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Key Account Management Is Critical To Sales Success
By, Nick Moreno
Typically, key accounts represent twenty percent of all accounts but they also represent eighty percent of all the revenue. Obviously, these are very important clients and you need well-defined strategies to both keep them and grow them. Effective key account management requires the salesperson to play both offense and defense. Allow me to offer you some advice about key account management. Learn about key account management. Discover why Key Accounts are different and why key accounts expect more.
Play Defense In Key Account Management
Know that your competition’s sales prospecting is focused on acquiring your key accounts. Therefore, your key account management strategy must place high importance on retention efforts.
Insure your key accounts know that you appreciate their business. Demonstrate that they are important to you by contacting them often and not just when you want to sell them something. Key account management is important work and well worth the effort.
Listen to your key accounts and fully understand the problems they are trying to solve with your products or services. Key account management requires the salesperson to be viewed as a trusted consultant and consultant. Once this happens, key accounts will think twice about trying another vendor.
Recognize threats that could place your business in jeopardy. Key account management must proactively react to any changes in a client’s staff, applications and strategic direction. Any one of these factors could upset your business relationship and open the door to your competition.
Build relationships throughout your key account’s organizational structure. Key account management is about knowing everyone from “C” Level Executive to end-user. If your key account management efforts are only focused on Department Heads, expect your competition to be calling above you.
The keyword in “key account management” is “management”. Salespeople need to participate and get involved with their key accounts. It’s not enough to just be friendly and easy to contact. Salespeople need to function as members of the key account’s organization. Effective key account management is more than just being visible. Key account management is about being “visibly active”.
Mistakes will happen and things will go wrong. When key accounts get disappointed, key account management strategies must appropriately respond. Efforts to correct problems must be effective and immediate. The salesperson must be in constant communications with all management levels at the key account during the corrective action period. Once things return to normal, follow up is required to explain what went wrong and the preventive actions that were implemented.
Play Offense In Key Account Management
Key account management must also focus on account expansion efforts. A key account that is not growing may be looking at the competition for additional products or services. Here is some advice on how to incorporate account expansion efforts in an overall key account management plan.Introduce key accounts to new products just as you would introduce those products to a new prospect. You are not entitled to use “short cuts” just because you have an existing relationship with the client. Key account management is not about “short cuts”. Always execute the entire Sales Process when selling a new product or service to a key account.
Quantity discounts are an important key account management tool as it relates to account expansion efforts. Advise your key accounts on how quantity discounts will contribute to their bottom line. Contract management is an important aspect of key account management.
Effective key account management is about knowing your client’s applications. Discuss new products in a way that focuses on those applications. It is always about benefits and never about products. If you are selling products over applications, I urge you to get some professional sales training.
KEY ACCOUNT SALES CALL TRAINING
SALES TRAINING PROCESS VIDEO
Key account management often involves a team of sales support resources. Manage that team and insure every member is involved in the key account management process. Insure every member is aware of your key account management goals. The salesperson may be responsible for the key account but the client belongs to the team. All team members must view key account management responsibilities as a team effort. Also, all members must feel appreciated for their contributions.
In the final analysis, key account management is about key account sales strategies. Only the top sales professionals are trusted with key accounts. I urge key account salespeople to stay sharp by participating in ongoing sales training to further develop their sales skills. I hope this key accounts advice will serve you well.
I hope you now know more about key account management and I wish you the best of success with your key account management!
Nick Moreno, Sales Consultant
National Sales Center, Sales Training Company
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