Being A Great Account Manager

Being A Great Account Manager!

What makes a “great” Account Manager?

Have things really changed that much?

Has the role of the Account Manager changed much over the years when we consider changes in buyers behaviours, additive technology and automation of routine tasks through AI?

The answer to that question is of course yes it has.

But a better question is, has the core skills you need to be a great Account Manager changed much over time?

My answer to this questions is no and it has not as much as you would have imagined. The tactics might have changed but the things that make you great have not.

Why do I say that, well I go back to those things I did during my 30 years in B2B sales roles and match them up with the things I do today.

Consider how effective you are in these seven “Be’s”:

Be present

Be present even when there isn’t a deal on the table. If you only show up when there is a need what message are you sending. They don’t really care how much you know, they want to know how much you care.

Be real

I can tell you from my years of experience that if you are acting genuine and sincere it will show.  Business is all about relationships and authentic relationships.

Be responsive

Provide answers within a timely manner or respond within the business day because if you don’t you are showing your client that they just aren’t that important.

Be informed

It’s your job to know everything about your client.  This means reading the annual shareholder letter from the CEO, news about the company, financial health etc.

Be knowledgeable

Your job as an Account  Manager is to know your customer well enough to identify real opportunities.  This knowledge allows you to focus on qualifying each lead or prospect.

Be a storyteller

Facts tell and stories sell, have you heard this  before? The more stories we learn from our existing clients the more value we are to our clients.  People relate to and remember stories.

Be respectful

Treat your clients and customers how you want to be sold to.  If it ever feels wrong or uncomfortable your best bet is to search for an alternative way that feels good for both parties.

How effective you are in these seven areas and focusing on them will help you on your journey to become a great Account Manager.

If you enjoyed this post please click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network.

Please also take time to read some of my other recent posts.

Missing Your Quota? Then Up Your Call Rate

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When is the best time to make a Sales call?

Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]

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Missing Your Quota? Then Up Your Call Rate

Making that One Extra Sales Call

Recently I made a video post on LinkedIn about doing an extra sales call a day to smash your targets and get your bonus. 

What quickly developed was an excellent thread with some great debate and expert insights about Quality vs Quantity, so I’ve made this article to summarise the thread and make it a takeaway that you’ll be able to digest!

The Sales Call Battle Between Quality vs Quantity?

This was the immediate and main point of discussion – it’s clear that simply picking up the phone one extra time just for the sake of it to meet a quantifiable metric is not going to get you the same results. 

Some key takeaways from this section of the debate:

  • It is better to have 5 quality sales calls than 10 average ones.
  • To that end, if you find you or your staff are making TOO MANY calls, (which might be apparent if a high percentage of your calls aren’t converting) then it might be worth exchanging a couple of these calls and dedicating the time to doing pre-call planning and post-call reports. 
  • If you already possess the quality element though, there are always things you can do to make time for an extra call.

Is the Culture & Mindset set to do more Sales Calls?

Culture is basically the plural of mindset, so these are interchangeable and applicable, whether it’s you who makes your own sales calls or your sales team. If you don’t have the right sales culture in your company, this can often supersede the issues of how many calls you’re making. So it’s crucial to get this right. 

Is one more sales call the answer to beating quota?

Two comments which gave some good insight :

  • It’s about having a good mindset, selling with purpose, not just because you feel like you should be making a call or have to fulfil a quota.If you do have a sales team, are you certain that this is how they feel about their role?
  • Often the extra time to make these calls falls towards the end of the working day, when your prospects are too focused on getting out of the office and going back home.Is there a way to restructure your day around your time-critical sales calls?

A top-tip for finding that extra sales call to make. 

Don’t be afraid to reach into the past for that one extra call. People whom you’ve had previous engagement with may take less time to prepare for and also be more likely to buy. 

And finally…

‘The difference of Ordinary and Extraordinary is the word “Extra”… Just one extra call in a day, or even one extra call in a month can take you to Extraordinary results. Sometimes it is not the BIG thing that matters, just one little extra, one small extra push…’ – Irfan Fauzie

Thanks to Irfan for that contribution, which sums up the spirit of my post exquisitely. 

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this discussion and my mission to #ElevateEverywhere.

 

P.S. Check out the FREE downloadable 1 page summary on my website on how to improve the quality of your Sales Calls.

Once you’ve clicked the link, you will find the toolkits available at the bottom of the page.

 http://steveknappsales.com/services/sales-execution/

 

If you enjoyed this article please leave a COMMENT, click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network.

 

Please also take some time to read some of my other recent posts.

Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]

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6 “must haves” in great Account Plans

Account Plans should help you think like your customer thinks and not like you or your company thinks

I have seen 1000’s of Account Plans. Some have been very good & some have been very bad.

I have seen Account Plans look like works of Shakespeare or written on the back of an envelope.

I believe Sales Professionals & Sales Managers can easily miss the purpose of an Account Plan.

Over investing or under investing in this activity is a risk so here’s the “must haves” I expect to be in an Account Plan:

🎯  Account Background:

• Describe your customer’s business and the value it creates for its customers
• History of your relationship and the overall business potential

🎯 Customer Needs/ Value Drivers:

• What does success look like for the customer?
• What are the customer’s main needs and priorities?

🎯 Account Strategy, Objectives & Targets:

• What are your goals with this customer – short & long term?
• How does your company support the customer’s business vision and strategy?
• What business targets do you want to achieve with this customer?
• What’s your positioning in relation to external factors and competitors?

🎯 Contact Strategy:

• Are the correct people identified in the customers business – decision makers & influencers?
• Who in your business could contribute and add value to your customer?

🎯 Tactical Action Plan:

• Is there a plan to achieve your goals with the customer?
• Are there actions over this next period that help you deliver the plan?
• How do these activities link to the customer’s needs?

🎯 Live Opportunities in the Pipeline:

• Do activities in the plan translate into opportunities in your sales pipeline?

If you ensure these 6 “must haves” are always in you Account Plans you will consistently add value to your clients business and your business.

To see more of what a good Account Plans looks like you can visit the Sales Execution section of my website and download the Free to Purchase Standard Tool Kit just click here.

If you enjoyed this article please click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network. Please also take time to read some of my other recent posts.

3 approaches to become a great Sales Coach

Make more sales by aligning Sales & Marketing activities

Do you need “Senior” Sales Professionals

Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]

5 Reasons that Pre Cal Plans Win More Business

Pre Call Planning wins more business!

Lets deal with this head on:

59.1% of inside account executives are attaining quota

And

65.0% of outside account executives are attaining quota

There are many reasons for this but I believe this is largely down to the quality of Sales Execution & specifically the step in the sales process of Pre Call Planning.

I have observed in excess of 1000 sales calls & one the biggest impacts I have had as a Sales Coach on Sales Professionals is uplifting the quality of Pre Call Planning.

I have a view & I think its down to familiarity.

The biggest enemy to a sales professional is familiarity. That’s familiarity with your client, your CVP, your market place and your pricing.

You need to see each opportunity as unique & prepare for it in that way.

Just reflect a little, when you nail a sales call is it because you’ve prepared well?

I bet it’s not because you have been lucky!

I recall something that I’ve seen written down “No goal = no prospect”  & I buy that big time. Without a goal you are not only wasting your time you are wasting your prospects time.

I must be right if the statistics about sales professionals missing quota are to be believed.

Sadly I’m experiencing fewer salespeople are taking the time for Pre Call Planning and documenting the goal of their sales calls

As a consequence are not preparing in advance of the call & therefore not meeting the call objective(s).

People laugh at me when I say, “Pre-calling planning is more than having an address and a phone number to call in case you get lost.”

However, the reality of the situation is that I often meet sales professionals who are not doing much more than that.

I would go as far to say that I have observed Pre Call Planning as the most undervalued part of the sales process by Sales Professionals.

Here’s  5 reasons why you should give this part of the sales process more time than you do today: 

👍🏽 You have a plan on how to get the information you need. Helping you focus on what questions are you going to need to ask to get that information.

👍🏽 You anticipate and prepare for the issues that might prevent you from achieving your desired outcome. It should encourage you to prepare alternatives & practice by role-play.

👍🏽 You bring and add value to the conversation because you’ve put yourself in the shoes of your prospect. Prospects are looking for help, that’s why they have agreed to speak with you. Are you prepared to talk about the prospects’ goals and issues,.

👍🏽 You manage the meeting effectively, both time & content because you must be prepared to discuss what is important to your prospect not whats important to you.

👍🏽 You reduce the risk of making mistakes because you have a plan to refer to. Don’t take shortcuts because it leads carelessness & your failure to follow your sales process is what gets you in trouble when you concede to early or give away what you didn’t intend to.

Improving this step in your sales process you will see the most significant impact on the effectiveness of every sales call.

If you enjoyed this post please COMMENT, click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network.

Please also take time to read some of my other recent posts.

Social Media is Killing Networking

3 Approaches to Become a Great Sales Coach

More Sales Through Effective Weekly Sales Meetings

Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]

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