting a look at what is happening across the entire Account. When you are working with larger organizations that have multiple divisions or departments it is critical to be able to see all the opportunities or activities or people and their roles at an Account. Deals can move quickly and customer service issues can come up easily without you knowing about them that can have an effect on the Account relationship, so visibility is important. Providing this visibility across the Account is the foundation for better Account Management.
Visualize your Sales History
In most Manufacturing organizations order or sales history is available in the back office system. With access to this system, the Sales Team can get to the rows of order history data and sort through it for their own customers. It is difficult to see any trends. Ideally the Sales Team wants easy access to this information but also in a more visual way. "Seeing" the trends by product or month of how this customer is actually buying can be very insightful for them. Providing the visual and the data will help the team spot opportunities to go back to the customer.
Customer Segmentation can be done in a number of ways and you can look at it both at the Account and Contact level. At the Account level you may want to segment Companies by actual or potential value so that you can most effectively align your Account Management resources. For Tier 1 customers, you may want to have a monthly meeting, Tier 2 customers a quarterly meeting and Tier 3 customers a phone call 2 times per year.
At the Contact level, you may want to segment individuals by "Executives" and "Staff". In many organizations, the Sales Team is comfortable meeting with the staff but not always connecting with the Executives. For "Executives" you may want to make sure that there is at least a quarterly meeting or call on the Account.
The final step is having an automated way to execute a follow up program that is consistent with the customer segmentation.
Provide Account Intelligence
Customers are constantly adding new product lines, changing staff, releasing PR and even making new acquisitions. It is critical for your Account Management strategy to stay on top of these changes and when your products or services align with them or are affected by them, to be able to adapt and be proactive with ways that you can support their growth or change.
Interested in how you can implement these 4 Best Practices for your organization? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more about Zero2Ten here on our website.