Too often in the client management space, organizations will think that once they get the right software platforms, then and only then will their relationships spring to life with results across the board. The truth is, just like the new driver you’ve been eyeing for a few months, the tool alone won’t improve your results — it’s how you use that tool that will make all of the difference.
So, while you might get the best client management software platform, that’s just the start. If you want to really start driving results and improving the engagement your customers have, you need to implement a few practices, behaviors, and programs into the client management program.
Today, let’s take a look at a few distinct ways that you and your team can take your key account management program up to the next level and really kick your B2B customer engagement into high gear.
Start with a Plan
Just like any great initiative, you need a plan of action that covers all of the bases from the very beginning. Before you even install a new software platform on the office computers, you need to create a plan that covers a few distinct areas.
First, your plan should include software. Having a cutting-edge platform to manage and track your B2B customers is crucial, but it shouldn’t be the only component of your key account management. To make sure you’re doing the right things with your key account management, you should clearly plan for specific actions that account managers will take.
These actions can be situation-specific or just general. Along with these actions, you should set behaviors too, which are the automatic actions your account managers will take such as contacting clients on a semi-weekly basis, tracking their account progress, etc. Along with actions and behaviors, you need to plan for change management.
Implementing new policies and procedures is bound to disrupt some existing company actions, so managing the transition is a must. Finally, once you have your client management program in place and have established the actions, and behaviors of your account managers, reinforcing these principles will help the program stay consistent and deliver real results through customer engagement.
How Will Your Business Transform?
When you put this new plan into place, you should focus not only on the end goal and what this software and key account management program will deliver but you should also focus on the “how” in the equation as well. How do you think that your business will transform? What is the best case scenario and what are some mistakes that you should avoid at all costs?
By planning not only for the success of the platform but also any inadvertent failures, you have a better chance of getting the results you desire. Think specifically about your goals with the program and the metrics that you want to track. Essentially, you want to define success as a specific idea for your organization and your organization alone.
If you’re trying to achieve more connection with your customers, then your emphasis should be on how often your account managers reach out to customers, and the software platform that you select should enable seamless communication across the board. Look for platforms with built-in tools like Voice of customer Insights so you can track how often you speak to customers along with account management features that track every contact in the account, so you know who to speak to for specific questions.
If you want to improve engagement with your customers, your new platform should track the health of the relationship. See when you last spoke to them along with the solutions that you can provide that will enable you to become their Trusted Advisor by delivering real results for their company.
If you want better business results on your end, you should foster a Customer Success program where your account managers are trained to become the Trusted Advisors of their clients, improving not only their results but driving revenue growth for your business as well.
Whatever your goals are, think about how they will transform your business and shift your company culture. Once you have the how nailed down, then you can start going after the what.
Assemble Your Team
Once you have an idea for how your business will adapt, it’s time to assemble your team and coach them to success. Every successful key account management program is made up of highly-skilled individuals that follow specific actions every day to make their customers more successful.
These actions can be voluntary, but more times than not, some of the most important daily tasks are behaviors and automatic in a sense. You can’t install a software platform and expect the program to take care of itself, so having a highly-adept team trained in the art of key account management will ensure that they’re using the tool to achieve results rather than relying on it to show them the way.
Software Does Matter, but It Isn’t Everything
Keep in mind that software is important. Without Word, we’d still be using typewriters to write blog posts. Without Excel, drafting spreadsheets would be a tedious task. Technology isn’t the problem here; it’s how you use it that can be the problem.
You should think of your technology like a screwdriver or a hammer. It’s simply a tool to make the job easier, but it isn’t going to do it all by itself. In essence, it’s just a piece of your client management program, but you should not treat it as the end-all-be-all. Focus on your team and their skills and competencies first, and then how you can better serve your customers. With those things in perspective and at the forefront of the client management program, you’ll have a better chance and driving real results.
How Kapta Can Help
Kapta is a client management software platform that works like the Swiss Army knife of your client management program. It’s an intuitive application that helps your account managers stay on top of their customers without getting in the way or hindering your work. If you want to see how Kapta can elevate your client management efforts, request your free demo today.