By Ashley Hall
Next up in my account planning blog series, we’re talking about how to ensure you can keep your account plans up-to-date and valuable. After initiating account plans with your sales team and building an excellent template over time, the last thing to do is ensure you're revisiting them with important updates.
Momentous Changes, Not the Day-to-Day
Don’t pressure yourself for constant updates. Your account plans are not a place to track every call note and detail. Account plans are designed to highlight the large themes and objectives of a client relationship. More than likely, these aren’t changing on a month-to-month basis, but are longer-term (think, quarterly or semi-annual). Set a reminder for each account every quarter to make your update - and stagger your reminders so you don’t get overwhelmed with too many at once.
Protect your Calendar
Customer success professionals are great empathizers and always ready to help! This can wreak havoc on your calendar if you’re always willing to drop everything for internal or external requests. Be sure to block times on your calendar where you truly shut everything off (email, social, Slack) and update your account plans. Monthly or quarterly sessions (depending on your book of business) are a great start. Sit down for an hour in a quiet space and review your accounts, do your research, and make note of major changes that will help you progress the relationship forward. It may feel uncomfortable at first to be offline for an hour, but you’ll have compiled important, proactive insights and all those requests will still be waiting for you next hour.
Hold Yourself and Your Team Accountable
Teamwork makes the dreamwork. Book regular working lunches where you update account plans together. Another idea is to present a few account plans in your team meetings, everyone presents one or you rotate a person per meeting that presents on an account of their choice. Getting another set of eyes on your relationship can help you see themes that maybe you’ve missed and your peer’s questions and insights will ultimately help the whole team and most importantly, your client! Account plans can also protect your time internally when other teams have questions about clients. Always ask the person that is coming to you with the request to check out the account plan first, before you meet about the client.
Great work for taking the time to set up an invaluable account planning system. You’d be surprised how much these proactive plans can support a flourishing customer relationship. Taking the time to plan for them, outside of meetings, shows your investment in their success.
Want to add more tools to your Customer Success toolkit? The Success League is a customer success consulting firm that offers a CSM Certification Program. The classes in this program will help you learn how to deliver positive and measurable client outcomes as a Customer Success professional. For more information on this program and our other offerings, please visit TheSuccessLeague.io
Ashley Hall - Ashley loves to lead account management and success teams; from training newbies to building processes out of chaos. Ashley is one of the founding advisors to The Success League, and serves as a regular instructor for the company's CSM Training Program. She is a Director of Customer Success at Stackla, and brings her work experiences to her articles and classes. Ashley holds a BA from the University of Colorado, lives in San Francisco, and enjoys global travel.