Account executives (AEs) are an integral part of your sales team. Their focus is on your most important asset: the client. Closing sales is no easy feat. You have millions of potential leads out there, which can seem like a daunting feat. However, that also means that you have millions of opportunities to close sales and drive business. Using your account executives to the best of their abilities is the key.
Account executives are the “people” people of your sales team. They manage relationships and accounts. They build strong communication and collaboration and create a sense of trust. They’re also responsible for making sure that all the pain points or needs of the customer are addressed properly by suggesting the relevant product or service.
Sales and business development reps (SDRs and BDRs) often create friction with account executives, but when you create a strong architecture within the organization and everyone knows their role, you can ensure they all work together like a well-oiled machine. If you’re ready to give your sales reps a hand, find out how using your AEs to their maximum potential can help you close more sales.
The best way to close more sales is to be consistent. That includes the processes that you use to get the sales, as well as the way that you manage customer relationships. Your account executives will work much better when you have standard processes and best practices in place because there will never be a question of what’s expected of them.
When everyone is following the same process, you will also get better results with customer retention and fewer issues with miscommunications throughout the sales funnel. It will ensure that your internal account execs deliver the best impression while providing the solutions people need. Make sure you have time for the processes you put in place, too.
Since your account executives are focused on relationships, it makes sense to drive the development of those relationships as part of the sales process. Customers expect long-term relationships and they want an AE that is ready to settle in for the long haul. All of your AEs should get regular training on their account-building and communication skills to ensure that they’re at their best.
Don’t just talk to people, and worse yet, don’t talk at people. The best thing that your AEs can do to cultivate strong relationships is to listen. Listen to the pain points, concerns, and desires of the customer. Listen to what they’ve already done, why they’ve come to you, and what they’re not saying. That can help you in more ways than you realize.
Leave the cold leads to the sales team and the prospectors. Warm leads are for the AEs in your organization. These are prospects that have been referred to the business or who have previously engaged with the company, even if it was only once a few years ago. A warm lead takes a unique touch when compared to other types of leads.
You can’t bother them with an outright sales pitch. They already know who you are and what you do. They may not have a pressing need for your product/service at this exact moment, but they might become a buyer eventually. Train your AEs to cultivate relationships where they can remind warm leads that you exist through various communications and efforts.
Sales metrics aren’t just for managers. Your BDRs, SDRs, and AEs all need to know how analytics and metrics work. Otherwise, telling them that “sales are down five percent” or “new business is up by $4,000 this month” doesn’t really mean much because it’s static information. Make sure that everyone on the team knows how to monitor analytics, which ones to watch, and how to use them to convert more sales.
When everyone is engaged with metrics, it’s easier for them to understand their role, as well as the importance of closing sales and building long-term relationships. It gives people accountability and helps them take ownership of their position, which is essential for any successful AE.
Even though your business development and sales development reps have different roles than your account execs, they’re all a part of the sales cycle. Therefore, their jobs should be intertwined and they should have open lines of feedback and communication surrounding all the day-to-day processes. If your AEs aren’t talking to your sales reps or your marketing teams, they might be missing out on valuable information.
What’s worse is that you could end up repeating information or solutions to a customer, which lets them know that you’re not all on the same page. That’s a bad look for any business. Ensure that your sales strategy includes plenty of communication and collaboration between all of your key employees and teams.
This is the primary goal of the AE, but it bears mentioning nonetheless. Too often, sales reps and AEs worry about what they need from a sales call instead of focusing on what the customer needs. Discovery calls are all about finding out what people need, how you can help, and then relaying that to the prospect. It is your only chance to make a good first impression and it’s critical that you get it right the first time.
Make sure that your AEs do everything with the customer in mind, from start to finish, and your close rates will start to increase in no time.
At Smith.ai, we know you have a lot on your plate. Managing your AEs and other members of your team is the least of it. That’s why we want to help reduce the workload. Partner with our virtual receptionists and you’ll have a 24/7 answering service at your disposal, along with support for lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even your outreach campaigns to drum up leads in the first place.