In this episode of LIG TV, Michael talks of 3 factors that can affect your start up’s ability to grow its key B2B accounts – and gives a great suggestion to deal with the problem.
In B2B, companies sell to accounts not single buyers. Here I discuss the 3 key obstacles to growing your key strategic accounts. By developing an appropriate strategy to overcome these obstacles, you will be able to adjust what you provide them to enable you to continue to maintain and grow these customers.
Hi, I’m Michael Haynes, and welcome to Listen Innovate Grow TV.
In today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about 3 key obstacles to growing your key strategic accounts.
Now by key strategic accounts, I’m talking about those clients and customers of yours that are quite large customers, they represent a significant proportion of your revenue and they represent large opportunities for your SME or startup in terms of being able to have a long term contract, sizeable revenues, and significant opportunities to upscale, to up-sell or cross-sell your products and services.
3 Key Obstacles
Now, there are 3 key obstacles that often prevent you from being able to maximize opportunities that these kinds of accounts can provide.
Obstacle 1: Decision Makers
The first obstacle is the number of decision-makers.
As you acquire these large scale clients and customers, often within these large organisations there are a large number of decision-makers, sometimes up to well over a dozen people who are involved in the decision making process.
Now this means that for all of those people, you’ve got to be making sure that you’re providing them the right kinds of content, you understand what are their priorities, objectives, or their key problems they’re trying to achieve, what perspectives are they coming from, what kinds of information they want to be looking at in terms of making decisions to meet their requirements, so it’s really about trying to identify who those key people are and making sure you’re providing them with the right kinds of information, the right kinds of content, in accordance to what is of importance to them.
Obstacle 2: Digitalisation
The second key obstacle is digitisation.
Now with thanks of the Internet and with all of the information that’s available online, your key customers, your key strategic accounts have lots of options in terms of both accessing information and what are the various alternatives out there for them.
So that makes it quite challenging for you in terms of making sure that you’re able to deliver to what they require.
Obstacle 3: Changing Customers Needs
And the third key obstacle is changing customer needs.
Now, this is a big challenging area for many startups and SMEs in terms of being able to constantly being able to both understand and respond to the changing needs of your business customers because as their end customers are changing their priorities, their needs and requirements, this is then having implications in terms of what your direct key strategic accounts are looking from you.
Overcoming the obstacles with a B2B Customer Plan
So these 3 obstacles can make it quite challenging for you to be able to maximise your opportunities. However the key in being able to take advantage and maximize the opportunities from your key strategic accounts, being able to maintain them and grow them, it’s being very strategic and proactive and a key way of doing so is having what I call the B2B Customer Plan.
The B2B Customer Plan is all about being very proactive in strategically outlining what are going to be your objectives and approaches to acquire, maintain and growing those customers that you’re going after.
Strategic Customer Workshops
Now an effective way to really understand the needs of your business customers, of those strategic accounts, is to have what I call strategic customer workshops.
Strategic customer workshops are where you’re meeting with your key strategic accounts, I’d suggest maybe 2-3 times a year, and maybe you’re having workshops with them and it’s all about bringing together an understanding of where those key strategic accounts are at, what are their key issues, concerns, upcoming priorities that they have so that you can really understand what’s going on with them and so that you can modify and adjust what you’re providing in terms of your products and services and support so that you’re continually meeting their requirements and their needs.
Each strategic customer workshop that you conduct can be a great input into your B2B customer plan so that you’re constantly and continually making sure that you’re meeting the needs of where your customers are going.
For templates as well as further information, as to how you can build your B2B customer plan as well as strategic customer workshops, please go to my website, www.listeninnovategrow.com.
Until next time, I’m Michael Haynes.
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