So, you’re wondering whether you need an account management team when you already have a sales team? The answer is yes – if you are a business that sells products or services to other businesses and relies on long-term customer relationships. Then account management is essential for success.
Sales teams are primarily focused on acquiring new customers, while account management (AM) teams are responsible for nurturing and retaining existing ones. By providing personalised attention to your customers, building trust, and delivering value beyond what your competitors offer, an AM team ensures that your customers are satisfied with your products or services. They work to develop long-term relationships with your customers, which can lead to higher profits for your business. It’s why, in many industries, such as IT, the AM role is given the title of Customer Success.
Having an AM is crucial for businesses that want to succeed in the long run. Your existing customers are the lifeblood of your business and keeping them happy is essential to retain their loyalty. By providing exceptional customer service, identifying upselling and cross-selling opportunities, and resolving any issues that arise, an AM can help you achieve this goal.
In addition, investing in account management can lead to higher profits with existing customers who are more likely to buy from you again, and they are also more likely to recommend your business to others.
But what if you can’t afford to have separate sales and account management teams? You can combine the two roles, however, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure you’re providing adequate support for both functions.
First, define the combined role clearly and ensure that the person responsible has the necessary skills and experience. They should be able to balance the demands of both sales and account management and have a deep understanding of your products or services.
Second, establish clear processes and guidelines to help the individual prioritise their tasks and manage their time effectively. You’ll also want to provide them with the necessary tools and resources, such as CRM software, to support them in their role.
Third, make sure the combined role is still focused on building and maintaining strong customer relationships. This means prioritising customer needs, and providing excellent customer service at all times. Look for opportunities to upsell and cross-sell, and be proactive in identifying and addressing customer needs.
Finally, as your company grows and the workload increases, you may need to separate the functions. This can be a gradual process, hiring additional staff to take on specific roles, or a more abrupt change, depending on your needs and resources.
So yes, combining the sales and account management roles can be a viable option for companies with limited resources. But it’s important to establish clear guidelines, provide adequate support, and prioritise customer relationships to ensure that the combined role is effective in achieving your goals. And as your company grows, you may need to separate the functions to continue providing excellent customer service and support.
Are you looking to fill an account management role, but struggling to find someone with all the necessary skills? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our Transition to Account Management program. Let us do the training for you! Our program will provide your new hire with essential account management fundamentals, crucial client engagement skills, and a wealth of valuable tools to hit the ground running in their new role. Invest in your business and your team’s success – contact Sharon today.
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