As an IT professional services firm, having a well-designed account management plan is crucial for building strong relationships with clients, preventing costly losses, and maximizing long-term profits. In this article, we’ll explore four best practices for building effective account management plans that can help IT professional services firms achieve these goals.
1. Assign a Dedicated Account Manager or Project Manager
The transition from sales to account management is a critical step in strategic account management. By assigning a dedicated account manager or project manager, you can ensure that your clients receive the attention and care they need. The account manager or project manager should be responsible for building rapport, finding opportunities, and collaborating with stakeholders and sponsors crucial to your long-term success.
Having a dedicated point of contact can help clients feel valued and attended to, leading to more business and stronger relationships. This person can also act as an advocate for the client’s needs within your organization, making sure that they receive the best possible service.
2. Identify Key Relationships in Your Client’s Company
To build effective account management plans, it’s crucial to know the key relationships within your client’s company. These relationships include sponsors, advocates, budget holders, enemies, and gatekeepers. By identifying and nurturing these relationships, you can gain a better understanding of the client’s needs and goals, as well as their decision-making process.
Ignoring these key relationships can put you at risk of losing out to more sophisticated competitors. However, it’s also essential to maintain healthy margins, as bad service can lead to a deteriorating relationship. By identifying and prioritizing the key relationships in your client’s company, you can strike a balance between building strong relationships and maintaining profitability.
3. Focus on Building More Advocates in Your Client’s Company
Building relationships with senior-level executives is crucial to your long-term success. These executives are often the decision-makers for major projects and can serve as powerful advocates for your services. By emphasizing the benefits of your services and ROI, you can build more advocates in your client’s company, leading to more work down the line.
To build these relationships, you need to understand the senior executives’ goals and priorities, as well as their communication style and preferred methods of engagement. You should also focus on delivering exceptional service and results to earn their trust and respect.
4. Act Now by Drafting a Strategic Plan and Proposal
The final step in building an effective account management plan is to act now. By assessing your client’s needs, finding strategic opportunities, and networking with the right people, you can improve your chances of growth. Drafting a strategic plan and proposal can also help to clarify your goals and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Your strategic plan should include a clear vision for the client’s success, as well as specific actions and metrics to measure progress. Your proposal should be tailored to the client’s needs and goals, outlining how your services can help them achieve their objectives.
In conclusion, building effective account management plans is crucial for IT professional services firms. By assigning a dedicated account manager, identifying key relationships, building more advocates, and acting now, you can ensure long-term success and profitability. These best practices can help you build strong relationships with your clients, prevent costly losses, and maximize long-term profits. If you’re interested in learning more, get in touch with us at Loading Growth!