What is an Account Management Tool?
Account management tools are made to help you get the most out of every sales account you take on by making it easier to:
· Build, manage, and strengthen your relationships with your clients, especially those with the most growth potential.
· Plan and organize your account management process so that it goes well
· Maximize opportunities for mutual gain
Why use account management tools to improve relationships with clients?
The more your clients come to trust and rely on your advice and expertise, the more likely they are to stay with you, spend more money with you, and tell their friends about you.
All of your accounts are important, of course. But figuring out which accounts have the most potential for long-term value (your "key accounts") will lead you to tools that can improve how you manage your accounts.
For instance, as the main link between your business and its customers, you should think about tools that can help you:
· Organize and manage all of your contacts and contracts, both new and old.
· Work well with both your sales team and your clients.
· Plan your business around important and new accounts.
· Help your clients solve their problems so they can achieve their goals
· Check how well goals are met and what the long-term results are
It sounds too good to be true, right?
Don't worry. The seven account management tools we've talked about here will make you a better account manager in no time.
Software for CRM and ABM
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is mostly about sales, while ABM (account-based marketing) software is more about marketing. However, the two types of software often have a lot in common.
In fact, a lot of companies use one or both of these types of platforms to:
· Keep track of their clients and prospects and learn more about them
· Reach out and stay in touch with targeted leads and key accounts
· Set up a strong base for their account management strategy
Basically, the software you choose would be easy to use, work well with common collaboration platforms, and use visuals to help you plan and manage your customer relationships more effectively.
Spreadsheet tools like Excel or Google Sheets may be all you need to keep track of different contacts within the same company, such as individual decision-makers. Their built-in calculation functions can even help you put together sales data for different territories and figure out how much each key account is worth now and how much it could be worth in the future.
Email automation tools
Getting in touch with potential and existing clients and then keeping in touch with them takes a lot of time. Email automation, on the other hand, can be very helpful if you need to:
· Keep new prospects engaged
· Trigger internal follow-up reminders, or
· Keep real relationships with a lot of clients
There are hundreds of automated tools (like Flowlu.com) that can help you create, personalize, and schedule your email communications.
Measures of performance and analysis
Planning your account is a dynamic process. So, it's important to use the right performance metrics to keep track of and make sense of the results of your planning. Flowlu, Canva, Klipfolio, Tableau, and Asana are all examples of KPI measurement tools that can help you evaluate and change your account strategy over time. This makes it easier for you and your clients to get the ROI you're looking for.
Structure and planning for account management depend on how well the team works together and can be seen.
You and your team will handle account management tasks better if, for example, you have:
· A clear list of everything you need to do to stay organized, get things done, and stay on track to achieve your goals.
· The ability to sort, group, and put group and individual tasks in order of importance
· Documents and shared content are easy to get to
Collaboration tools like Flowlu, Google Docs, SharePoint, and OneDrive can help you create, share, and manage the latest documents for:
· Meeting agendas
· Sales decks, proposals, and contracts
· Account for plans and processes
A software like Flowlu.com, on the other hand, not only makes it easier to communicate and work together by integrating well with other apps, but it is also often used as a key tool for managing teams’ tasks.
For successful sales management, it's pretty important to gather and use key information about your accounts. One of the best things about using Flowlu.com is that it puts all of your account information in one place.
By combining mind mapping software with powerful visualization tools, Flowlu is especially good at bringing scattered information together and making it easier to understand. This makes it easier to work with and use your data.
For each key account, for example, you can make a topic or a separate map, and then link the relevant account information right into your map.
Flowlu gives you a lot of account management templates to choose from, such as:
· Diagrams and idea maps for thinking about ideas
· Diagrams and tools for making plans and budgets
· Strategy maps and forms for account planning
Plan templates for account management
Making an account plan is a tried-and-true way to find opportunities, improve your relationships with clients by giving them more value, and ultimately increase your sales. But strategic account management plans are usually only possible with good account management tools.
For example, you need a structure template for account management for:
· Outlining the goals of your most important clients and figuring out what needs to be done to reach them
· Putting these steps into action and measuring the results regularly
· Finding ways to make more money by upselling, cross-selling, adding-on, or making custom solutions
Here's an example of a template that account managers must have if they want to keep track of important information and plan better for account management.
· Set a clear and attainable goal for the account based on what your client wants to do.
· Choose a plan of action, write down the steps you'll take to reach your goal, and decide how you'll know if you've reached it.
· Put important information about your client into one word or a short description, and put that word or description within the main topic. This will be the starting point on your map.
· Put the steps you need to take to reach your goal in order on your map as subtopics with short descriptions.
· Add arrows to show connections between these steps and explain how they could lead to results. Each step you take should bring you closer to your goal. If you've found more than one way to meet your client's goal, you may have more than one way to do it.
· If you need to make a choice along your path, create a shape or highlight around it to draw attention to it. There should be more than one arrow coming out of the campaign plan. Each arrow should represent a different choice and lead to a different result. You should use your favorite KPI tool to evaluate these incremental results.
· Your chart or map should have a final description at the end.
Remember that the Mind Mapping feature lets you create overviews of multiple maps so that you can see all the information you need at a glance.
· Try to keep the planning process for account management simple by sticking to one goal per template (unless you want to evaluate various action plans side-by-side with the help of a swim lane diagram, for example).
· Use pictures and color highlights all over your map to help keep people interested.
· Use your template to write down what you know so far. Then, as you learn more, fill in any gaps as you go.
· Make sure that the metrics you use are important to your client.
· Review and change your plan often to help you move forward.
In a Nutshell
Putting customer satisfaction and retention at the top of your list of priorities and investing in good account management tools like Flowlu.com will help you find the untapped potential behind your results. With the right tools and templates, you can actually make your most valuable customers have a bigger impact on your bottom line while also getting more customers.