Dear commercial B2B executives – do you know the true “health condition” of your key accounts?

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KPI/NPS surveys by email are growing in number among B2B companies…

An increasing number of B2B companies engage in different types of customer feedback surveys in order to become more customer oriented. And the possibility of designing automatic survey processes, including do-it-yourself email surveys - combined with instant follow-up by account managers or customer service professionals - have gained quite a lot of attention as these tools are cheap and easy to use. Moreover, the utilization of these survey tools and processes gives top management a sense of being customer oriented and being "on top of the business situation” as they are able to describe the company’s customer performance with one single KPI (E.g total customer satisfaction index, NPS score etc.).

…but fail to deliver in-depth upsell information from each individual key account…

However, while these tools supply excellent input to strategy development and implementation of customer-oriented initiatives for the company as a whole – as well as solving problems among customers who reply to the surveys - they fall short when it comes to uncovering the true “health condition” and upsell potential of each of the company’s most important customers (key accounts).

“If 20 or 30% of your customers reply to your KPI/NPS email surveys you don’t know how your business is really doing!”

…because of low response rates and automated/uninspiring interview procedures.

Typically, key accounts represent the majority of the company’s total profits, making it critical for both account managers and top management to get in-depth feedback on current perceptions of the business relationship and future upsell possibilities from as many key accounts as possible – meaning at least 70-80%. But this doesn’t happen because of the low response rates and uninspiring interview procedures of many email surveys. Therefore, dear commercial executives – be more ambitious when it comes to knowing about the true “health condition” and upsell potential of your key accounts! If 20 or 30% of your customers reply to your KPI/NPS email surveys you don’t know how your business is really doing.

B2B companies should implement high-quality upsell- and feedback procedures targeted at key accounts!

KPI/NPS surveys should be supplemented with specially designed tools and processes for strengthening relationships and uncovering upsell possibilities among key accounts. Moreover, these tools should collect feedback via telephone interviews rather than email surveys. When carefully designed, telephone interviews are able to raise response rates to 70-80%. And equally important, telephone dialogue supply 50-70% more words than web surveys when key accounts respond to open-ended questions in their own words. In order to reach this goal you need highly skilled telephone researchers specialized in B2B customer dialogue and with the ability to engage in professional dialogue with each individual key account. This will take the company’s key account insight to a much higher level and fuel upsell activities as well as customer-driven business development.

by Morten Mau Kai - Managing Director Aalund Sales Guard

Aalund Sales Guard helps professional B2B companies to strengthen relationships and increase upselling among key accounts.

Sales Guard is a product by Aalund. Aalund is a Scandinavian research company with great experience in market-, customer- and employee analysis. Read more about Aalund and our other products at