Most businesses understand that that it’s harder to find a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. This is compounded in the current economic climate as it is likely that buyers will become more risk averse, preferring to stay with who they know, rather than taking a punt with someone new. This makes winning business from new customers even harder.
However, this doesn’t mean you should be complacent. There is a big difference between ‘proactive’ customer account management and simply ‘looking after’ your customers. Sales people may be doing a good job of looking after customers and bringing business in but are they bringing all the business in that is available?
Too often businesses get stuck with the idea that ‘getting new business’ revolves around searching for and winning new customers and all that’s required with existing ones is to look after them effectively, and the orders will come in.
However, how do we establish the difference between what the customer is actually spending with us compared to what they are spending elsewhere? Further, what solutions can we provide that will solve problems that our customers may not be fully aware of yet?
The key to this is to think in terms of which customers have the greatest potential for more sales. The word potential is important here, because this may not necessarily be the biggest accounts – they are the ones with the most potential. A large, but low potential account will require a very different management approach from a medium, but high potential account.
A high potential account will require sales staff to proactively seek out, identify and pursue opportunities within their customers, which will take a great deal more planning, tenacity and engagement than simply ‘looking after’ them. Giving sales managers the appropriate sales management training will be key to their success.
Inevitably it is harder to find a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. This is even more true today as buyers become more risk averse preferring to stay with who they know. To grow a business today needs proactive customer account management which will yield more business opportunities.
Our Key Account Management 2 day in house course will equip sales managers with the skills to manage accounts for the long term benefit of the business.