Account Management Coverage

Account Management Coverage

What type of account manager are you? Is it something you’ve thought about? Account management coverage is a bit like a pyramid. Very large and important customer accounts are few and far between. Each account might have a number of people, a whole team in fact – looking after it, each of whom may take a specialist role. This is the n:1 approach, where the left side of the colon is the vendor or supplier, and the right side is the customer or buyer.

When I worked in sales effectiveness and sales training, I heard of one lady who was responsible for a team managing an account in the US pharma industry worth $10bn per year. That account was twice the size of the US sales effectiveness and sales training industry.

Some businesses work with large accounts, but they’re of a size where one dedicated account manager can serve that account himself or herself, full time. This is the 1:1 relationship.

Then there’s the other accounts which make up the vast majority of business. These accounts are sufficiently small that 1 person can manage them as a portfolio of multiple accounts. Sometimes this means 5 accounts, and sometimes it can be as high as 500. It depends on how strategic or tactical the accounts are, and how proactive or reactive your approach is. This, as you might have guessed, is 1:n account management and it probably accounts for most of the account management roles that people fulfil.

It’s important to think abut account management coverage this way because it helps identify the priorities that govern your company’s business, your time and your focus.