In an online training yesterday I was presented with a typical challenge which many account managers are struggling with. “Which client should I begin with?” is the frustrated question they often ask.
I'm using the office printing/document solution industry as a reference as this is where we are experts, but the fundamental concept applies to all businesses.
You have 50 clients
You have access to their contracts
You can ask the service department to give you information about volumes and current state, but you have to wait for it
You have logged some calls and notes in the CRM system
You sold new devices to them 1,5 year ago
You have access to an old audit report.
In order to know if any of those clients are in need of changes, up- or downgrades or if all is just ok, you need to crunch a lot of numbers.
The good thing is that you will get very close with your Excel, but it is a relationship which can be set under a lot of pressure.
When we are asked to help, one of the first objectives we have, is to make sure there is ongoing access to critical and updated data making it possible to quickly identify customers in need of focus.
But before starting anything that we always ask:
What kind of situations should you be aware of at your clients?
This question is very important as the rest of the setup will be done with this in mind. For example:
If a client is printing more than recommended on his printers
If a client has one or more contracts which are up for termination
If the toner waste is higher than 10 %
If the downtime is higher than 1 hour per month
These are often used situations, as those indicate scenarios which can be expensive for the client as well as the vendor.
If you have a system already allowing you access to that kind of data, make sure to utilize them by categorizing them after your own definitions and make them available for the team.
The result of this data will be an important part of daily planning.
Who should we be focusing on today and why?
In a world of dropping margins it's important to spend resources where it makes sense.
This will not only be helpful for an account manager but for your newsletters and marketing campaigns, you can use your data and be much more relevant, direct and solve problems for your clients.
The biggest and most time-consuming challenge today is discovering problems fast. This is where the use of data is so important.
Imagine this scenario:
You are about to join a status meeting and you have discovered the following scenarios:
The client replaces toner with 16% left on average
The client has 5 printers printing 180% more than recommended
The client has an increasing trend in costs
Could any of these turn into a new business opportunity?
So to answer the question, “Which client should I begin with?” our answer is “Where it makes sense”.
But the real question is how to figure that out fast?
At 3manager this is what we do. We make critical data available for you as an account manager, consultant or project leader.
To help you make faster and even better decisions based on data giving you the exact insight needed on a specific issue.
For example, the above-mentioned bullets from the status meeting scenario are available in 3manager as one of the first automated views when you log in (and much more).
We would love to show you how you and your company can benefit from 3manager on an online demo or free trial.
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