A business that is serious about maximising the business from its existing customer base will need to have a key account specialism.
Below we have outlined a list of the criteria that will deliver an effective Key Account Capability.
Take a look at the list, how are you doing against it, how is your team doing, what abut your organisation?
- Define what a key account is. Make sure a clear distinction is made between current the volume of business and the potential of the account. Key accounts are not necessarily simply your biggest customers.
- Decide how your key accounts will be dealt with differently to the majority of accounts. By definition, these accounts should be special, so there will be relatively few of them.
- Establish promotion and demotion criteria. Key accounts are resource hungry; make sure you can deliver the support required.
- Cross-reference the salespersons’ input into the selection criteria with other marketing data. Any selection decision must be as objective as possible.
- Build a Key Account Management process. This should include planning tools, review mechanism, development checklists, glossary of terms and a knowledge repository for the sharing of best practice.
- Create a Key Account Manager role profile with underpinning competences that are differentiated from the general sales role). Validate the matching of individuals with the role. Not all salespeople can make the transition.
- Select and train the Key Account team against the role profile. Develop on-going individual coaching plans.
- Organise the sales organisation structure to facilitate the delivery of Key account Management.
- Develop an appropriate performance management system that focuses as much on inputs as outputs.
- Implement a motivating and cost effective reward and recognition system that integrates with point 9.
- Align other functions with the Key Account process. Customer Service, technical support, ordered fulfillment, pre-sales support etc.