What does a farmer do?
A farmer prepares the earth. A farmer ensures that the ground is ready to produce. When the ground is ready, the farmer tills the soil and plants the seeds that will eventually bring a harvest.
When the seeds are planted, the farmer nurtures them, ensuring they get the right nutrients, the right amount of water, and the right pruning. The farmer is in charge of the care and feeding that eventually produces a crop.
You are, even as a farmer, responsible for creating opportunities.
You start by developing the relationships that will be important to winning deals. You are also responsible for planting the seeds of change, creating the case for the client to do something different, something that produces new results. You till the soil. You nurture green sprouts.
The idea of an account manager, or client success manager if you prefer, is to do the work that leads to new opportunities being created and won. That work starts with ensuring that the client captures the value of what you have sold them, and it continues through maximizing their results. It does not, however, end with you becoming a glorified customer service representative.
Because you have greater access than a salesperson, you can get closer to the people that work inside your client account. You can also develop a greater understanding of what your client needs help with and what comes next. This access and these insights allow you to start introducing new ideas–and the new initiatives that create an opportunity for you and your company.
Even though you may not be responsible for managing or winning the opportunity, you are responsible for–and best positioned to– create new opportunities.
If your role is to manage accounts, then manage them so well that you have an absolute right to pitch the next idea, as well as bringing in your team to support you in delivering it.
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Filed under: Sales Acumen