Increasing Revenue by 20% with Account Management

Case by Academy Smart and Olha Klok

Increased Revenue

+20%

Increased Upsell Rate

5%

Saved of manual AM setup

2 years

Company Type

Outsource/Outstaff

Company Size

100+

Primary Markets

Israel, EU

Areas Covered

Account Management

Advisor

Olha Klok

Advising Duration

6 months

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  • Company Type

    Outsource/Outstaff

  • Company Size

    100+

  • Primary Markets

    Israel, EU

  • Areas Covered

    Account Management

  • Advisor

    Olha Klok

  • Advising Duration

    6 months

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About

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Academy Smart is a Ukrainian IT service company founded in 2009. Initially focused on software development for EdTech startups, the company has expanded its expertise to include a variety of web, mobile, and cloud services. Its primary markets are Israel and the EU. 
In recent years, Academy Smart has been striving to establish independent marketing, sales, and business development processes to reduce dependence on their partners. In the meantime, the company aims to transition from an “order taker” vendor to a strategic technical partner.

Challenge

1. Low margin projects 

Most of Academy Smart's long-term project clients were acquired through its business partner, resulting in slim margins. The company also struggled to identify growth opportunities with these existing clients, further impacting profitability.

2. Lack of In-depth Client Knowledge

The company did not have a deep understanding of their clients' future needs and the technologies or services they would require. This knowledge gap hindered the development of strategic customer plans and the identification of potential growth opportunities.

3. No Dedicated AM Role

Because the AM function was missing, the sales team had to manage existing client relationships through sporadic communication. Their primary focus on achieving KPIs for new projects left little time to build deeper client relationships and understand evolving client needs.

4. Impossible to Forecast Revenue from Business Development

There was a solid revenue stream from both new and existing clients. Without segmenting this revenue, it was difficult to measure the performance of business development activities. This lack of clarity impeded effective planning and resource allocation within the sales department.

5. A “Bodyshop Provider” in a Client’s Value Chain

Staffing was the primary service but not the only one. The absence of a strong business development function prevented them from positioning themselves as a technical partner for new clients. This made it challenging to build long-term relationships and secure ongoing project opportunities.

Advising request

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Establish a dedicated account management role and its processes

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Identify and seize growth opportunities with existing clients

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Align account management with sales and delivery processes 

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Evolve from a “body shop” to a strategic technical partner 

"I was looking for an expert with hands-on experience and a comprehensive understanding of business processes, and who is capable of building a robust AM function that aligns with these processes"

Vlad Sokol, Founder & CEO at Academy Smart

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Why connect with Olha Klok

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Olha Klok was selected for her holistic approach to solving business challenges and her extensive experience with setting up an Account Management function that complements sales and delivery operations. She is adept at quickly identifying gaps that hinder company growth and implementing effective solutions.

Here's a quick look at Olha's background:

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    16+ years of experience in pre-sales, account management, and business development
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    Has been driving Customer Success at ELEKS for 10 years
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    Successfully manages a portfolio of multi-million-dollar client accounts across various domains, including Pharma, HealthTech, and FinTech
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    Currently oversees EU accounts and has over 10 years of experience managing clients from North America, the UK, Asia, and the EU
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    Led the establishment of the Swiss business unit from scratch during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advising Roadmap

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Achieving the Targets

Before starting the advising process, Olha Klok and Academy Smart set up four targets to track the effectiveness and progress of the implemented changes.

Target 1: Establish a Dedicated Account Management Role and its Processes

After analyzing the sales team's structure and internal processes, Olha proposed splitting the Sales and Account Management functions, transitioning one salesperson to an Account Manager. This move saved the company roughly 2-4 months in hiring and onboarding an external AM. The dedicated AM, along with Olha, began executing the roadmap.
The first goal was to evaluate the “as is” state to identify critical issues and start resolving them. To achieve this, the team developed and conducted CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) and NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys. The results highlighted prioritized action items for the new AM.
One significant outcome was identifying a problematic situation with an augmented PM on a client’s project. The client was considering moving to an alternative vendor, but the team acted swiftly, resolving the issue and retaining the client.

Target 2: Identify and seize growth opportunities with existing clients

While the team continued to measure CSAT for the rest of the clients, the next step was to segment the client base and develop an AM strategy for each segment. Olha introduced the BCG framework for segmentation. After several meetings, the team identified "hidden gems" among clients as early upselling opportunities. One such opportunity was a rate increase on several projects. To facilitate this smoothly, Olha conducted a workshop on how to prepare, address, and communicate the rate increase to clients. As a result, the company increased its net revenue by $14K in the first month.
Effective client segmentation helped the team identify and prioritize high-potential clients. Olha assisted in creating detailed account development plans (ADPs) for each account. When data was lacking, she helped conduct quality research and introduced methods for gathering the necessary information. The ADPs highlighted what AMs needed to learn from clients and their stakeholders. The insights gathered were presented to the delivery team, with Olha facilitating communication and guiding how to score, estimate, and prioritize the opportunity list.
This approach allowed the company to plan its efforts and forecast revenue from upsells for the next period.

Target 3: Align account management, sales, and delivery processes 

AM-Sales

One of the company's challenges was the sales team’s difficulty in forecasting, planning, and prioritizing their activities effectively. The mixed revenue streams from new and existing clients contributed to this issue. After discussing this with the Head of Sales, Olha recommended separating these revenue streams and suggested how to do it correctly. This allowed the sales team to set accurate quarterly and monthly revenue targets and measure the effectiveness of their activities.
Olha also shared best practices for the pre-sale stage to prevent future challenges in project execution and ensure client expectations are met.

AM-Delivery

Based on the fresh account development plans, Olha shared best practices for how Delivery should participate, plan, and execute the opportunities. 
The company improved delivery processes, such as switching from daily to monthly rates, revising how the team reports their vacations, and involving people from projects in presales. Those changes gradually contribute and add up to 10% to the project margin.
Olha also provided a claims management framework for prioritizing, resolving, and communicating with clients using claim resolution as an extra business opportunity. 
These improvements allowed Academy Smart to identify and fix the gaps in delivery, achieving an average NPS of 9-10.

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Metrics

To track overall AM performance, the company used four primary key metrics:

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    CSAT, NPS
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    # of issues registered/resolved
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    Quarterly Revenue
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    Upsell Rate (%)
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One of the Key Metrics was the Upsell Rate (%).

The company's primary goal was to increase the margin on existing clients. The sales team started tracking the results using this metric.

Upsell Rate (%) =

Upsell Revenue

Total Revenue

After working on client issues, building ADPs, and starting systematically talking with stakeholders, Academy Smart achieved a 5% increase in upsells in the first quarter.

"Academy Smart's mindset and enthusiasm were the keys to setting up a solid AM function, improving processes, and boosting their revenue from the existing client portfolio and referrals. At every meeting, we had feedback about how the changes impacted their clients' success."

Olha Klok, AM Advisor

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Target 4: Evolve from a “body shop” to a strategic technical partner 

Implementing regular and systematic processes and rituals opened the door for Academy Smart to discuss the business with clients. One key ritual was the Quarterly Business Review (QBR). Olha held workshops to demonstrate best practices for conducting QBRs, who should participate, what roles should be responsible for what, etc. She shared templates and described common scenarios. After a few months of preparation, the team conducted their first QBRs.
This process enabled the team to present additional services to clients, showcase their mature expertise, and, importantly, learn more about clients' future plans, uncovering new business opportunities.


What's Next?

Building the AM function has revealed the company's hidden potential, which it plans to develop further. The company has already made business development its primary growth channel for next year. The team will continue improving the AM function, conducting QBRs, and expanding rituals to other clients. It also aims to deepen business relationships with its clients.
As a next step, the company plans to roll out a referral channel to the existing client base. Positive signals support this strategy—the company collaborated with business partners from Austria and the US, who reviewed their delivery and AM processes and affirmed that they would recommend no one but Academy Smart as a trusted vendor.
Additionally, Academy Smart plans to invest in better understanding their clients to transition from a "body shop" into a trusted tech partner.

Outcomes & Business Impact

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    Earned $14k net revenue on the existing client during the first month.

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    Achieved a 5% upsell rate increase.

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    Achieved a 20% revenue increase in quarterly revenue compared to the previous period.

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    Prevented the loss of a client who ultimately remained satisfied with the service.

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    Became able to set upselling targets and forecast revenue from business development.

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    Established Account Management function as an efficient revenue channel.

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    Saved the company 2 years of manual setup for the Account Management function.

Additional outcomes

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    Became a primary vendor for business partners in Austria and the US.

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    Improved Pre-sale process.

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    Revised service offerings to clients.

Testimonials

“Olha is one of the few advisors who can adapt complex, enterprise-level approaches to a small business. She effectively customized best practices to help us establish a top-notch account management system. The results we achieved in such a short time exceeded all expectations."

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Vlad Sokol

Founder and CEO at Academy Smart

“Before Olha's involvement, we struggled to plan our revenue ahead and identify opportunities within our current database. We also faced challenges in upselling our services. Now, we can forecast revenue for each quarter and implement a personalized approach for each client from the start of our cooperation."

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Iryna Kurkina

Head of Sales at Academy Smart

"Olha shared practical tips on running account management effectively. The sales team can now focus on what they do best—bringing in new clients—while the AM team ensures our existing clients feel valued and supported. With her help, we started engaging with our clients in ways we had never done before."

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Anastasiia Pankratova

AM at Academy Smart

Looking for a way to boost your Account Management?

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Looking to boost your Account Management?

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