One of our first sports-industry clients was the Orlando Magic. They were a true leading-edge organization in the early 2000s when it came to dedicating resources to season ticket holder retention. They didn’t make customer service, relationship-development, and renewals simply a function of the Sales department. They broke it out separately, developed its own team, created its own plans, and metrics, and became a model for others in the NBA.
One engagement we had with the Magic focused on conducting a Fast-track Evaluation of each Account Representative, and offering them guidance on how to improve. It was essentially a 1-on-1 analysis of strengths and opportunities.
I bring this up because sometimes businesses want to operationalize their retention and growth strategies, just like the Magic, but to operationalize, we have to make sure we’re equipping our staff with what they need to be successful. So here were some of our points of evaluation of the representatives:
- What was the size and composition of their account base?
- With how many accounts did they have a rapport/relationship?
- What was their approach to developing relationships?
- How (and how frequently) do they conduct proactive touch points with accounts?
- How (and how quickly) do they resolve issues?
- What’s their proficiency with account management processes and systems?
- How do they efficiently stay engaged with accounts?
- How do they learn why those accounts signed on with the Magic and continue to stay, and how do representatives act on that information?
- How do they uncover growth opportunities with the account, and how do they act on those opportunities?
- What are the representative’s goals, and what are their plans to achieve their goals?
These questions address goals, scope/scale of work, and operational efficiencies. But they also get at the core of how representatives develop, manage, and grow relationships.
To grow with current customers in 2021 as an organization, ensure representatives know how to grow their portfolios of accounts as individuals.