Revealed: 6 Key Account Management Best Practices for B2B Companies!

Revealed: 6 Key Account Management Best Practices for B2B Companies!

What are the account management best practices for B2B companies? Get AM best practices below.

Revealed: 6 Account Management Best Practices for B2B Companies!
Revealed: 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 key 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.

In this guide, we’ll discuss six best practices for efficient account management strategy to reap these advantages.

6 Key Account Management Best Practices for B2B Companies! 

Here are the six key 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. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on the smaller accounts. However, it does help you better prioritize your accounts.

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.

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 while utilizing smart cross-selling and upselling strategies are perhaps the simplest approach to growing B2B revenue. Here’s the difference between them:

Cross-selling encourages a customer to subscribe to a different product or service with the core product that compliments it. Upselling encourages your customer to subscribe to the same product, but at a higher price point.

The problem with cross-selling and upselling is the approach. When you approach your customer with an account expansion discussion, but this expansion opportunity only benefits your company in more revenue, customers won’t agree to this.

But when AMs approach your customers with value-based opportunities that are data-driven or Customer Success Qualified Leads (CSQLs), you’re more likely to get your customers to expand their accounts.  

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 retention, they may be seen at every stage of the customer journey map. One thing that’s important to note is that while customer touchpoints are beneficial to track, they are only a small portion of the bigger picture which is the customer’s entire journey with your company. So, both the big and small picture must be considered when tracking touchpoints.

Consumer touchpoints assist in assessing customer satisfaction levels and quickly identifying and resolving friction areas (product bugs, bad customer experience, poor UX, etc.). These 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 customers through different mediums like quarterly business reviews, using timely, relevant touchpoints and consistent communication while interacting with them. Even though touchpoints are smaller portions of a larger picture, it’s still vital to ensure that each touchpoint provides value to your customers.

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 segmented correctly. What transpires when data is gathered via numerous platforms or websites?

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 customers is now available due to centralizing their data.

And once their data is centralized, every team will have access to the same data that your teams can use to build relationships with your customers that are consistent across the board.

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

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

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

Account Management Best Practice #4

Customer advocacy is one of the best revenue generators for B2B companies. Not only does it cost less than acquiring a new customer, but prospects that come to your company through referrals are high-quality leads that are very likely to become a paying customer.

The problem is that not every account should be considered for your customer advocacy program. Even customers who are overall satisfied with your product might not be who you want to target for advocacy. You only want the best representatives for your product.

How do you find them? By initiating advocacy at the right time using relevant metrics. SmartKarrot does this with the help of:

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

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 a customer’s needs and determine how satisfied they are with it.

But first, you’ll need to establish what those objectives are for your customers and what receiving value from your product means to them. This conversation is typically had early in the relationship, during the kickoff call so that from the start, everyone can be on the same page.

Once your AMs know what goals your customers want to reach, they can structure the relationship around helping them achieve these goals. Then, during business meetings, they can show customers their progress and what value they’ve already received.

You can track customer objectives and value and showcase them on a regular basis using SmartKarrot 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 key account management strategy, you can apply smartplaybooks 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 long run. You can apply this on SmartKarrot by using several key components like:

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

Final Thoughts 

Building a relationship with your customer and helping them find value in your product are some of the most crucial elements of key account management. And with these best practices, we hope you’re able to be one step closer to fostering a relationship with your customers that lasts a lifetime.

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