Today’s business environment is much different than it was only 15 years ago. The rise of the subscription economy is disrupting the traditional business model of most companies, and their customers are now subscribing to a company rather than making one time purchases. This is basically the central keystone of any SaaS or B2B company; however, the tips and tricks that ensure client and business success are also applicable to organizations in a variety of different industries.
Perhaps the most crucial element of these companies’ business strategy is the implementation of Continuous Relationship Management across the board.
The Other “CRM”
Although sometimes confusing, Continuous Relationship Management is what we like to refer to as the “other CRM.” It’s basically a new and improved approach to customer relationship management. Traditional CRM software tools are outdated and to stay ahead of competition, we feel that Continuous Relationship Management is the natural progression that all B2B companies should implement.
Especially if you are involved in the subscription economy, you need to be working to ensure that all relationships are genuinely mutually beneficial while also following a natural progression that can take even the smallest clients to key accounts in a short time.
It’s About Becoming a Strategic Partner
To be truly successful in a new, holistic Continuous Relationship Management approach, your accounts must see your company as a trusted advisor and a partner in strategic success. You can’t fake your way through this and just go through the standard motions to achieve the trusted advisor position; you need to be interested in the account’s goals both short-term and long-term, in addition to their current situation.
It all starts with clear and effective communication while providing solutions to their problems with a sense of urgency. For example, you need to talk to clients on a weekly basis if not more frequently for key accounts. After each interview, you should walk away with new information about their goals and key points to shift your strategy to offer more unique and better solutions for the next meeting.
Clients will definitely notice your new continuous approach and will appreciate the personal touch and sense of urgency you provide. Also, when you follow up with them after a weekly or monthly meeting with solutions to the problems they just discussed, you’ll sound less like you’re just pushing more products onto them and more like a business partner thinking of ways to improve the business.
Quarterly Business Reviews Aren’t Enough
When was the last time that you met with a client to discuss their long-term goals and to evaluate your relationship with them? If it’s been months, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity to nourish your relationship with the account. We’re always connected these days, either conducting business on the go or simply browsing cute cat pictures on Instagram. The point is, your clients are always connected, so there really is no excuse for ignoring valuable opportunities to grow the relationship continuously.
QBRs are essential, and you should still be meeting with clients every quarter to assess the relationship and how their goals are evolving. However, filling in the time between these QBRs with quick chats or Voice of Customer interviews will go a long way in building a mutually successful relationship.
Everyone Must Be Onboard with Continuous Relationship Management
You can’t make drastic changes to account management policies without ensuring that everyone on the team is onboard with the proposed changes. You want to ensure that relationships across the board are better developed, nourished, and managed and if only a couple of managers are willing to accept new changes, then the entire strategy could fall apart.
So how do you get your employees to buy into this new system? Well as any good manager knows, you can’t just demand they make changes, you need to have a strategy that allows them to see the actual value in the new CRM system. Here are a couple of helpful tips of advice that have helped others:
Lay Out the Strategy
Be honest with the account managers and detail every step of the vision and strategy. Be sure to clarify the importance of this new system and how it can benefit them to build stronger relationships with their clients. Explain how the business climate is changing and without continuous management of their relationships, clients might leave for a company that shows greater care.
Customize the Training
Every account manager will have different strengths and weaknesses. While some may be able to pick up a new software platform almost intuitively, others are still trying to figure out how to use the current CRM. Hopefully, the platform you decide to choose is user-friendly and intuitive, so the learning curve when switching over isn’t as steep.
Get the Leaders Involved
There are always a couple of account managers that have more sway over the rest. Use this to your advantage and be sure that they are the first to get on board with the new system. Teach them the basics and be sure that they clearly understand the potential benefits of using Continuous Relationship Management. This way, they can influence the other members of the team, and they’ll be more willing to learn and implement the new system.
Kapta and Continuous Relationship Management
Kapta includes industry-leading key account management tools that work great for establishing new relationships, nourishing them for growth, and then managing them for long-term success. The built-in VOC surveys provide a blueprint to get more out of each meeting with clients.
Kapta goes beyond the traditional CRMs, and in addition to keeping track of contacts, you can also generate strategic plans for each client tracking their goals, experiences, and the solutions your company can provide them. Each account has a built-in health score so you can monitor which relationships are doing well and which could use some extra attention. If you want to get the most out of a Continuous Relationship Management system, you need a robust software package to support it.
Try Kapta Today
Kapta was developed with Continuous Relationship Management in mind. The platform is loaded with innovative relationship management tools that you would traditionally need to use multiple software packages to access. Schedule your free demo of Kapta today and see how it can significantly benefit your CRM efforts in 2018.