Revealed: 6 Account Management Best Practices for B2B Companies!

What are the account management best practices for B2B companies? In this write-up, we will try to answer this question for you.

6 Account Management Best Practices for B2B Companies
6 Account Management Best Practices for B2B Companies

The classic business proverb, 80% of your sales originate from 20% of your clientele, holds true for most firms. Therefore, handling these priceless things with more caution would be sensible. 

However, far too often, companies do not have a set process in place for developing these crucial client relationships. When a sale is closed, the work is not finished. For several reasons, both large and small customers can churn. 

Implementing a comprehensive account management program is the greatest approach to preventing an expensive breakup with your most valuable clients. 

Key account management is the tactical method businesses use to manage and expand their most crucial clients. KAM’s ultimate goal is to establish long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the specific business to achieve strategic goals and maximize the value in both organizations. 

To achieve this, focused, strategic, and all-encompassing actions must be taken, beginning with an awareness of customers’ needs for goods and services and their preferences for customer service. 

This write-up highlights six best practices for efficient account management strategy to reap these advantages. Any B2B business can use these account management best practices to improve the performance of its core accounts. 

6 Account Management Best Practices for B2B Companies! 

Here is an explanation of the six account management best practices for B2B companies:

Create consistent customer segments for upselling and cross-selling 

Account Management Best Practice #1

The largest and most lucrative segments—those with the potential for the highest customer lifetime value—are what you should focus on from a strategic perspective.

Also, please focus on the smallest and least lucrative clients because they require a lot of effort and resources. After that, decide whether you should continue to put resources into making them successful or should deprioritize them. Then, adjust your acquisition techniques, as necessary.

Since this is a corporate decision, you should consult with other departments of the organization, like the marketing team, a customer success team, and business stakeholders.

From a programmatic perspective, you can segment by firmographics, behavior, region or location, product ownership, consumption, and interest in the product.

Your marketing programs’ effectiveness depends on your ability to define your segments using a marketing automation platform precisely.

You can measure these segmentations in the SmartKarrot customer success platform based on the following:

  • Utilization
  • Product usage & adoption
  • NPS/Sentiment
  • Engagement metrics

Selling more to a customer who is already purchasing utilizing smart cross-selling and upselling strategies is perhaps the simplest approach to growing B2B consumer product sales. Since the two are frequently confused, the distinction is as follows:

Cross-selling encourages a customer to order different things together with the core product, whereas upselling encourages ordering anything that would raise the original product’s price.

A rise in average order size results from consistent upselling and cross-selling. However, because cross-selling and upselling may be viewed (by the consumer) as an effort to increase revenue, many organizations, and their sales representatives, in particular, are hesitant to engage in them.

However, if done correctly – presented as personalized recommendations rather than pushy sales tactics – it encourages buyers to buy goods that better suit their needs or complement the goods they are presently purchasing. This also has the added benefit of increasing customer loyalty and retention for distributors and wholesalers.

When presented at the wrong time, upsells or cross-sells that would suit the customer’s demands can actually stop them from making a purchase. Choose the stage of the ordering process where the consumer will be most responsive to your pitch.

Track customer touchpoints and streamline communications using relevant metrics

Account Management Best Practice #2

Customer touchpoints include all direct and indirect customer contacts with your brand. From customer acquisition to revenue, they may be seen at every stage of the customer journey map. It might involve reading blog posts, clicking on adverts, leaving reviews, getting in touch with customer service, etc.

Every customer interaction influences how consumers perceive a brand, which impacts sales. If people are happy, you will receive favorable customer feedback and enjoy a lengthy client lifecycle. On the other hand, poor customer service causes significant churn.

Consumer touchpoints assist in assessing customer satisfaction levels and quickly identifying and resolving friction areas (product bugs, bad customer experience, poor UX, etc.). These all aid teams working on products or services in enhancing the user experience. Once you successfully track customer touchpoints, the next step is to streamline communications using relevant metrics.

This can be done by using key components in SmartKarrot like:

  • QBRs (Quarterly Business Reviews)
  • Customer objectives
  • Timely, relevant touchpoints
  • Consistent communication

You must be upfront while communicating with your B2B customers through different mediums like quarterly business reviews, using timely, relevant touchpoints and consistent communication while interacting with them.

First-time interactions with your brand typically occur through organic search and paid advertisements on various internet channels (e.g., Google Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). It is crucial to establish a solid first impression when using sponsored channels. How? Match the positioning of your advertisement on the landing page that customers will be taken to with its messaging, brand identity, CTA (call to action), etc.

To put it another way, potential consumers must believe they are receiving value when they click on your advertisement and visit your website. Therefore, your objective at this touchpoint is to communicate value rapidly and clearly.

Account data needs to be centralized across multiple parameters 

Account Management Best Practice #3

The most valuable resource for your business is account data. It can give you an overview of the precise customers you sell to, market to, and serve when collected and normalized correctly. What transpires when data is gathered via numerous platforms or websites? How pointless can it still be?

It is very straightforward: when account data is scattered, it loses value; when gathered in one location, it may offer focused market intelligence. Account data silos are eliminated, data security is improved, and a single view of your consumers is finally produced due to centralizing your customers’ data. Your industry’s best position to market to your precise target based on their demographics, needs, and behavior comes from this unified perspective.

Therefore, when you centralize, the data integrity improves dramatically since data redundancies are removed, and the fragmented view of the customer we were talking about vanishes.

Once the account data is centralized, you can be confident that it will be more accurate because there is less chance of inaccurate replication when everything is in one location. Take your data to the cloud. If you have heard it once, you have heard it a thousand times. You may attain top-notch security and connection with cloud-based data centralization. Consider the consequences if your internal physical data server system fails.

Kaput.

It is done.

With cloud account data storage, automatic backups are made every day and hour, ensuring the highest level of data security. Additionally, since identity management involves multiple layers of security measures that are challenging and time-consuming to deploy internally, it is a smart idea to handle your client profile data using cloud infrastructure.

This can be made possible with the help of accumulating information in SmartKarrot, including:

  • Financials
  • Customer type
  • Sentiment/NPS
  • Product Type

What I am trying to say is your capacity to safeguard and manage the account data could be the decisive factor in whether or not your prospective consumers decide to do business with you. Your company needs to be ready for the expanding discussion surrounding data protection services since data security and centralization are parts of a wider problem involving personal information and privacy.

Identify the right accounts at the right time to initiate advocacy using relevant metrics 

Account Management Best Practice #4

The consumer world and how B2C companies develop and maintain customer connections may teach B2B marketers a lot. The thing is, customers already let us know how they prefer to be contacted. B2B purchasers use platforms like Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon daily. They are always online and have access to demand-based entertainment. As a result, they are no longer successful with the majority of traditional B2B marketing.

The interactions are typically quite passive; they are too slow, too challenging, and more akin to reading an encyclopedia than asking Alexa. Additionally, it is ineffective for marketers. The effectiveness of marketing raises too many concerns, and conventional measures do not reveal anything about the preparation of the sales force.

An account-based marketing (ABM) program must stand out from the crowd. You need the appropriate tactical strategy for creating and utilizing excellent content and the right intelligence and insights to customize communication, engage advocates, and activate influencers if you want to fully nail ABM and reach your target accounts.

To “perform” ABM properly, marketers and salespeople must provide highly customized account- or even contact-level experiences to their accounts.

Account-based selling and marketing may not sound novel, but the specifics of how they are implemented are. When it comes to maximizing the potential of their ABM initiatives, B2B enterprises discover they have only just begun with the advent of highly integrated account-based operations and tools.

Once you have identified the right accounts using advocacy, the next step is to initiate advocacy at the right time using relevant metrics. SmartKarrot does this with the help of:

  • Utilization
  • Engagement
  • NPS/CSAT/Sentiment
  • Key milestones/objectives met

In the end, effective ABM metrics emphasize genuine engagement with content or people. Campaigns can often be judged successful based on inactive involvement, such as a PDF download that remains unopened on a desktop or a click to an unread blog article.

However, it is much more difficult to pretend to read, watch, or engage in quality email, phone, meeting, or other communication. ABM must prioritize quality over quantity. That means favoring customization above generic.

Track customer objectives and value and showcase them on a regular basis 

Account Management Best Practice #5

A common definition of perceived value is a sentiment related to return on investment. In essence, how well a product meets our needs and demands determines how satisfied we are with it.

This subjective feeling needs to be dismissed based on the cost we paid. The perceived benefits of a product can then make us happy if they exceed what we could have anticipated, given the price we paid. It embodies what we typically mean by excellent value for money. A great customer success team wants to bring that particular sense of delight back to the user.

For certain buyers, your product may mean different things. According to growth marketer Alex Birkett’s piece on how to boost perceived worth, when it comes actually to selling items, objective product value does not exist.

In SaaS (Software As A Service) firms, this lack of objectivity is extremely significant. Customers must trust your product enough to pay the price you have established for it, and SaaS pricing structures range from freemium to tiered user pricing. As a result, the sales team and the CSM (Customer Success Manager) have a remarkable capacity to affect how their customers feel, how they will view the value of the product, and how to serve their needs best.

You can track customer objectives and value and showcase them on a regular basis using SmartKarrot, a CS (Customer Success) software through:

  • QBRs
  • Customer objectives
  • Multiple roles
  • Efficient internal operations

Apply smart playbooks to “least common multiple” tasks 

Account Management Best Practice #6

As a part of the account management strategy, you can apply smart playbooks to multiple tasks that are least common amongst your key accounts. This can assist account managers in reducing their workload and improve their productivity in the longer run. You can apply this on SmartKarrot, a CS platform, by using several key components like:

  • Onboarding
  • Upsell and Cross-sell
  • Advocacy
  • Escalation management

Final Thoughts 

Finding fresh possibilities to advance your client’s business is one of the most crucial elements of account management strategy and leadership. Utilizing the relationships, you have established to identify the potential issues your customer may be facing is the first step in insight selling for strategic account management. Then, using your abilities, you can cross-sell, up-sell, or create a whole new product that meets your client’s needs. 53

I hope you have enjoyed reading the account management best practices guide.

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