Who is the customer?
In my experience, account managers in many B2B technology firms spend too much time selling to their own management. Dissecting recent sales and providing forecasts on the sales for the coming week, month and quarter soak up a lot of the account manager’s valuable mental bandwidth; thus leaving less for addressing the needs of actual customers.
There are a number of other problems with this approach:
- It is focused on money and not relationships.
- It is focused on what the company sells rather than what the customers need.
- It encourages short term behaviour that could well damage opportunities in the longer term.
Perhaps most significant of all it encourages the account manager to think like a ‘one person’ enterprise. An ‘eat what you kill’ model does encourage sales. But one person enterprises tend to have the interests of only one person at heart.
This mind-set encourages the account managers to care only about what brings them commission regardless of the business benefit to the client or the impact on your company’s brand in the longer term.
A way of addressing this is to set KPIs that extend beyond sales to cover relationship building with your key accounts and internal collaboration within your organisation.
Tech buyers increasingly have more options. You need to eliminate the reasons that will cause them to go elsewhere.