A few months ago, I was privileged to be invited to a seminar hosted by Gartner featuring a small group of top level thought leaders in sales. There were about six of us around the table and we got a preview of Gartner’s research that they were rolling out at their sales summit later in the year. We assessed and discussed the research—in particular, how it applied to our clients.
Customer Satisfaction Does Not Equate to Account Growth
The one piece of research I found fascinating was that they found—in surveying customers, salespeople, and companies—customer satisfaction has no link to account growth. It’s important to note, however, that customer satisfaction does link to account retention, but, as we indeed found out, it does not have any correlation to customer growth—in terms of increasing the number of products and services across multiple divisions.
What Contributes to Customer Growth When It Comes to Account Management?
1.) Value: are they getting value from what they are already buying from you? Do they know it? It’s up to us and account managers to communicate that value to your customers on a regular basis through quarterly or monthly business reviews. How much value are you giving them based on the investment that they have given you already? Can you show them a return on investment for expanding their scope of work with you. Have you done any calculations or shown them how making a change with you will accelerate their return on investment?
2.) Make the change easy: in order for them to do more with you, they have to do less with someone else or they have to change the way they are doing business now. And change is hard. Can you show them examples of customers like them who started small and grew? Can you understand what their internal change management process is and how you can apply it to your product?
The easier you make that change for them and the more value you show them, the faster you will grow that customer. And that is what account management is all about.