Skip to main content

Are You Tapping the Right Tools to Support Account Management?

Growing accounts

young man and woman in a modern office collaborating on an account plan that creates opportunities for new business because of the customer-centric nature of the seller's account management strategy.


Share on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on Facebook

The Importance of Sales Account Management Tools

Sales account management tools like relationship maps, CRM solutions and social networking sites are a great way to support your account management strategy. Selecting and using the right tools is an important part of successfully implementing an account management plan in your organization.

The three major components of account management are:

  1. The creation of a plan
  2. The tools to support the plan
  3. Execution

In my previous post, I addressed developing a sales account management plan; now I’ll focus on sales account management tools.

3 Tools for Effective Account Management

1. Relationship Maps

A major element of account management is focusing on relationships — building them, maintaining them, and growing them.

Are you contacting the right people? Do you know all the stakeholders in the buying process? How would you know?

This is where relationship maps become useful tools.

Much like an organizational chart, a relationship map provides a visual reference of the people within the customer organization and who reports to whom. The more detail you add, the more helpful the map. Some people color-code names on their maps, identifying decision-makers, influencers, and gatekeepers. Others also identify allies, coaches, detractors, supporters of competitors, and even neutral stakeholders.

The value of a relationship map is that it shows you where you are potentially vulnerable in a customer’s organization. Consider this point of view: “My contacts are mostly at the director level, and maybe I get to see a vice president now and then. There are a lot of other influencers I should probably get to know so that I don’t lose this business for some unknown reason that I had nothing to do with.” The point is to look at the power structure and identify people you need to know or need to know more about in order to manage the relationship.

Too often, sales professionals will blame lost accounts on product failures or internal screw-ups. But if you have good relationships with your customers — and I mean good, solid ones — you can survive mistakes or below-standard service. You can still retain the business, and even grow it, if you handle the situation right, based on the goodwill you have already established. A strong relationship can preclude account loss because you have credibility and can be relied on to resolve the problem. As we all know, problems are inevitable in business; they happen. It’s what you do before and after that matters.

2. CRM and Online Account Management Tools

Beyond relationship tools, there are a number of sales account management tools available, many of which integrate into your CRM. Online tools make it easier to access and manage different aspects of the account, helping you to follow your plan. They automate tasks, make it easier to store and find information, allow you to view reports, and enable you to track progress. Dashboards and mobile access put all these features at your fingertips.

3. Social Networking Account Management Tools

Sales professionals to become savvy in leveraging social selling tools, like LinkedIn and Twitter, to not only connect but to watch and listen to what potential prospects are saying and learn what is important to them. This also applies to existing customers. Social selling tools can help you identify changes underway with customers, new competitive threats, and relationships among customer contacts.

Whichever account management tools you use, the point is to help you better understand your customers and support your strategic account management plans.

Share on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on Facebook
strength of sale check tool

Brochure: CRM-enabled Workflow Tools

Learn how our CRM tools integrate best practices into your team's workflow.


Resources You Might Be Interested In

Article: Three Ways to Sharpen Your Negotiation Skills as Customers Seek Lower Pricing

Learn the three skills needed to successfully negotiate during a sale without conceding on price.


banner with the current richards and e4enable logos

Richardson Sales Performance Acquires e4enable

Richardson Sales Performance announces its acquisition of e4enable, a sales enablement company that shows how seller behaviors are impacting business metrics, guiding revenue leaders on where to focus to maximize impact.

Press Release

banner with the webinar title and a broken bridge in the background showing how revtech and sales training bridge gaps in sales performance

Webinar Recording: Connecting Revenue Technology and Selling Motions to Find Gaps and Get Results

Watch this webinar to learn how integrating advanced analytics with sales training produces measurable improvement in key revenue metrics.

Video, Blog

Solutions You Might Be Interested In