Contrary to what many people think, key account management is not just a sales strategy but also a radical organisational change. Its success lies in how companies embrace that change as the way of doing business differently. Here are the best practices when it comes to implementing key account management in your business:
Train key account managers
Most businesses make the mistake of simply giving key account management positions to their top-performing sales representatives. The problem is key account management is different from merely selling. It requires a lot of skills, from technical expertise and ability to collaborate to innovation and project management.
Without proper guidance, you will never have an excellent account manager, and at the same time, you might lose your top-performing sales representative. So invest in key account management training and choose people wisely, stresses Frosch Learning.
Determine key accounts carefully
You need to know what differentiates key accounts from the rest of your customer network. The more detailed the criteria, the better. Do not merely look at the revenue; consider the historical ratio of revenue and costs.
Remember, you will be putting in a lot of energy, resources and time to these customers, so you want to pick the right ones. And keep the number of key accounts small so that you can have laser-focus in growing your relationship with such accounts.
Get support from top management
Key account management is a big shift, so it is important to get the buy-in of top senior executives. Remember that whatever is prioritised on top will resonate down at the bottom. Most big businesses today have CEOs and other top-level managers dedicate their time and resources on key accounts, visiting them frequently. This promotes greater accountability and more efficient follow-through among employees.
Again, key account management is not just a sales tactic. It is a business lifestyle. So, embrace this change and make it a success with these tips.