I do my own weeding and that "hobby" takes up a lot of my free time. Weeding is like playing the arcade game wack-a-mole where you pull the weed, use a weed wacker, or poison the weed on Monday and two more weeds appear in its place on Tuesday.
If you think about territory sales or sales into a specific vertical, reps should be calling on the same customers and prospects all the time. The key similarity is that both groups of salespeople have a limited number of prospects, as defined by geography or need, and therefore must continue calling on those prospects until they are sold. But then what? If a rep is selling consumables and/or supplies of some kind, they'll continue calling on those customers who buy. But what if they aren't selling consumables? What if the purchases are much more infrequent, as in many months or even years apart?
That's the problem I'm writing about today.
The salesperson finally closed that customer for an infrequent purchase and now they don't have to try so hard. But the salesperson's competitors didn't close the sale so they are still calling on that prospect, your customer, trying to take away the business, or get the next sale, or be there when something goes wrong. In this case, your competitors are just like my weeds in that they simply keep showing up no matter what we do!
So if this is your customer, and you stop trying so hard because you finally sold them, but your competitor continues calling, appearing, adding value, being there, developing a relationship, trying really hard and then something does go wrong, who will get the next order? You? I'm afraid not. And exposes the challenge that role specialization is supposed to solve - but doesn't - and that's account churn.
Moving a new account to an account manager allows the salesperson to look for additional new customers and get them sold too. That's Great! But as a group, account managers generally add little value, aren't strategic enough to fend off the competition, and aren't the ones getting the call when something goes wrong. Those calls go to customer service and we all know what happens when you have to reach out to customer service these days. Most customer service teams (unlike our team of CSR's at OMG who are awesome!) are unresponsive, don't listen, can't fix anything, and seem to hate their customers. If your customer, who is already upset, reaches out to your customer service team, what will happen? At the end of the call, will your customer fall in love with your company all over again, or despise your company?
The secret to churn prevention is fantastic customer service, not dedicated account managers!
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