A list of Top 8 SaaS Account Management Best Practices to help you grow your existing accounts and increase revenue.
#1 Define Key or Strategic Accounts
Start by identifying customers who contribute a significant amount of revenue to your portfolio, or have significant growth potential, or have some other significant strategic value (live case study in specific vertical, huge brand logo etc.) and ensure these are agreed upon internally and tracked separately.
#2 Focus on Customer Success
The ideal Account Manager should be a problem solver who is sensitive to the client’s needs and spends time and energy to make them successful. Be willing to learn and become an expert in the customer’s business and make the connection between the client’s needs and your company’s ability to help.
#3 Know Your Customer (KYC)
By developing in-depth customer knowledge, account managers should be able to identify explicit and implicit account risks. Deep knowledge about client needs as well as the stakeholder’s interests will enable your team to continually reiterate the value proposition to the client. This is one of the key account management practices to follow.
#4 Ensure Cross-Functional Collaboration
Smart Account Managers also take on the effort to ensure there is alignment between ‘Product Management’ and ‘Marketing’ & ‘Sales’ and ‘Customer Success’. Also, ensure customers have access to support tools enabling them to customize the platform for themselves, and that ‘Customer Support’ responds appropriately for the cases where self help is improbable.
#5 Build Stickiness
Gone are the days of creating dependency, instead focus on creating stickiness in appropriate ways. This can be done through operational value-adds, support through insights, channel partnerships, technological help through systems integration & business support through special terms and financing.
#6 Soft Upsell & CrossSell
Generating leads inside the customer account is a core skillset of the Key Account Manager (KAM). By getting answers to client’s questions, the account manager should be able to better serve the customer by matching the solutions they are selling to the demands of the business.
#7 Move from QBR to QVR
Quarterly Business Reviews occurring regularly without adding value does not help the customer, and has waning participation interest. The best account managers take on a consultative role and add value for clients by helping them save money, make money, or manage risk. To drive the message home, they even name their reviews Quarterly Value Reviews.
#8 Move from Insights to Actionable Insights
Account Management works best when the Strategic Account Managers (SAM) take on the responsibility to not only provide insights on the business (challenges or areas of concern) to the customer, but also share plans or ideas on how to action them. This provides the REAL value and helps the Account Manager become a ‘trusted advisor’.
Read through these top 8 SaaS Account Management Best Practices and do let us know in the comments below if we have missed on others.
Few more best practices
After mentioning the eight key account management best practices, we thought of serving you with a few more bonus best practices. Although they are included in the ‘few more points’, they are quite important too depending upon your context. So let’s look at them individually.
Understand account economics
It is essential for the account manager to be involved in the finances between the two parties. Account manager should stay aware of whatever the financial deals that are agreed upon. This helps them in prioritizing the clients according to the activity-based costing. And it also helps them to suggest any upgrades/downgrades based on the cost of serving them.
Get regular feedbacks
To stay ahead of your competitors and to know how you can add more value to the clients, you must get their feedback. You should know what perspectives your customers carry for your brand. What are the customer sentiments? What is their satisfaction level with your service? Only when you know these points, could you do something about it.
Build trust with key stakeholders
The account manager must keep a check on the relationship with the key stakeholders at the client-side. They are the decision makers and hence must always be kept informed of the latest developments. Your efforts towards serving them should be consistent so that it eventually develops into trust. Once you build it, customer retention becomes a natural outcome. And this is one of the strategic account management best practices.
Identify gaps & opportunities for the client
One of the key traits of a successful account manager is the ability to find gaps and anticipate opportunities. Customers most often do not even know what they are missing. An account manager shows them those gaps while at the same time gives solutions to meet them. When the opportunity arises, they don’t hold back to present the various upsells and cross-sells offers to the clients.