What are the best resources for someone new to pro-active account management?
April 11, 2011 10:17 PM   Subscribe

What are the best resources for someone new to pro-active account management?

I've recently transitioned from a sales role to true account management for a small firm that has large clients all over the world. They pay anywhere from $4,000 to $500,000 a year with us, and whereas my goal used to be "SELL SELL SELL!", my directive now is reduce churn and keep the clients renewing.

My problem is that I've been focused on strategic selling so much that I don't know how to plan actions around this. I'm plenty good at the reactionary stuff, but I know that to get good at this, I need to be proactive, build good relationships, offer them something of value each time I call.

So, does anyone know of some good resources, websites or guidebooks on this?

Thanks as always.
posted by felspar to Work & Money (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hard to say without knowing your industry and what your Clients' businesses are. I'm in advertising and can tell you that proactive account mgmt means knowing your Clients business better than they do. Anticipate their needs, schedule out their year for them and show them you are thinking ahead by presenting new ideas to them before they ask/think of them themselves.

It also means making your contact there look good, so providing whatever info you can to show that they are being effective gives them tools to go to their boss and look good (and in turn like you more).

Most important of all, you need ridiculously acute attention to detail. Every communication that goes to them should be read by you first and you need to be paranoid about perfection.

These are all traits I've observed in account managers I've worked with that I would consider excellent at their jobs.
posted by Elminster24 at 11:03 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

My company and industry doesn't recognize such formal distinctions, but I've done both. Elminster's advice is good. I thnk, particularly toward larger accounts, you should act as much like an extra employee to them as the context permits. I've worked trade shows with clients, attended their more important staff meetings, and so on.

Whatever you do, don't be that guy who calls every 3 weeks right before I go to lunch "to see if I have any projects working," then, if I have a question, says "someone will get back to me."
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:36 AM on April 12, 2011

I am involved in sales churn reduction now. Not knowing what you provide can make it difficult, but it sounds like information services. Feel free to memail me.
posted by parmanparman at 4:40 AM on April 12, 2011

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