At some point, most business leaders have looked at the list of their best clients as I have looked at my roof repair clients and said ‘it would be really bad if we lost any of these accounts’. There are those customers who represent a disappropriate percentage of your revenue, are good at referring new prospects to your business, and give you a lot of credibility in your business.
Account Management refers to the process of building long-term relationships with the most valued accounts of a company. These accounts make up the majority of a business income. To turn buyers into business partners, a key account manager is tasked with the responsibility of providing dedicated resources, offering something unique, and coming up with important meetings.
There are lots of benefits associated with account management. Here are some of the most applicable key account management strategies;
How transactional your current sales process is
If your sales cycle is relatively short and your sales reps have very minimal interaction with prospects, key account management is probably not the right thing for you. Account management requires consultative selling techniques and it becomes increasingly hard to teach your salespeople how to adopt new processes for just a few clients.
If the product has upsold and cross-sells potential
There is no much motivation in continuing a relationship with a customer if they would not be buying more from you. For customers who will be returning to make another purchase from you, you will want to provide excellent customer service and support because these people hold a lot of potential to market your business through word of mouth.
Can you land and expand?
You need to evaluate your potential to land and expand. If you can get your foot at the foot of a potential client, win them, then there is a need to provide account services. You will want to provide excellent customer service and support to these people after you have won them. Any prospect who gives you some hope of winning them is worth doing business with.
When managing any account, there are key skills you need to have, to ensure there is a smooth interaction. You need to get to know the customer. You must initiate an intimate and simple understanding of her account, strategy, finances, products as well as organizational structure. You will need to have this knowledge to make business cases that can help the customer best.
You will also need to develop cross-functional collaboration to benefit the customer. Key account holders will need to have a custom blend of products that are fully tailored for their needs. You will need to demonstrate effective knowledge of account management. The complex account will need proper coordination and planning as they have a lot of moving parts.
The role of the key account manager is to handle the most valuable clients. They work to manage the account, build strong relationships with the client, identify all challenges as well as opportunities, and find the best ways to assist a client in case of any emergent problems.