Updated: Jun 8
How much money is your professional service firm spending month after month to acquire new clients? Is it time for a different approach – one that can maximize your ROI? Account expansion could be exactly what your organization needs to focus on to achieve higher profits and more satisfied customers. A review of your current approach, a growth culture, and sales consulting can all help you achieve your goals.
What Is Account Expansion?
Account expansion, also known as account management or account development, is the idea of generating profits through your current client base. As a firm grows, they must be both more strategic with their service offerings as well as spending less time (and money) going after new clients. Focusing instead on account expansion could be exactly what a business needs to achieve growth. A few examples of account expansion include upselling, cross selling, bundling, or integrating services.
Why Should You Focus More on Account Expansion as Your Firm Grows?
There’s no doubt that selling more to your existing customers will improve your ROI. Just increasing customer retention rates by 5%, for example, can lead to profit increases of 25% to 95%. It’s likely that 65% of your sales are already coming from existing customers, and you’re much more likely to sell to an existing client than a new one (60-70% vs 5-20%), especially since your current clients trust and know your firm.
It’s also important to note that bundling your services makes it more difficult for your clients to go elsewhere, and you’ll have the opportunity to use a blended fee model (including retainer-based work). All of this can lead to better, more predictable, recurring revenue.
How Can You Pivot to Account Expansion?
Sadly, you can’t dive straight into account expansion without a game plan.
Review Your Existing Accounts
This is the time to be reviewing your existing accounts. Where does the profitability lie? Do you have problem-solution fits that your team overlooked? Is there anywhere value can be added? Tier your customer accounts so your team knows where and what to focus on. Account development plans will absolutely come in handy.
Your organization should be ensuring that strong relationships are being fostered with every one of your clients. You shouldn’t be uncommunicative as soon as you’ve made the up sale but instead offer stand-out customer experiences every step of the way.
Understand What You Have and What You Can Offer
It all begins with research and understanding. This means going over market intelligence, client data, strategic business goals, and reviewing what you currently offer to your clients, as well as how it is presented to them.
Your firm should also take the time to identify what solutions you could solve for your clients. Ask your customers what problems they’re facing that are related to your professional services. You’ll likely identify problems your firm can solve and start to offer a service for. Your organization should be ahead of the emerging needs of your audience.
Upsell, Cross Sell, and Bundle
Once research is in hand, it’s time to develop plans that work to solve your customers problems while delivering increased revenue for your organization. Think about unique offers, packages, complementary services, and other value that could open the door to these new agreements. And your team should be ready to show your clients just how they stand to benefit by these additional solutions. If the customer can save money, time, resources, or effort, you should be able to prove that with quantitative facts.
Foster a Growth Culture
Of course, you can’t achieve these goals without a team that understands how to upsell and cross sell to your service, or one that lacks incentive to do so. Brainstorming with your team to develop new areas of opportunities is a great idea, but you should also be focusing more on communication and less on silos, offering incentives to your employees, training your team members on efficient sales processes, and providing networking opportunities. In addition, your professional services firm may want to switch to a model where a tier of sellers only handles a few accounts and their growth.
Timing Is Everything
Offering a new bundled deal or trying to upsell at the wrong moment can result in a “no” from your clients. Timing is really everything when it comes to account expansion. You’ll want to understand your client’s budget, when they’re aiming to spend, when they’re aiming to save, and the problems they’re currently facing to pick the right opportunities for your offerings.
However, that doesn’t mean you should wait to complete your firm’s account expansion game plan. Building your capabilities for growth now will pay off in the long run. It’s an upfront investment that takes time to develop, and you will absolutely see the fruit of your efforts.
Sales Consulting Can Help You With Account Expansion
Completing an account expansion plan can take time and effort – it can be difficult to know where to start. We offer Sales Consulting services that help you achieve your goals, retain more clients, and save you money on client acquisition.
Get in touch with us to see how we can assist you with sales consulting and account expansion.