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Account Management – But Not As We Know It!

In my role I speak with many people who run businesses of all shapes and sizes, across a wide range of market sectors and who have a complete spectrum of needs when it comes to business requirements and solutions.

When it comes to Account Management, unsurprisingly, all customers want a personal level of service and not a “one size fits all” approach. That’s fine we can do that, however we also find certain customers want the personal service but doesn’t want a salesperson managing the relationship. When you ask why, the answer is usually, as one such customer put it to me, “in my experience the only time you hear from a sales account manager is when they want to sell you something”!

The job of a good Account Manager is to manage the relationship, become a trusted advisor and ensure the customer enjoys the highest levels of care and service; and yes, as part of that they will end up selling products and services. However, the sale should be the result of something that has been worked on between both parties, discussed, planned and agreed. Therein lies the difference between an Account Manager who works collaboratively with the customer and a “Salesman” who is looking to monetise an account for commercial gain, small wonder some customers don’t want an Account Manager that is a “Salesman”.

We take this on board at Touchstone, and we offer a different approach. Many of our customers are looked after by our Customer Success Team (CST), this is a team of highly experienced and skilled support and customer service staff. Their job is to engage with our customers as that trusted advisor, helping them with business issues centred around the software we provide and offering advice and counsel. These are people who are not incentivised to hit monetary targets, their target is quality of service and ensuring customer retention. Of course the commercials have to come into play when products or services are sold, but only at that point will the sales team step in, and following the lead of the CST rather than leading the charge.

We firmly believe this is a formula that works, as a result, our CST has grown over the past couple of years while our Sales team headcount remains static. It is also a differentiator between us and our competitors in the market, and one which we have been complimented on by many of our recently acquired or transferred customers.

If this is an approach that you feel you would prefer to work with, you can contact our CST here.

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