Market moves like the expansion of cloud computing don’t happen frequently. As a VP of Sales Operations at a cloud computing company the stakes couldn’t be higher. This is a make or break moment in your career. You have to quickly and effectively:
- Segment and target the right organizations
- Measure the quality and quantity of the lead flow
- Determine the right number of sales reps
- Optimize sales territories, and
- Measure individual and team sales performance.
With a premium placed on customer acquisition cloud computing organizations have put account management on the back burner. Before it gets too late implement an Account Management process to reduce customer churn, increases customer lifetime value, generate leads for expansion, and proactively identify account risk.
Key Components of the an Account Management Process
For as much talk about leaky lead and sales funnels sometimes organizations forget to focus on retaining accounts they have already acquired. When we build a custom account management process for our clients in the cloud computing sector we focus on three things:
- Focus on driving Customer Success
- Establishing a Business Review cadence
- Develop Deep Client Knowledge
Each of these three steps enables your sales teams to focus on the business challenges your customer is trying to solve, ensure the customer is on boarded successfully, and finally maintain an expectation as what it means to do business with your organization.
3 Major Advantages to Implementing an Account Management Process
1. Reduces Customer Churn
Churn is the dirty word of cloud computing because it has a direct impact on the customer lifetime value calculation. (Register here to receive the Customer Lifetime Value Calculator.)
Account Management process reduces churn by focusing on customer success. This is performed by conducting a succinct onboarding process. The most effective onboarding process includes:
- Detailed participants
- Client/Consultant Assignments
With product development and marketing working in harmony customers should also be able to access support tools enabling them to customize software or platforms for themselves.
2. Generates Leads for Expansion
Generating leads is also core function of the account management process. The most effective way to generate leads is by conducting a business review meeting to ask customer questions such as:
- What are the business’s core objectives?
- What are your long and short term aspirations for this partnership?
- How are you measuring success?
- What actions are needed to ensure success?
- What are your current challenges with the solution?
By asking these questions the account manager will be able to not only better serve the customer but also be able to identify additional opportunities.
3. Proactively Identifies Account Risk
Finally, developing deep client knowledge will enable account managers to identify explicit and implicit account risks. For example, if a current customer is in a consolidating market we know that is an implicit risk that the organization could get purchased.
Deep client knowledge will also enable you to continually reiterate the value proposition to the client.
Call to Action:
- Determine you churn rate right now if you have not already done so. You need to assess the leak before we can address the leak.
- Calculate your customer lifetime value. When you sign up here you can download my customer lifetime value calculator.
- Build a custom account management process that includes onboarding, business reviews and client research. Your customer will value your dedication to their success and remain loyal.
I can help you get started. Email me here and we can set up an assessment of your current account management process. As the cloud computing market really begins to accelerate, success will be determined by organizations that are able to develop relationships with their customers that are deep and powerful. This will reduce churn and expand customer lifetime value ultimately leading to enhanced profit.