In 2019, Hire Fewer Salespeople and Hire More Account Managers

It’s time to get on the defensive. Not to alarm any of you, but if you’ve followed the recent financial news and paid any attention to the stock market volatility, you know that troubled waters are right around the corner.


The best offense is a good defense, and after a few years of substantial growth, we need to prepare for the sunny days to end. It’s time to batten down the hatches of your business, and that means focusing on your existing relationships rather than investing 100% in finding the next best clients.


Account managers are your number one defenders of your business and will be your brand advocates that will encourage not only sustainability among your current relationships but can also help them grow through mutual success, boosting the bottom line for you and your clients’ companies.


Why You Should Slow Down on Salespeople

Don’t get me wrong; salespeople serve a valuable role in your business. They are on the front lines wooing and courting contacts. They’re the ones responsible for chasing leads, and when paid on commission, they stop at nothing to get the account.


The thing is, in uncertain financial times, you need to pay attention to the people that matter most to your company—your existing accounts!


Salespeople are great at getting their foot in the door, talking to leads about their needs and wants and then convincing them to sign on the dotted line. When in uncertain financial times, however, your leads will feel the same pressure that your company does. You’ll find that it’s more challenging to get leads to subscribe to your service during tougher financial times because business owners simply don’t have the extra money to subscribe to a new service offering. Even if your product or service will end up saving them money in the long run, making the upfront investment can be too much of a financial risk.


Account Managers Keep You Profitable

As you are probably well aware, 70% of the revenue for your business comes from your existing customers every year. These are the comapnies that continue to use and love your product or service, recommend it to their peers, and keep buying from you. Once you look at your list of clients even more closely, you’ll often find the 80/20 principle at work, where 20% of your clients, your key accounts, account for 80% of the results.


For this reason, account managers are the heroes in your office. They keep everything running smoothly and rather than looking for a quick sale at every turn, they help your customers succeed. The core principle of mutual success is that if your customer is successful, your company is successful. This principle just isn’t a part of the job description for salespeople, so account managers are a must.


Account Managers Keep Customers Happy

During a recession, you need all of the business that you can get. More importantly, you need to keep all of the revenue that you can, and your account managers are crucial in retaining your customer base. So, how do you protect your existing revenue? By investing in the team that keeps your existing customers happy.


Account managers, unlike traditional salespeople, and experts in maintaining, nourishing, and growing your existing relationships through their personal communication and mutually successful support. If a customer questions why they’re using your service, the account manager can walk them through the hard data and show them their history of success with the platform.


If a customer changes their goals or milestones, your account managers will be there to update the account plan with the shifting goal post to make sure that their eventual success is one track.


Finally, if your client’s company is facing the same financial pressure that many other companies are facing, they might consider canceling their subscription because it either costs too much, they don’t think they need it, or both. When this happens, your account managers and their superpowers of building trust with customers, will jump on it and talk to the client and convince them to stick with your product or service because of the real results that it provides to their organization.


At the end of the day, it’s all about keeping your customers happy, and while salespeople are great at getting their foot in the door and making the final sale, it’s the account managers that will be your clients’ trusted partner in their success and their regular contact ready to answer any questions they have and propose solutions where necessary.


Account Managers Deliver Customer Success

Existing customers will provide more return for your money. Going after new clients can be expensive, and it’s the top 20% of your clients that will deliver 80% of your results. They are less costly to sell to, yet they are more likely to make a premium purchase from your company. This is because they trust you. Having worked with your organization for an extended period, they know what they can depend on you for, and already know what to expect in terms of service and performance.


Your account managers, in essence, are the ROI-driven machines that will find new ways to save your company money by selling premium services to their clients. The key differentiator here that separates them from salespeople is that they aren’t pushing random add-ons just to make an extra buck. Instead, your strategic account managers know the account inside and out and will propose meaningful solutions that will provide real results. Once your customers see these results, they’ll be more inclined to continue working with you.


How Kapta Can Help

Once you have your new account managers in place, they need the tools to succeed. Kapta is a SAM platform built by SAMs for SAMs. With integrated tools like account planning templates and Voice of Customer insights, it makes their job more efficient so they can spend less time in a spreadsheet and more time working with clients. To try Kapta for yourself, schedule a free demo today.





CEO at Kapta
Alex Raymond is the CEO of Kapta.