Effective account management is a demanding practice that requires a combination of sales skills, interpersonal ability, and industry expertise. To succeed in this role, they need to adopt practices that allow supporting the customers using both technical and relational knowledge. Organizations need to ensure that their AMs onboarding training addresses this important aspect and helps them adopt a methodical approach to account management. The following five tips will help you establish those practices one step at a time.
1. Take a Proactive Approach
Proactive account management behaviors not only reduce the number of future problems you must deal with, but also fosters trust and respect between you and your customers.
- Check-in with each key customer contact on a regular basis. You never know what they might need.
- Provide regular updates to your organization to keep both them and yourself in the know
- Implement a customer onboarding process to create a better experience for all parties.
2. Balance Sales and Consulting
The consulting aspects of an account manager’s role distinguish this position from a salesperson. An exemplary account manager makes purchasing effortless by bringing solutions to their customers before those customers ever think to ask for them.
To do this:
- Keep up to date on current market trends and new innovations in healthcare. Information provided by pharmaceutical market research companies is invaluable for this purpose.
- Cultivate a deeper understanding of your customers’ needs. Research how both they and their competitors are currently serving patients, then offer them solutions that either enhance their existing strategies or introduce new ones that are in line with their competition.
3. Upsell Strategically
As an account manager, your customers trust you to do what is in their best interest as well as your company’s.
- Never attempt to upsell a customer on a treatment that does not align with their organizational goals. For instance, a mental health treatment facility aiming to specialize in teaching patients to manage anxiety using coping strategies might not be interested in a new, stronger anti-anxiety drug.
- Do not attempt to upsell a customer until you have had time to build trust. Without that trust, your customer will interpret the action as an attempt to take advantage of them.
- If you are unsure of how to upsell appropriately, consider investing in some account management training to help you learn new techniques to approach this as delicately as possible.
4. Implement Key Account Management (KAM) Strategies
Key account management dictates that account managers should devote most of their time and resources to select accounts that generate the most revenue. This can be an excellent way to maximize the impact of the work you put into your accounts. To make KAM work for you:
- Choose your key accounts carefully.
- Secure buy-in from your entire company. For KAM to work, key accounts must receive special attention from all parties within your organization.
- Ensure that you understand the level of service and dedication you will be expected to give to these key clients. Key account management training can help you prepare for this role and hone the skills you need to succeed.
5. Use CRM Software
Account management is a demanding field that often requires AMs to juggle many high-value accounts and tasks at once. Using tools like CRM software to automate some of the administrative work allows you to deliver better service in little time. Specifically, you can use a CRM to:
- Store information on each customer’s interests and preferences, past orders, returns or complaints, order dates, which representatives they have worked with in the past, and more.
- Segment accounts into different categories based on criteria such as location, account age, and account value.
- Track each customer’s current position in the customer life cycle and determine the appropriate strategy to win more of their business.
A Good Account Manager Never Stops Growing
Account managers must never become complacent if they are to deliver the level of performance that their customers and their organization expect. With diligence and support from top healthcare consulting firms like The Brooks Group, they can simultaneously increase customer satisfaction, close more sales, and cultivate an exceptional professional reputation.