Whenever you start a new project and bring in a new account, your customers will probably have some goals they would like to accomplish through the use of your products and services, and your expertise as their trusted advisor. That being said, what happens after you’ve worked with an account for a while and they start to forget their goals?
It happens more often than you might initially think; customers are excited to start conquering their goals when they start using a new product or service, but after a while, they are simply going through the motions. As a part of key account management, your goal is to ensure not only your organization’s success but your account’s success as well. They can’t achieve success if they don’t even know what they are striving for.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with a few helpful hints to help you help your customers find their way again, and set lofty goals that you can both work towards throughout the year.
Communicate with Them
You aren’t a mind reader, and if you want to know what your customers’ needs and goals are, all you have to do is ask. Probably one of the most powerful tools built into Kapta is the Voice of Customer (VOC) insights tools. With this feature, you can determine the perfect questions to ask of your key accounts, and you can then track and manage their responses. But what if you don’t know what questions to ask to help guide them towards a goal? Here are a few ideas:
Things to Ask During Your VOC Interview
Before conducting your VOC interview, you want to ensure that you have a goal so you can walk away with new insight into the customer’s motivations, objectives and goals, and challenges.
1) Why did you buy from us?
To better understand your key account’s goals, you should first determine their primary goal for using your products and services in the first place. Out of all of the companies in your industry, they chose you to provide them with strategic advice and services. By understanding their motivations to work with you, you are one step closer to uncovering their long-term goals.
2) What are your biggest pain points and challenges?
In other words, what keeps them up at night? Every business faces a plethora of unique obstacles and challenges and finding the right tools to overcome them is crucial to their long-term success. If you can determine their pain points and fears, you will be able to put another piece of the puzzle together and can provide recommendations for their long-term goals.
3) What would make you personally look like a hero?
One of the cornerstones of continuous success management is to make your client look like a hero to their organization. You want to recommend services and products that bring success to their organization so they could potentially achieve their personal goals.
By encouraging them to be a hero within their organization, they’ll be more motivated to seek goals to strive for, so they look better in their boss’s eyes as the person that single-handedly turned the company around.
4) How will you report on progress to your team?
Every organization functions differently, and reporting is one key facet that changes from company to company. By understanding how your account will report progress to the team, you can get some insight into the daily operations of your key account. Do they meet on a weekly basis or every day? Which reports are most important to their bosses? With the answers to these questions in mind, you can help them formulate better goals related to their organization’s day-to-day functions.
After you’ve asked these questions, you can then directly ask what their goals are. It isn’t as simple as having them provide a laundry list, however, and there are some things to keep in mind as they start to develop tangible goals
Don’t Overwhelm Them
It can be stressful to try and create a long list of goals. Your customers might also feel pressured to provide as many goals as possible no matter if they are true goals they want to achieve or not. Don’t give them a blank slate to just list every single thing they would like to achieve in one year. If they have too many lofty goals, it can be hard to accomplish them. We want a list of goals that we can 100% achieve without any excuses, so succinctness is paramount.
Especially if this is a relatively new client, we recommend that you only ask for three goals. These should be actionable goals with metrics attached so you and the client can accurately determine if you have achieved the goal. Remember, goals are long-term and are set annually so avoid anything that sounds like it can be achieved in only a few months. Have your client dream big while also remaining realistic—you can’t help them bring in millions of dollars of revenue on your own!
Once you have a few goals in mind, it’s time to help them create an actionable plan made up of smaller objectives, actions, and tasks that they can focus on in the short term.
Create an Action Plan
An action plan is exactly how it sounds—a plan you and your client will follow throughout the year to make sure that you are taking the necessary steps to ensure that their goals are not only met, but exceeded, making them the office hero at their company. From their goals, you can then break them down into objectives to focus on during the year. These are small milestones that will go far in achieving their goals.
Going even further, you will need to list actions and tasks to complete to reach the objectives. Actions are a little broader than tasks, taking a couple of weeks to complete. Tasks, on the other hand, are the day-to-day activities on their to-do lists that might seem like a small drop in the bucket, but when summed up, make a huge impact on their goals.
How Kapta Can Help
Kapta is a robust key account management platform with tools to help keep track of your client’s goals over time. for instance, by inputting your VOC interview answers, you’ll be able to track and manage their success over time to make sure that you are offering the tools they need for success. To learn more about Kapta, schedule your free demo today.