Key account management is the process some businesses use in building strong and lasting relationships with their most valuable clients. While this strategy works for them, however, it may not be applicable across all industries.
Key account managers are trained and skilled in this field. These professionals take account management courses in the UK to learn how to provide dedicated resources, offers and periodic appraisals to keep customers engaged. They also learn how to convert buyers into business partners.
In some instances, key account programming leads to increased costs and lower sidelines. This is inevitable as the company gives customers more resources and bigger discounts. But with the right account strategies, you can reap better sales and build more long-term strategic relationships.
Though there are many known advantages in implementing key account programs in business, you should keep in mind that it is not suited for every organisation. Here are some of the main points to consider.
How Do You Transact Your Sales Process?
Sale cycles that are relatively quick and involve only minimal interaction with prospect clients may not benefit much from key account management. For an account to be considered as a ‘key account’, it needs consultative selling strategies. It can be challenging for a company to train salespeople to implement a new process for just a few passing clients.
Do Your Products Carry an Upsell or Cross-Sell Potential?
If your customers are not going to buy more after a sale has been made, there is little point in continuing a relationship with them. Although, you would still want to provide excellent customer service to promote better feedback or customer retention rate.
Will You Be Able to Land and Expand?
For companies that can network with a potential business partner and grow an account by gaining customers to other offices, departments and subsidiaries, a key account management program is a good investment. The business partner can help the company gain more sales and revenue when they are given the best resources and deals.
Is Your Company Capable of Handling Key Accounts?
Successful key account management programs depend largely on the capability of the company to handle key clients. There should be company-wide support, a dedicated key accounts team and executive buy-in of products. The employees need to be updated with the guidelines on stock provisions and discounts to avoid problems with these key customers. The business should also have enough investment and inventory to meet large orders or an influx of new clients.
Key account management can be a company’s competitive advantage in gaining a customer’s trust. Customers usually choose their vendors and narrow it down to at least two or three. If your company can make them a key account, give them more supply and apply deep discounts, then you are more likely to win against the competitors.
For your business to nurture key accounts, you need to understand the process entailed. Make sure everyone in the company knows what it is and what needs to be done to make existing clients part of future growth and expansion. You can better implement strategies when you have a dedicated key account team in place.