Key Account Management – 7 Tactics That Never Fails
Not all customers are created equal, in the profitability they bring to you and in the volume that they buy from you. Some of your clients have the critical impact on your business. They perhaps your highest profit customers, or must significant national/international accounts, or your largest customer.
The question as an account manager is, do you practice account management strategies in your business? Do you know what key account tactics are – how and why you should manage them?
Let's first understand the definition of key account management followed by strategies of efficient business to business sales relationship management.
- The primary role of key account management is to focus on those accounts that epitomize an enormous percentage of significant business measure – be it specific product sales, profitability, overall sales volume, national account status and more.
Key accounts possess a great deal of power in any relationship with their suppliers. It is your responsibility to manage that power and build a relationship that is a balanced partnership.
You will have to add key account strategies when you create your sales program. Ensure the plan contains a worst case scenario; losing at least one of your key accounts and the manner in which you will handle that loss. Create a scenario plan and analysis that can allow you to address survival results.
Seven key account management strategies
1. Price incentives, volume rebates or discounts – everyone does it, and everyone expects it.
2. For the key account, customize your services or products. For instance, private labeling or tailoring of actual features of products/services for the critical account.
3. Set up cross-business initiatives and teams to improve services, such as quality improvement teams, product development teams, and branding efforts, etc.
4. Dedicate the internal staff to support the key account, for instance, shipper or customer service representative. In other words, create a single point of contact for the key account.
5. Set up priority order program for your key account.
6. Always try to match your relationship with a key account.
7. Provide fulfillment, invoicing, inventory, integrated delivery, and re-order points.
The efficient key account programs substantially enhance the competence level of an organization. For instance, targeted sales plan, optimized order scheduling and inventory management, improved sales efficiency, focused communications and streamlined processes.
A flawless account management program not only limits itself to profits and sales volume but equally focus on complexity or simplicity, of providing a service, geographical closeness, long-term relationship and volume growth potential.
The goal of an account manager is not only to retain the accounts but also to earn considerable profits from the account. To build a stable business to business selling environment, it is essential to create powerful exit barriers so that key accounts find it hard to leave.
A word of advice on key account management
KAM executions require years, not months. Providers who fail at KAM (Key Account Management) often think of it as being an initiative inside the sales department. This strategy is doomed to failure. KAM is a dedication to meet this guarantee and, to work differently with particular precedence customers, support and other provider departments must comprehend key account management. In case, a vital account is guaranteed precedence use of services or pressing merchandises, it is Businesses who will supply that, not Sales.
In a nutshell, for efficient business to business sales relationship management, the account manager must bring such strategies on board that exhibit exclusive benefits to key accounts. By creating a robust key account management program that helps both your business and your customer, the organization can establish a foundation of long-term B2B sales relationship.
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