It’s almost impossible to have a realistic playbook for managing the growth of certain accounts. Whether you’re scaling up or down, the changes can be unpredictable and may disrupt your traditional processes.
Finding a new routine will take time, effort, and possibly additional resources. As an account manager, you have tremendous pressure to keep clients happy and continue to be proactive in their business as you scale your services and support their business growth. It is a delicate balancing act which can drive you mad. And having to juggle all of these responsibilities may cause you to drop the ball at some of the most crucial times. However, below are a few tips to help you manage the process of strategically scaling your accounts.
Prioritize the day
Your working hours are limited, so use them wisely.
One handy piece of advice would be to start mapping out your time almost down to the minute and assigning numbers to accounts that correspond to their level of importance.
This does not mean neglecting smaller accounts. Falling into a lazy routine with these accounts can cause you to miss opportunities to grow their revenue (and thus your own earnings) or to lose customers altogether.
Restructure your work
Account managers have an ever-increasing list of responsibilities. The top performers have seen success when they delegate some of their work out.
For example, if you need to concentrate more on the relationship side of the accounts, then you can utilize another employee who might be better at project management. There is no adjusting to this change without experimentation, but the experimentation phase will be a critical time. Confusion or mistakes coupled with changes will make clients understandably nervous about their future. And because a business will always need to be ready to adapt, a high priority must be placed on how to work out the kinks to develop new systems and processes for dealing with problems.
Scale down select accounts
Don’t discount the process of scaling a business down or firing yourself from an account entirely.
By shrinking the scope of certain work arrangements, you free up time to allow you to either seek new business or strategically scale higher-potential accounts. At the same time, you will want to avoid over-servicing accounts just because your schedule is more flexible as the enthusiasm may be off-putting to a client.
As a business expands, so do the layers of bureaucracy.
So, when you read news about one of your clients hitting a revenue milestone or getting a new round of financing, it may be the perfect time to initiate discussions about scaling your services with them. However, this must be done skillfully as growth can be both an exciting and tumultuous time for workers.
Though your contacts may have bigger budgets to purchase your products and recruit your services, they may need to start seeking additional approval from their supervisors and managers. When you deliver your first sales pitch, gather information about who the other decision makers may be and figure out what you can do to get their buy-in as well.
Insist on a progressive timeline
It’s a big shock to the system if anyone jumps from spending $200 a month to $2,000, even when it is clear that doing so would be a wise investment. To help ease your clients into an aggressive spending spree, suggest slow increases to their budget over time. That way, they can go from spending $200 this month to $500 next month, $1,000 the month after, and finally $2,000 a month after 60 to 90 days.
This can alleviate a client’s anxiety as it mitigates their risk and gives you the opportunity to prove that they are making the right investment by purchasing your product or recruiting your services.