Your account management team is a vital connection between your business and clients. They handle critical communications, retention of customers, and the growth and development of strategic accounts. But does your organization provide these teams with the same resources as sales?
Even with an increasing amount of pressure on account management and customer success teams to deliver mission critical results, it’s important to remember that account management and sales are two different things. While they often work towards similar outcomes, they do so in very different ways.
However, because they are both important levers that can tackle different business problems, it’s critical to develop both organizations within your company. Sales training, certification, and coaching are widely recognized as critical initiatives. But are companies actually prioritizing enablement for account management teams as well?
Wouldn’t it make sense to invest in a team that can drastically change the outcomes of your customer relationships? Account management and customer success teams need very similar training, enablement,and coaching as sales teams; the content is different, but the process and goals can be the same.
Realizing What Your Account Management Team Is Capable Of
A lot of training time, resources, and budget is often dedicated towards sales. Why is this a priority? Because sales reps work hard to generate revenue and grow the business through activities like:
- Creating and delivering more value to clients
- Competing against competitors targeting the same accounts
- Building client relationships
- Strengthening company standing with current accounts
- Upselling, cross-selling and maintaining renewals
But wait, isn’t your account management team working towards these goals too? As a matter of fact, they might actually have more bandwidth and a better opportunity to deliver results. These teams are responsible for making sure clients are successful and happy partners. They create advocates for your company!
Account management is on the front lines of the customer relationship. How can they strengthen and grow relationships in a different, and sometimes more effective way than sales?
- Strategy. Your account management team is able to focus on creating value for your client at a broader level. While sales is sometimes focused on specific opportunities or deals, account managers are able to take a deeper dive into the customer needs and provide greater value add. Additional value helps this critical team upsell, cross-sell and ensure a smooth renewal process.
- Long term timelines. When your sales team is thinking about the short term relationship of closing a deal, your account management team can focus on a longer-term timeline. Without the sales pressure this team can take the time to plan and build long term relationships and projects which can greatly strengthen your standing within an account.
- Trusted partner status. Sales reps can experience pushback stemming from preconceived ideas about their intent. Account managers often experience deeper relationships with customers who feel more comfortable opening up with them, and working collaboratively together. This extra sense of trust helps defend against potential competitors.
As you start to realize that your account management team is just as, if not more important than your sales team, you may be wondering how to get the most out of this resource.
Empowering Your Account Management Team for Success
The first thing you can do to maximize results from your account management team is to start treating them like your sales team. Invest in their training, coaching, and professional development plans.
What does that look like? First, it means recognizing that your account management team needs training and empowerment.
Does your account management team currently excel at these tasks?
- Communicate the value of product updates for clients
- Handle training and push adoption of your products
- Manage renewal negotiations
- Handle specific client requests or objections
- Demo products and features to train clients and increase adoption
- Upsell and cross-sell to existing clients
If not, it’s critical that you invest in training technology to help get them there. Online training software can help get your account management reps up-to-speed in an efficient, and cost-effective manner.
The following features are capabilities that account management training software providers, like LearnCore, can help deliver to your organization:
- On-demand training modules. Give your account management team immediate access to online training modules they can complete to boost their product knowledge and help them handle different client scenarios.
- Video roleplay capabilities. Allow your reps to practice customer communications and then watch back their performance. Engage other members of the team or leadership for valuable feedback opportunities.
- Demo Certification. Customer success teams are responsible for making sure implementation and adoption go smoothly. It is critical that everyone can consistently deliver great demos to quickly get clients up to speed and trained on your solution.
- Knowledge library access. Turn your star performers into learning opportunities and guides for other reps. Turn written responses or video recordings into a library of best practices knowledge for your team.
- Communication enablement. Help your team communicate more easily with opportunities to share information, start discussions, and provide feedback on strategic accounts.
- Custom options. Create a training program that’s completely customized to empower your account management team for success.
Investing in software to build out an effective and scalable training process for your account management teams will be critical as renewals, upsells, referrals, and customer stories become even more of a lever for your business.
Instead of relying solely on sales to strengthen client relationships and drive deeper engagements, start leveraging your account management team in innovative ways. Both teams need to work together to maximize results, and it’s important to empower both with the same resources to succeed.