Sales POP - Purveyors of Propserity
Sales Management: Keeping That Customer—It’s Called Account Management
Blog / Sales Management / May 24, 2016 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 5824

Sales Management: Keeping That Customer—It’s Called Account Management

In our continuing series on the pain points of sales management, we have explored the pain categories of sales management, the primary pain point of being a sales manager, the technology that sales management really needs, the vital subject of management, and specific pain points of sales management at a new company (part 1 and part 2 ). Then we took up a very crucial subject for sales management: sales forecasting, and went onto that which a sales force cannot do without: a lead machine

Now let’s look at that another very vital subject for sales management: account management.

A question which any smart business person is going to ask after closing that first sale is: How can I keep that customer now that I have them?

The answers to that question all fall into account management. Account management means that set of activities required to keep your customers once they have bought from you. You want them to purchase other of your products, keep coming back to your store, stay with your brand, and the like. Account management is a very sound investment for a company because, as we all know, selling to existing customers is far more cost-effective than pursuing and selling to a new customer.

Software as a Service

As with the last article, I want to stick with the industry which I am in, along with many of my prospects and customers: Software as a Service (SaaS). In SaaS, account management means only one thing: keeping your customers subscribed.

In SaaS, you need a full set of metrics with which to track customers, predict your revenue, and predict any changes in your customer base. You need to know, at any time, how many customers you have, how many licenses are owned by each, your Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), and your churn rate—the percentage of your customers that you lose. Other metrics might be average total sales and average sales price.

You’ll want to evolve and use as many indicators as takes to provide the whole picture, and alert you immediately to any changes, positive or negative, in your customer base so action can be taken. We employ close to 50 metrics for this purpose.

Customer Success Manager

A new job title has been created in the last few years, within my company as well as many others: Customer Success Manager. It is the total responsibility of the Customer Success Manager to keep customers happy and succeed with our product.

The Customer Success Manager’s primary guide is the set of of account management metrics we covered above. The Customer Success Manager uses these to be alert to any customer that is a risk factor. The risk factor is, of course, the customer not renewing.

Some examples of the indicators we watch for: is the customer using fewer licenses than they have purchased? Owned yet unassigned licenses will most likely not be renewed. Or, is the customer actually using Pipeliner, creating opportunities, leads, accounts and contacts? If the answer is “no” they’re also not likely to renew. We actually have an alert system that informs us when someone has stopped using our software. We can then contact that customer and inquire into the issue.

Some companies get bought out, change industries, or fail altogether. So there’s no getting around the fact that you will lose some customers. The idea, though, is to keep your churn rate as low as possible.

CRM and Account Management

Many companies today have an entirely different process for existing customers than they do for regular sales. Such a process includes stages and tasks designed to consistently keep the customer happy. Where applicable, the customer can be moved up to the point of being ready to purchase another of your products or services.

This kind of account management is directly influenced by your choice of CRM. Not only is Pipeliner CRM extremely customizable to your account management process, but allows for multiple processes so you can have as many separate processes as you need for handling different types of prospects or customers. All of these processes rely on a single database, so that you can move accounts intact from one process to another, when required.

Quick Ratio

Account management can have an enormous impact for a company trying to attract investors. Investors actually use a particular ratio to evaluate SaaS companies, and a company can use it themselves to get a fast look at how they are doing. It is called, appropriately enough, the Quick Ratio:

Quick Ratio =

New MRR + Upsells
Cancelled MRR + Contractions

When investors calculate this figure, they utilize a benchmark of 4. If a company averages 4x as much added MRR as lost MRR, that company is strongly considered for investment. The higher the number, the better.

However you go about it, remember than in today’s networked society account management is extremely important. A happy customer singing your praises can be heard throughout the world via the internet. The same is true for an unhappy customer. So make sure you make great account management a top priority.

Pipeliner is the perfect CRM for tracking account management. Try it today.

About Author

CEO and partner of and the uptime ITechnologies, which I founded in 1994 and has since played a significant role in the development of the IT-environment. pipeliner is the most innovative sales CRM management solution on the market. Pipeliner was designed by sales professionals for sales professionals and helps close the gap between the requirements of C-level executives for transparency and the day-to-day operational needs of field and inside sales. I am also the founder and Initiator of the independent economic platform GO-AHEAD!, which orientates itself on the principles of a free marketplace in terms of liberal and social responsibility. Connecting people, the trust of business leadership in terms of values such as freedom, self-responsibility, and entrepreneurial spirit, and strengthening their awareness in order to create a dynamic boost within the economy triggered through spontaneity, all stand for the initial ideas surrounding GO-AHEAD! I studied in Los Angeles and Vienna and received my Masters's Degree in 1994. I am married and have 3 children My Specialties are in: Sales Management, Sales CRM Software, CRM Cloud Solutions, SAAS, Business Strategy, Software Development, "Pipeline Management", Social responsibility, outbound sales, b2b sales, inside sales, sales strategy, lead generation, sales process, entrepreneurship, coaching, mentoring, speaker, opportunity management, lead management, Austrian School of Economics

Author's Publications on Amazon

This is a practical manual covering the vital subject of Sales Management. I firmly believe that sales are the most important profession for dealing with today’s turbulent world and Econo my, for salespeople create wealth and produce peace. But salespeople need a competent, stable leader—and…
Buy on Amazon
Inside this eBook, you’ll discover a series of chapters dedicated to some of the most important areas facing sales today. From the sales process definition to measurement, lead generation, and proven sales techniques, this comprehensive eBook will provide you with the information you need to…
Buy on Amazon
A common term in sales today is EQ, which stands for “emotional I.Q.” It means the skill a salesperson has in reading emotions and utilizing them in sales. It means empathy and a number of other abilities. The short version is, it’s an I.Q. when…
Buy on Amazon
People are smart to question the future of automation, for it has become part of everything we do. With the quantity of applications and technology around us, we yet still crave more. We become convinced of its power when our package is delivered from Amazon…
Buy on Amazon
Sales management isn’t a simple subject by any means. But at the same time, it does have some basic and somewhat simple fundamentals—and that is what we are bringing to you with this book. First come pain points of sales management, and how to overcome…
Buy on Amazon
Today the Internet has transformed a seller's market into a buyer's market and author Nikolaus Kimla states that the role of sales has never been more crucial. It is now time to give salespeople the role they factually can play: entrepreneurs within the enterprise. They…
Buy on Amazon
This is our public declaration of the intentions behind Pipeliner, and our objectives and motives for the product and for our company. Behind the development of that CRM application and, in fact, behind everything we do, we have a real cause. The story begins with…
Buy on Amazon
For the future, there must be a perfect balance of humans and technology. You have to have the perfect technology, andthen the perfect human being in application, performance and presentation. Today and into the future, it’s a 50-50 balance. In the past it was perhaps…
Buy on Amazon
The salespreneur is based on the concept of the entrepreneur. Before we can explain the salespreneur, you have to have some understanding of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur plays a crucial role in any economic system. The entrepreneur seeks out information that can be utilized for…
Buy on Amazon
A seasoned captain would never leave port without a competent navigator. In a similar way, a sales manager might be a total ace at "commanding the ship" – at inspiring and coaching sales reps, pointing out and getting agreement on making quotas, and keeping everyone's…
Buy on Amazon
Sales Process Automation
This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. For information on cookies and how you can disable them, visit our privacy and cookie policy.