How well do your sales and service teams work together?
Team structure + Team interactions = client experience
Three key steps:
- Defining agency-desired client experience
- Developing HPTs | AE/AM Role
- Developing HPTs | Producer Role
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Purpose of this paper: Recognize how the intent of the business should drive the structure and activities of the individuals and teams. In a sales organization, everyone is selling something: Some are selling prospects on why they should become clients. Some are reselling existing clients on why they should remain clients. And some are selling ideas to internal team members.
Sales organizations need to have a very clear picture of how they interact with clients and with each other internally. It’s common for agencies to develop those interactions over the course of many years and create systems out of necessity. However, it’s time to re-think those random interactions and make them all intentional. This starts by defining what experience you want your clients and prospects to have when interacting with your company.
- The client experience is defined by all interactions a person has with your company. Absolutely everything you say and do affects the client experience – it’s the impression they have, the feelings they get about your capabilities, the way they are treated, and ultimately the information and solutions they receive to improve their business.
- Clients are only concerned with results, results that come from having the right people performing the right roles in which they are the most skilled.
- The way clients feel about their interactions with your company will determine their level of satisfaction. This will, in turn, determine whether they continue to do business with you, and whether they will refer other businesses to you.
Create the vision of your ideal client experience. Describe what you want your clients to experience when working with your company. Be sure to gather input from both your producers and account management team on how to structure processes and how to interact with clients to provide the intended experience.
Account Manager Role:
Account Management team has the responsibility, through daily interactions, for reselling existing clients on remaining clients.
The Account Executive/Manager’s primary responsibility is executing on the resell (retention) strategy for all clients in his/her book of business. Acting as the “President” and operational leader of the HPT, he/she carries responsibilities for managing the day-to-day operations of the team, being a client advocate, and ensuring the client experience is executed as laid out in the Strategic Risk/Benefits Plan.
Producer has the responsibility, through daily actions, for selling prospects on becoming clients.
The Producer’s primary responsibility is seeking out and bringing new clients into the agency, and securing the new business with a Strategic Risk or Benefits Plan. He/she also plays an important role in reselling (retaining) his/her current clients, with the significant support of the AE/M playing the primary role of executing on the Strategic Risk/Benefits Plan. Acting as the “CEO” of the HPT, the producer carries responsibilities for being the external face of the team and deferring to the AE/M as the operational leader of the team.
Role Producer plays on the high-performance team:
- Seek out and bring new clients into the agency that fit into his/her and the agency ideal client profile
- Develop Strategic Risk/Benefits Plans for prospects and clients
- Assist the AE/M develop renewal strategies for current clients
- Maintain client relationships, setting and managing strategy
- Communicate regularly and openly with HPT and clients