Key Account Management
Overview of Strategic Account Management Services:
Many B2B companies are looking to differentiate their products and services through Strategic Account Management, thereby increasing both the effectiveness and efficiency of their sales efforts. Adopting Strategic Account Management requires changes in account management processes, skills, resource commitment, and tool kits.
The level of account service for strategic accounts increases and requires:
- Strategic business problem solving.
- Fact-based analysis of both customer data and the customer’s strategic situation, issues, and opportunities.
- Defining, selling, and executing mutually beneficial business relationships, strategies and programs.
- Customer and cross-functional collaboration.
- Establishing relationships with multiple levels of the customer organization: the economic buyer, strategic and marketing influencers, operations and logistics, etc.
- Programs developed for individual major customers with differentiated, measurable benefits beyond offerings to the rest of your customer base.Program component options chosen to match each customer’s interest/needs. (Not all components are offered to all customers.)
- Increased resources for customized implementation of account plans.
- Measurement and cross-organizational review meetings.
The heart of the typical Resultrek Strategic Account program is a two-day seminar built around the principles and best practices of Strategic Account Management and tailored to the needs of your sales organization.
Assessing the Quality of Your Strategic Relationships
The cornerstone of B2B strategy is to create the right value for the right customer. Resultrek’s web-based course helps you develop and implement your strategy in two ways. First, it is a training course that presents principles and best practices. Second, it includes a self-diagnostic survey for one of your key account relationships. The training course shows you how to sort your customers according to the kind of relationship value they want, and how you can calibrate your performance versus the desired value.
First, sort your account relationships according to the level each wants:
In practice suppliers have a portfolio of customer relationships that range from transactional to alliances. This course and the self-diagnostic enable you to sort your accounts into their relationship level and identify the type of value each is looking for.
Second, identify gaps between your customer’s desired relationship and your investment in that relationship.
If you are investing in the relationship at a lower level than the customer wants, that customer is at risk. If your investment is greater than the customer wants, you are overinvesting. The self- diagnostic will plot your current and potential relationship on this grid for your chosen account and see if your investment matches what the customer wants—that is, if you are “on the diagonal.”
This course and the self-diagnostic survey will uncover opportunities for you to adjust your investment in your most important relationships to “get on the diagonal.” You will identify the specific actions you can take to reduce churn and increase revenue for your most important relationships for each segment of your customer base.
The project we are proposing consists of the following components:
The following pages present a sample two day seminar outline, describe three cycles of application of the principles and best practices of strategic account management, and present an initial draft of the follow-up curriculum forums and assignments.
Strategic Account Management Workshops
Based on assessments of your strategic accounts, we customize our two day workshop to address key development needs and strategic issues of you specific strategic account. Customization will include fine tuning exercises to support each strategic account team in developing an action plan. Here is a sample Workshop outline:
Sample of Three Cycles of Application of
Principles and Best Practices of Strategic Account Management
Application cycle 1: Create fact books for each strategic account and review them with peer account teams and senior management.
Account team activities:
Quantify value proposition
Document internal ideas about opportunities. Interview customers.
Compare internal and external points-of-view Document most important facts and issues/opportunities.
Prioritize and document issues/opportunities/and objectives.
For each opportunity draft strategies, measurements, programs.
Draft economic payback of strategies and programs.
Estimate the impact the draft plans will have on each customer’s supplier metrics
Meet with other account teams and support functional areas to present, discuss, and improve each document.
Present, discuss and improve fact book, issues, opportunities, and potential strategies with senior sales management.
Fact book for each account.
Application cycle 2: Create play books for each strategic account and review them with peer account teams and senior management.
Account team activities:
For each issue/opportunity set a one-year objective to accomplish for each account.
Apply best practices to develop programs to accomplish the objectives you have set for the program, specifically, to:
Drive profitable growth
Increase customer retention
Develop “customer for life” mentality Increase customer penetration with new
Develop multi-level relationships with
customers – cross functional and top-to-top Leverage learnings from relationships across
Meet with other account teams and support functional areas to present, discuss, and improve each plan.
Present, discuss and improve account plans with senior sales management.
Strategic plan (“playbook”) for each account.
Application cycle 3: Implement, measure, and learn
Account team activities:
Obtain agreement from customer for play book and measurements
Implement strategic account plan (“playbook”)
Develop course corrections
Communicate results and course corrections with senior management and customer . Meet with other account teams and share learnings.
Monthly and quarterly summaries of business.