Many salespeople know that the next logical step in their career is to become an account manager. As an account manager, you can avoid the cold calls and custom service inquiries, and you’ll instead work with the same people each day. This brings consistency to your work, and over time, you’ll see the impact that […]
Being an Account Manager is a tough job. They are constantly under pressure to hit aggressive sales and retention goals, keep customers happy, navigate internal politics, forecast revenues and get other to do things for them – even when they don’t have the authority. At Kapta, we consider Account Managers the Unsung Heroes of Sales.
Most Account managers excel in sales, negotiation, influencing others, strategic insights and horizontal thinking. But despite their God-given talents, many Account Managers struggle with poor internal processes, lack of guidance and sub-par support tools.
Below are the top five pain points that nearly every Account Manager has dealt with during their career:
Being Too Reactive
Fighting fires, dropping the ball, playing defense, standing on your heels – these are a few ways to describe how it feels to be an Account Manager. They’re so caught up with tactical, low-impact work that they lack the time to be strategic, thoughtful or even useful for their customers. Too much time is wasted chasing status updates, working with outdated software, transferring data and sitting through pointless meetings. Unfortunately, not enough time is spent being proactive and strategic with the customers who matter most.
You think a client is happy, then they call your boss to complain.
You thought they were going to upsell this quarter, but the deal got pushed back six months.
These are examples of nasty surprises and they are usually caused by a lack of information, i.e. you were not asking the right questions to the right people. When you’re hit with a nasty surprise, it’s your responsibility to explain to your boss (and up the chain) why you made the mistake and how you missed a critical piece of information. As many already know, too many of these conversations can be a career-ender for Account Managers.
Most Account Management teams aren’t as consistent or structured as they need to be. A lack of consistent processes means a tough learning curve for Account Managers and customers being lost in the dark when they get a new Account Manager. As a team leader, you’ll notice there are Account Managers who excel, while the rest stay around average.
Account Management is both an art and a science. Most Account Managers have great instincts and are natural artists. But without the right level of process and structure in place, the team won’t be able to perform to their full potential.
Are you still using a CRM for Account Management?
Stuck in the stone age with Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint documents?
Still copying & pasting data to prepare reports?
Many Account Management teams are still using ad-hoc software tools. Even though they represent 70-80% of the company’s revenues, they are using technologies and tools that were built for other departments. Using a CRM for Account Management is like putting a square peg in a round hole – it just doesn’t work. When you become complacent and use the wrong software, your Account Management team suffers from a loss of productivity and efficiency.
Not Being a Strategic Partner
Having a Key Account doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a strategic partner to your customer. This can be tough to hear for many Account Managers, but the truth is: you only become a strategic partner (or trusted advisor) when your customer makes you one.
Not being a strategic partner is the silent killer of your business. You’ll find yourself justifying your fees and competing for business. So ask yourself, “Am I really as strategic as I could be with my key accounts?”
It Doesn’t Have to Be this Way
These are the most common problems that Account Management teams face – and these are the exact issues that Kapta solves. Sign up for a demo today and take your Account Management to the next level.