The #1 Account Management Mistake

We know that the long game maximizes customer lifetime value. But too often, sellers can’t see past the next P.O. Are you guilty of this? Here’s what is at stake…

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Last week, I got frustrated with a group of clients who are account managers because they were pushing hard to get a P.O. across the line and in doing so were not doing the right thing for their business or their customer.
And I said to them, You are not PO managers, you are not sale managers, you are not product managers.
You are account managers, and you need to focus on doing what’s right for the account and the relationship, not for the PO.
Now they said to me rightly, But Colleen we’ve got quotas to hit.
Yeah, I get that.
But you’re going to hit your quotas more easily if you focus on the relationship and not the sale.
Your job is to think about the second and the third and the fourth and the fifth and the sixth sale while you’re trying to close the first.
And in doing so, you build on the relationship or relationships.
You uncover stakeholders, advisers, consultants, spies and executives.
You uncover ways to build people who might be anti coaches or blockers in the account and how to bring them onside.
You think about what’s the right thing to do for the customer and how they want to buy and what they’re buying process is – as opposed to what the right thing to do for you and your company, which might be to speed the sale into this month or next quarter.
In focusing on the relationship, I know for some of you this might feel counterintuitive because you’re thinking, but I’ve got to get deals done now.
You have to focus on that relationship because that’s what’s going to drive more deals, bigger deals, faster in your pipeline, despite how counterintuitive it feels like.
Think about this.
When you spend on the front end of that sales cycle working on the relationship, you will speed through the close.
When you spend on the front end of the sales cycle, building relationships and qualifying, you will elongate your close and I know you want a shorter closing cycle.

Don’t forget to check out: Do Your Goals Meet this Test?!