While a lot of the thinking around growth focuses on acquiring new business, there is much to be gained from seeking out operational efficiencies that can drive profit and growth through more positive customer experiences and reallocated resources. In short, one of the best strategies to increase your odds of profitable growth is to ensure you are operating optimally. This applies as much to account management as it does to process and functional management: at Walker’s recent Client Forum in Aptos, CA, I shared two ways to ensure account-level operations are enabling the pursuit of profitable growth.
At the core, it’s about managing the cost to serve accounts: allocating our account management resources appropriately, and then turning newly available resources over to the systematic pursuit of profitable growth.
Quite simply, we need to match the right level of resources to the right customers. I think we would all agree that there are some accounts who are more or less deserving of our resources, but I’m not sure we’d all agree on which accounts are the "mores" and which are the "lesses." Applying an established set of rules to categorize accounts based on elements beyond just their current value (ie, think about the future!) will allow SAM teams to strategically reallocate resources to improve profitability and capitalize on growth opportunities.
Pursuit of Growth
With our resources now allocated appropriately, SAMs are in a position to do two things. First, those assigned to accounts with growth potential can begin actively pursuing any up-sell or cross-sell opportunities. And second, newly freed up resources can be redeployed to pursue new customer acquisition.
So what about your organization? Take a look at your SAM allocation – and if it’s out of balance, make the adjustments that will lead to greater growth.
VP, Strategic Accounts