10 Account Manager Guidelines for SaaS Enterprise Sales

10 Account Manager Guidelines for SaaS Enterprise Sales

I created the following list early in my career for use by a SaaS enterprise account management team that was young, unpracticed and ready to learn, because of this, deadlines would be missed, clients would be confused, teams would point fingers and much more; all leading broken relationships (internally and externally) and countless sales opportunities were missed.

The list was designed to establish guidelines for these new account managers selling SaaS enterprise software but can be used in countless other situations.

Many, if not all, on this list, may seem obvious to you and not worth sharing, but remember what is obvious to you may not be obvious to all. We are all different and have different experiences, and this was an unseasoned team.

There’s also a damaging trend in many professional relationships based on “they should already know this” and people never talking about what “this” is.

One of the fastest ways to lose credibility is to expect people to be mind readers and then getting mad at them for not reading your mind. Sharing your expectations, and sharing them earlier on, allows you to curve issues before they happen and to easily and rightfully address any issues if they do happen.

First, some basics:

What is SaaS Account Management?

SaaS stands for “software as a service.” SaaS account management is the process of managing the customer’s relationship with the software service, as well as any trials or signups the customer may have. Account managers may find themselves with many different responsibilities, such as:
  • Updating the customer’s account
  • Troubleshooting any issues the customer may be having
  • Tracking the customer’s data usage

What does an account manager do for an SaaS company?

In short, account managers help SaaS companies close and maintain deals (contracts with clients/customers). The salesperson is the one who lands the company’s client and the one who secures the company’s initial contracts. The account manager is the one who works with the company’s most valued clients once they’re already signed for an initial agreement. Account managers are one of the most important people in a SaaS company, and the account manager position is the one that shapes the future of the business. They are the ones who make sure clients are happy and satisfied with the services and products they are receiving.

10 Account Manager Guidelines for SaaS Enterprise Sales – Infographic:

10 Account Manager Guidelines for SaaS Enterprise Sales Infographic
10 Account Manager Guidelines for SaaS Enterprise Sales Infographic

10 Account Manager Guidelines for SaaS Enterprise Sales – Full Overview:

  1. Is a trusted advisor
    1. Note 1: When conducting a meeting, reviewing a new product, presenting a deck, and so on, always share your point of view (POV) with the client. Share your thoughts with them.
    2. Note 2: You are an expert. The client is paying for your knowledge as well as the software. Share your knowledge with them to guide them.
    3. Note 3: “It is up to you” is not a phrase that exists when talking to a client, if they are asking you what they should do.
  2. Is ready to support as needed
    1. Note 1: We are all a team and are here to support one another.
    2. Note 2: Be proactive and reactive.
    3. Note 3: “This is not my job” is not a phrase that exists.
  3. Is responsible for notes/meeting minutes
    1. Note 1: If you are in a meeting, take notes or ensure a colleague is taking notes. If you are not present at a meeting you are responsible for, please assign someone to take and share notes.
  4. Always ensures notes are shared via Sales CRM (CRM)
    1. Note 1: All notes should be in CRM with action items for each person involved. Please ensure people are tagged as needed.

  5. Does not ever assume something is happening
    1. Note 1: Just because you asked for XYZ to be completed by X, it does not mean that it is getting done. Please follow-up and establish checkpoints to ensure work is being worked on.
    2. Note 2: Do not assume a client knows something. Explain to them as many times as needed, in as many ways as needed.
  6. Always follows up with people (internal/external)
    1. Note 1: Related to #3. Follow-up as needed with clients and colleagues.
  7. Ensures internal teams are ready for meetings
    1. Note 1: If you have colleagues in a meeting, ensure they understand the agenda and the roles they play in meetings and what they are responsible for. This can be as granular as defining who is taking care of the introductions.
  8. Does not argue with colleagues in front of a client
    1. Note 1: We are a team. We need to be a unified force. If one person fails or looks bad, we all look bad.
    2. Note 2: You are always encouraged to speak your mind, share ideas and help make things the very best they can be, even if that means a little friction. This pertains to how something is said and handled, not what is said.
    3. Note 3: If you disagree with a colleague or a point being made is offbase, please speak up but be sure not to argue or go on with an aggressive debate, handle it offline: regroup, agree and share one POV with the client.
  9. Does not embarrass colleagues in front of a client
    1. Note 1: Related to #6

  10. Is proactive; does not wait to be asked
    1. Note 1: If you see something that needs to get done internally or externally, do not wait to be asked. Jump on the task.
    2. Note 2: If unsure, inform others; you do not want to lose any time.

This list is only part of any puzzle, this list should be supplemented with further training, explanation, context and so on. Number eight (Does not argue with colleagues in front of a client) is one that you will particularly need to spend more time explaining and showing examples because it can be vague and you don’t want people to shut down.

Thru the years I’ve added and optimizes this list and also adapted it for different situations. Of course, it can always get better.

What would you add to this list? Comment below.

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Also published on Medium.