By Amin Akbarpour
For the Customer Success representative who finds themselves on the road constantly, it’s easy to get lost in balancing client-facing activities, administrative work, and internal projects. We can’t always control the administrative tasks that are required in our jobs or internal projects that we need to drive, but we can manage how we spend our time with clients. I was recently inspired by this when a client mentioned during an onsite that it felt like they had to be our only client. I asked why they felt that way and their response was, “I feel like we’re constantly communicating with you, and not a day goes by without us getting something done on our checklist.” That response can be interpreted in a number of ways, but it made me think about how I’m balancing my time and energy across my book of business. Here are some ideas on how to best spend your time:
One way of organizing your book is by examining your current account list by the quality of the logo. Some questions to ask are:
Is it a Fortune 1000 company?
Are they a growing and emerging organization?
Have they won any accolades or received any public recognition?
Are they part of a strategic initiative that aligned with your company’s goals and objectives?
These are all questions you can award a point system to and figure out which accounts in your book should be higher priority vs. lower priority.
Consider filtering your book by the relationship with your contacts. A few things to ask yourself are:
What’s our relationship at an executive level? Is our CEO friends with their CEO?
Do we share any common investors or board members?
Has the client been an advocate of ours or done a slew of marketing projects with us (references, quotes, events)?
Do we have a strong relationship with the day-to-day contacts and working teams?
The stronger the relationship, the higher you should prioritize the account.
This one is the most obvious – what is their current annual contract value with your organization? Within this, I would also bake in a second number for “potential.” If they’re a client that’s in an industry you specialize in or they have a lot of programs you’ve identified as areas of opportunity, then declare that. I find the best thing to do is to estimate what that potential revenue looks like and assign it as a secondary value to the current agreement.
Ultimately, using these methods, you can develop a tiered ranking system of your accounts. From there you can organize your day and cut up time slots for your tier ones, tier twos, and so on. This will help you balance time and get the most out of your daily outreach. Please do not misinterpret this approach as an opportunity to ignore, or not give your best, to certain clients. It should serve as a framework for organizing your time and nothing more. As Customer Success professionals, we owe it to ourselves and the organizations we represent to provide the best service to each and every single one of our clients.
The Success League is a customer success consulting firm that offers an upcoming Key Topics in Customer Success CSM training program which includes such classes as Managing Your Portfolio and Time Management for CSMs. For more information on this program and our other classes and workshops, please visit TheSuccessLeague.io
Amin Akbarpour - Amin is a customer success coach and architect. With relationship-building at the core of his practice, he molds teams by instilling the necessary principles to transform them into trusted advisors. Amin is one of the founding advisors to The Success League and currently serves as an account manager for Persado. Amin is a University of San Francisco alum who now calls New York City home.