Without agreement, however, efforts stall out before they can even get started. There are often mismatches between the way suppliers and customers perceive each other and their relationship, so careful communication and vigilance are vital. If your sales cycle is relatively short and your sales reps have minimal interactions with prospects, key account management probably isn't the right choice. What resources to invest and how and where, are the key questions you have to handle. Courting them now will earn you their loyalty before any other company in the space. Some companies offer to sponsor employees in the completion of a certificate program, which keeps the … Twitter Tweet. This information will help you figure out which relationships you need to build and maintain — as well as anyone who could potentially derail your plans. You are driving a supercar at 300 Kmph on a rainy day in Italy while being chased by 19 competitors for the podium. The one common mistake many organizations, both small and big tend to make and repeat, is to treat all their accounts with the same business model. Map out every customer stakeholder. It will be difficult for the ‘account’ to exit the relationship. Because selling and account management require different mindsets, skills, and objectives, this set-up isn't ideal. As the liaison for the customer and the rest … The core role of a key account manager (KAM) is to handle the most valuable clients. As a minimum, the customer expects its key suppliers to understand: There are numerous ways and skill sets in which the role of the key account manager can be expressed. According to BTS, this is the "knowledge of how the drivers of customer growth, profitability, and cash flow are changing, of how the customer’s markets are changing, and of how the interrelationships within the customer’s business are changing.". SBI recommends choosing three to five selection criteria. Additionally, keep track of non-key accounts. Imagine your customer has narrowed down their choice of vendor to you and one another company. Your ultimate objective is transforming the entire department into paying users. Everyone knows it’s much easier to grow existing accounts than it is to find new ones. We are familiar with Sales Funnel. A winning strategy hinges on being selective. Key account programs have a lot of moving parts. To create better results, organizations use key account management software to help succeed in farming more revenue from their key accounts. Premium plans, Connect your favorite apps to HubSpot. Differentiating Sales and Key Account Management It’s not difficult for either party to exit the relationship. Please note that it’s ok for some accounts to remain at the tactical stage even after a long time of engaging with them, especially if the ‘account’ does not believe in building a partnership with suppliers or potential, in the long run, is not high. It will pay to look at specialized KAM Softwares to help you mine your Key Accounts and enrich your relationship for the long term. Be Proactive. A KAM needs leadership abilities to guide her team members (which might include a salesperson, marketer, technical support, implementation and/or onboarding specialist). These customers represent a disproportionate percentage of your revenue, refer new prospects to your company, give you credibility in their space — or all of the above. Plus, you can always adapt your strategy down the line if something changes. When dining in a restaurant, we love a waiter who offers a refill before our glass is … Use LinkedIn (either the free version or LinkedIn Navigator) to monitor changes in your account's market and industry, strategic shifts, hiring and firing decisions, and more. Your organization needs an explicit, strict definition of key accounts. Key accounts provide the most business because they contain a small number of clients which contribute a large portion of the company's sales. Marketing generates thousands of leads & passes on the qualified leads to sales who in turn win deals. Marketing automation software. If these areas are well maintained, your team will be able to dig deeper into existing key accounts and maximize the revenue potential that’s there. To get started with the Account Planning template, you need to identify some Key Accounts, and you need to develop a criterion or model that differentiates them from the rest of the customer base. Your retention rates and bottom line will both benefit. Successful key account management depends on company-wide support, executive buy-in, and a dedicated key account team. We're committed to your privacy. Not to mention all the cost and effort added for acquiring a new client to make up for the loss of revenue. The most commonly used nomenclature is ‘Hunting’ & ‘Farming’. Without clear direction, your team will go off in a thousand directions. What's business acumen? The customer's current business plan, objectives, and financial health, Strengthen relationship with VP of Engineering, Develop compelling value proposition for meeting with CTO, Ask VP to request meeting with CTO on your behalf. The Key Account Manager is then typically allocated 20, 30 or even more ‘key customers’ to look after. A key account program can serve as a competitive advantage. By upselling you help increase customer retainer or subscription cost. Use this Key Account Manager job description to find and attract the most qualified candidates. Who controls what budgets? This type of tool will let you know exactly when your recipients open your emails and click any links. Their analytic skills will help them create and present business cases. A key account manager is focused on becoming critical to her customer's operations — not winning a deal. Note each person's title, role in the decision-making process, how much contact you've had within them, and how "friendly" they are. Strategic account management involves juggling several initiatives, priorities, and campaigns at one time. Not only do KAMs find ways to address the client's challenges and opportunities, but they also create and present reports about the client's progress to key stakeholders. You should always be looking to grow your sales numbers out of your existing Key Accounts. This section is arguably the most important. Key Account Management comes from authors who have taught leading companies how to approach their most powerful and demanding customers and still make money. In order to convert deals and present … When done well, this focus helps companies improve key-account revenue by 5 to 10 percent or more, while maintaining margins. In Sales, one would be offering a suite of products already available. Driving Sales Excellence in 2021: What, Why, and How? The ‘hourglass’ also helps in organizing various functions and processes in a B2B company. Key account management programs are often less than fully successful because KAMs fall short in particular behaviors. Consistently measure the account's engagement and loyalty. Use a CRM to keep track of your communication with the account stakeholders and give everyone on the account team visibility into what's happening, and to minimize duplication of effort across the team. Our story unfolds in the Champions League semi-final match between Inter Milan and Barcelona in 2010, arguably the…, Picture this. Consistently measure account performance. The relationship emphasis is transactional with pricing as the main criteria. You can't tell a key account they've been demoted, but you can tell a traditional buyer you're promoting them. Some companies assign their reps as key account managers to one or two customers. Results-oriented. While ‘Sales’ is an overarching process across industries, KAM is specific to existing customers in B2B companies with complex solutions, multiple offerings, and long-term repetitive engagements. Sketch an organization chart with hierarchies, titles, and roles of all the contacts that matter. Key Account Management is all about relationship building and most importantly trust-building between organization and customer, KAM wishes to see buyers considering the seller as a skilled partner, and not as a vendor. By cross-selling you grow revenue from Key Accounts. The engagements & interactions are driven by few people at both sides, but more at an operational level. It’s ok to remain at this stage if the ‘account’ is low to medium potential. It drives the profitability of B2B companies, and having a Key Account Strategy is the heart of any successful business in this sector. These findings clearly highlight that one of the most important roles for the key large-account team is to manage the full customer experience, from the front-end sales process to ongoing service and support. At least once a year we need to look beyond dollar numbers, relationships and activities to think about our Key Accounts process. And programs that have been around for five-plus years can see results twice that. To be successful, KAMs should be capable of planning short-term and long-term plays, carrying them out, analyzing the outcomes, and applying those takeaways to their future strategies. (Obviously, you still want to provide excellent customer service and support to promote word-of-mouth marketing and high retention rates.). To perform in this role, you'll need a combination of these skills and qualifications: According to RAIN Group, the biggest difference between high performing companies and everyone else is an effective account planning tool. Key account management (KAM) is very much concerned with managing the relationship with the customer and it is important to understand these relationships, which vary from simple, transactional forms to intimate and complex liaisons. Get high-level buy-in. Key Account Management (KAM) defines the relationship between the business and the consumers. If not, it could be a sign you're using the wrong measures. Key account management is the process of building long-term relationships with your company's most valuable accounts. If you can promise to make them a key account — and your competition can't do the same — you're likelier to win the deal. The correct adoption of Key Account Management by an organization can help in providing long-lasting strategical benefits. The ultimate purpose of KAM is to develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with specific businesses in order to meet strategic goals and optimize value in both companies. One should keep the following best practices in mind in order to succeed with their KAM strategy. The above rule has an exception: If you can get your foot in the door of the prospect's company and then grow the account by selling to other departments, offices, subsidiaries, etc., a key account strategy may be a good investment. Why should you start a key account management program? Don't choose solely based on revenue. This section should cover how much this account is currently worth, which opportunities you've lost, which opportunities you've won, where you see potential revenue growth and your projected value for those opportunities. Free and premium plans, Sales CRM software. The customers who are most likely to be consistent and loyal, and so represent significant value in the long term. “Account managers are sensitive positions for business owners and executives—they take over after thousands upon thousands of dollars in investments on the marketing and sales side. That underperformance leads to a high level of disruption within organizations -- not to mention frustration and seemingly endless re-structuring, re-thinking, and re-starting. 1-Day Key Account Management Training Course. Know the Players Inside the Strategic Account. Both the key account manager and the supplier organization need to know what kind of relationship they have with each customer, and therefore what they can and cannot do with it. So far so good. To serve your clients well, these teams should include a range of skills, disciplines, and expertise. Clear written and verbal communication skills. It’s far more profitable to sell more products to existing customers than to invest time and effort into finding new customers. Key Account Manager job description. Set a cadence for internal account reviews. For most B2B companies, the bottom half of the ‘hourglass’ generate 80%+ of the revenue in a given year. There's little point in continuing a relationship with the customer after the sale if they're not going to buy more. The engagements are few & forecasts can be made for a short term. Communication. If the ‘account’ has high potential, then this is the ideal stage. Key Account Management is a process that helps sustain and expand relationships with important key accounts and will work closely with multiple business departments in order to maintain and further develop the relationships with the key accounts. Ideally, the KAM role is not performed by someone who has sales rep duties on their plate simultaneously, and each account manager should have a cross-functional support team to support the proper execution of deliverables related to the client’s account. You should also ask yourself whether they're a strategic partner, e.g. If a customer is about to experience significant growth, they may qualify as a strategic account. If you are having a hard time getting responses to your emails, implementing an email tracking and notification tool can help. Free and premium plans, Content management system software. The ‘account’ has slowly started moving beyond transactions. Regularly review your key accounts to verify they still require additional time, energy, and resources. Key Account Management is a strategic approach distinguishable from account management or key account selling and should be used to ensure the long-term development and retention of strategic customers. The interaction is through one person at both sides. This management plan gives you the benefit to check if you’re providing every partner and customer with the appropriate amount of time. In addition to having business acumen, key account managers should have an analytical mindset. [Company name] is looking for a key account manager. Key Account Management is a process that helps sustain and expand relationships with important key accounts and will work closely with multiple business departments in order to maintain and further develop the relationships with the key accounts. To provide value to the account and find mutually beneficial opportunities, you need an in-depth, sophisticated understanding of their business. ‘You’ have a lot of access and training to use ‘account’ information to build better solutions for them. Interactions are taking place at all functional levels. You will notice, there is a key difference in the account types, organizations like yours, have in their portfolio. How transactional your current sales process is. Hunting is acquiring new customers while Farming is growing business from existing customers. Course Overview. Eliminate back and forth emails about meeting scheduling by using a meetings tool to make the process seamless for the attendees. Profits and revenue, meanwhile, can increase by 15%. They are usually the customers with the maximum potential to buy new and additional products or services in the future. Sales reps also zero in on specific opportunities, while KAMs have broader goals, including collaborating with the customer on mutually beneficial projects, helping the customer meet their objectives, and making sure the customer is getting the necessary support. Free and premium plans, Customer service software. If the potential is not high, you may want to rethink on investing in building this kind of relationship. Companies that agree on a definition and the components of a key account can make great headway. Facilitation: This involves developing the relationships that will enable the business strategy. We’ll walk you through a proven key account planning process that will make your efforts more focused and productive to achieve the greatest key account growth success. One is creating trust business relationships with a portfolio of key clients to make sure they do not turn to competitors. Understand the client organizational hierarchy using the Org chart which is available in both Salesforce Org chart and the MS Dynamics Org chart. Good advice here is to start small. The account management framework we teach covers three key stages of account management: data gathering, strategy sessions and execution. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(53, '6fc73954-1b14-47ca-ab80-fefff0626a9b', {}); Originally published Mar 12, 2020 3:00:00 PM, updated October 08 2020, Key Account Management: The Ultimate Guide, How to Know Whether Your Company Needs A Key Account Management Strategy, The Difference Between Key Account Management and Selling, Which Skills Your Key Account Managers Need, How to Hire Key Account Managers (Including a Job Description Template), How to Write A Key Account Management Plan, professional services firm BTS points out, Outcome Selling: Don’t Sell the Product, Sell the Outcome, Sales Maximization: A Picture of Its Principles and Practice, A Straightforward Guide to Missionary Selling [+ Examples]. In Sales you ‘sell’, in KAM you help customer ‘buy’. Despite the potential benefits of key account management to your bottom line, it's not a good fit for every organization. Know the Players inside the Strategic Account. These accounts make up the majority of the business' income. An additional product should be about providing customers with something that will benefit them. White space analysis can help you in white space mapping to find the opportunities. This Key Account Manager job description template is optimized for posting on online job boards or careers pages and easy to … However, if the potential of the ‘account’ is medium to high, plan to invest more in moving up the relationship stage. ‘You’ are mostly the single supplier (or at least largest) for your offerings. It's the understanding of how a company makesmoney. What gets measured, gets done, so staying on top of account performance is critical for success. BTS identifies several unique skills critical to a key account manager's success: A key account manager must have an intimate, sophisticated understanding of her account's strategy, market position, finances, products, and organizational structure. If possible, name an executive sponsor to each account. At the end of the day, strategic account management should be all about responsiveness, problem-solving, customer satisfaction, and building long-term relationships that lead to additional revenue. If your product has upsell and cross-sell potential. There are 3 critical steps in selecting Key Accounts: Conduct a Portfolio Analysis; Tie your company’s overall strategy to the selection analysis; Start with a pilot (2-3 accounts) then expand Begin identify if the organization needs to take action on their account management practice with SBI’s Account Management Tool. Before you go all-in on a key account strategy, consider the following points. A good deal of frameworks are mentioned in the book “Key Account Management-The definitive guide” by Malcom McDonald & Diana Woodburn.” A framework like KAM quadrant helps us in knowing the account attractiveness and our strength of the relationship in that account. If key customers really are key, then getting into double figures is probably too many for one Key Account Manager. do they have the connections, resources, and/or industry reputation to significantly alter your company's trajectory? As you can see in the diagram it will be easy to define roles of marketing, inside sales, sales & strategic account management in the revenue lifecycle. Both should trend upward. Who influences whom, both positively/negatively? Put very simply, the key account manager has two roles: Implementation: This means deciding what should happen in an account and making sure it is delivered. This role is important because it helps us keep our most important customers and ideally, find even more opportunities for working together. From here, you should also schedule recurring check-ins with the client to get their feedback, address any issues, and find areas for improvement.

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