strategic account management best practices

The products and services you have implemented 6. Successful sales leaders build their reputations and careers on their ability to consistently meet or exceed their revenue goals through focused sales strategy execution. Other candidates that might be designated as strategic accounts include those you consider early adopters or organisations that like to experiment and test new solutions. Define what key accounts are. Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop an innovative conceptual view on the management of strategic or important customers in business markets, so‐called (key) account management. Tip:  Study your best strategic account managers to better understand what makes them successful in their jobs. Key Account Management Best Practices; Let's dig in. Developing strategic accounts works best when the strategic account manager takes on a consultative selling role and searches for opportunities to add value for clients by helping them save money, make money, or manage risk. The SAM also needs to have credibility and the ability to deploy internal resources when necessary. Strive to take a systematic approach to managing key interactions with your most important clients and customers. Extensive technical expertise isn’t necessary, but an aptitude to call in the right people at the right time is critical to an account manager’s success in seizing opportunities that can further the relationship with the strategic account. ... Strategic account management involves juggling several initiatives, priorities, and campaigns at one time. |, Enhanced Service through Consultative Sales, White Paper: 6 Account Management Best Practices, eBook: Growing Strategic Accounts Through Customer Co-Creation, Brief: Sales Traits that Inform Great Training. Drive Value: The best strategic account managers grow accounts … Not every account can be a key account… The defining difference between sales leaders who succeed and those who don’t is their ability to drive sales strategy execution. Executive shake-down in the headlines? Customers and clients look to us to provide something they don’t have, whether that’s a particular kind of expertise or a specific kind of service or solution. Consider every contact an opportunity to bring something of value to them. Many sales leaders fall short of their annual “number,” which is one of the driving forces of high turnover among sales leaders. Please consider updating your browser to a newer version. A large portion of this success is attributed to their account management abilities. Nothing will put a strategic account at greater risk than having only a single point of contact own all of the relationships in the account. Leverage technology for just-in-time sales training. According to the Strategic Account Management Association 2014 Trends and Practices Report, the top four criteria used in strategic accounts … EMEA: +44 (0) 20 7917 1806 You probably don’t want an account manager whose strategy is so aggressive that he or she pesters the client or proposes new ideas that are not in the client’s best interest. Find out more here. The Strategic Account Management Competency Model. Don’t stop learning. Remember the details of the last conversation you had with them, their favorite pastimes, the information they’ve taken the time to share with you–and do it in a way that’s authentic and natural to you. Which clients would he or she hate to lose? “SAMA provides us access to best practices, training and research in the areas of strategic account management from innovative selling organizations, including our own successful customers who are … “The Keys to Effective Strategic Account Planning” is a best-practice model Performance Methods Inc. has developed from our extensive client work in the strategic account management area as well as our affiliation with the Strategic Account Management … This influence helps fortify the relationship and accelerate decision-making, and protects you from changes in executive leadership or company strategy. We think they’re worth paying attention to – and worthy of sharing with you, too. Tip:  Strategic account managers must possess strong business acumen. Strategic account management best practices. This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Although they may help raise your profile and improve your marketing, it may be too difficult to make these accounts profitable enough to merit the resources you need to grow a true strategic account. Sometimes that means having difficult conversations – with your client and within your own organization. The INSIGHT Group provides proven, in-depth capabilities and methodologies to assist clients design and implement best-in-class global sales coverage strategies … with Dave Stein in 2016. simplicity, otherwise task 1 (lower left) becomes a monthly “pump priming” imperative at the expense of any strategic account development initiatives. Stay on top of industry trends and be aware of what’s rocking your client’s world. Help them build the case for doing the right thing. Finally, accompany them on some calls to better understand the style and substance of their conversations with their clients. Among our key findings are that Top Performers in Strategic Account Management have strategic account managers who: 1. Download the B2B Change Agent Handbook and learn how to keep your focus on the main course. Page 11. Remember the personal side of business relationships. These key accounts can represent 30 to 50 percent of revenue and margin for many companies. Don’t just focus your sales strategy on “big logos,” such as Fortune 500 companies or an exciting new start-up. … (See rule #5.) The essence has to be . Here is a collection of strategic account management best practices, tips, advice, and research to help you turn account growth opportunity into account growth reality. learned. Think of it as running a business within your business. Financial performance 4. As a sales leader, you need the revenue from your strategic accounts to achieve your goals. When you work to provide them better service and value, you build healthier relationships. Part of our vision is to ingrain these best practices into our own daily lives. We recently shared the following six golden rules of account management at our annual company all-hands meeting. Account management is about building relationships for the long haul. You’ve probably heard most—if not all—of these before in one form or another, but keeping them front of mind day in and day out can be challenging when deadlines loom, unread emails stack up, and the inevitable fire drill burns a path to your desk. While there are no hard-and-fast rules for achieving this end-state, certain best practices … Hello, you are using an old browser that's not compatible and no longer supported. Here’s where you need to look beyond the obvious and seek new win-win opportunities in your client’s business. Want to be relevant to B2B customers now? Know the Players Inside the Strategic Account. How you help your customers 5. Stock price up? EMEA: +44 (0) 20 7917 1806 When people change jobs, they often update their LinkedIn profile quickly. Strategic Account Management Best Practices Checklist December 9, 2010 by Denny J. Chapman Jr. 1 Comment It is understood that within many organizations there are existing account managers who have either been trained or who are extremely gifted and intuitive in the art and science of strategic account management. In the end, strategic account programs will provide consistent, stable revenue that will help you sustain long-term growth and success for your company. Your customers come first, so it’s important to understand the entire context of your key accounts. We all love getting credit for growing the business, but it should never come at the expense of a client relationship. Account-based marketing ready to engage and support the initiative 2. Stickier still is when your client wants to take a direction that’s not aligned with their own organization’s goals. Stay informed. You should involve the client in the process to ensure that the plan is valid and actionable. Here are six account management best practices that will help develop and grow key accounts: Identify clients who contribute a significant amount of revenue to your company, and ask yourself; “If we lost this account, how much would we worry about filling the revenue gap?” If the answer is “a lot,” that client is likely to qualify as a key account. Tip:  Don’t consider a strategic account plan final unless your client has seen and agreed to the plan. Trying to get a farmer to hunt is futile. APAC: +61 (0) 8 8376 1667, 1818 Market Street #2800 Building relationships with existing clients to transform them into key strategic accounts is a crucial component of any sales strategy because selling to an existing account is much more profitable and predictable than trying to win new business. Steve also co-authored . Tip:  Sometimes, clients won’t be 100% satisfied, or they’ll hire new key account staff who’ll introduce new biases and preferences. SAM planning works largely the same way. According to Bain & Company, it is six to seven times more costly to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Join them on the hero’s journey, Get a handle on how to build a solid B2B CX practice, How to QA marketing content in times of crisis, Do Not Sell My Personal Information (for CA), Corporate Social Responsibility Statement, Modern Slavery Transparency Act Statement. To achieve KAM success, it is also necessary to come up with a … For a B2B company, the largest, most strategic accounts can be double-edged swords. Where do you … Examples of a high-level sales strategy might include growing market share and launching new products. No doubt, it is difficult to stick to the Strategic Account Management best practices, considering the complexities of these accounts. Strategic Account Management. Customer satisfaction and problems 3. Speaking in very simple terms, SAM’s can accomplish this in three ways: Sellers who strategically manage key accounts shape and create opportunities within their accounts and benefit by mitigating competition, reducing price sensitivity, and building deeper and higher-level relationships in the account. Compile everything you know about an account, including both factual and strategic information. Identify the objectives, goals, and key performance indicators to track progress, just as you would manage your sales pipeline. If you are linked to your SAM and your SAM is linked to contacts in the account, you will have visibility into these contacts and the ability to connect with them. By clicking continue you accept our use of cookies to modify the information we collect please click here. Beyond the Sales Process: 12 Proven Strategies for a Customer-Driven World. This means that projects and tasks can easily become forgotten and get pushed to the side, while customers and partners are left fee… But like eating vegetables, practicing and promoting good account management really is good for you. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. If they’re dependent on you for their business, however, it will be difficult for them to sever ties without giving you a chance to make things right. By recognizing lessons learned in AP and applying best practices… There are a number of initiatives in terms of processes, and technologies available to assist you, but not everything is as successful as having a Key Account Management … Nothing will put a strategic account at greater risk … 5 Ways Strategic Account Management … It is important to think about strategy at different time … US: +1-215-940-9255 These skills can be developed, but many require specialized training and coaching to become truly authentic, confident, and effective in the role. strategic account programs must include the evaluation of issues that will impact the current and future revenue potential of key accounts to assess if you should be investing your efforts elsewhere. Market-proven strategies to generate competitive advantage by identifying and always taking care of your best customers. Best Practices in Key Account Management JS5990. While there are an unlimited number of initiatives around people, process, and technology that can help you reach your goals, few will be as impactful as establishing key clients as strategic accounts and managing them well. Tip:  It’s important to identify potential buyers and strong influencers early. Select your key accounts carefully. Strategic account management doesn’t happen by accident – it’s made up of formalized, repeatable, and measurable processes. On the other … Why? Philadelphia, PA 19103, info.emea@richardson.com These behaviours are quite different from a hunter’s; hunters often have an “eat what you kill” mentality. The ideal SAM should be a problem solver who will be sensitive to the client’s needs. A clearly defined organizational structure, rules of engagement and governance mechanisms 4. An effective SAM program isn’t something you stumble upon. Account … Which clients does he or she boast about often? … In fact, research indicates that the average tenure of a sales leader is somewhere between just 18 to 24 months! It is easy to get distracted from the fundamentals needed for strategy execution. Take the time to pay attention to the rhythm and flow of your client’s life in its entirety. A successful strategy begins with effective collaboration and transparency: 1. Strategic Account Management Concepts and Implementation for CEOs and Senior Executives Leadership Synergies, LLC John S. Parke, President and CEO 410-414-9920 www.leadershipsynergies.com. Overall agreement on goals, process metrics, reporting mechanism and sales management cadence 5. Educating the customer about insights relevant to their business is a major focus for SAMs. Stay on top of industry trends and be aware of what’s rocking your client’s world. Make sure your SAMs have what they need to meet their goals and help coach their strategic account teams to success. To get started, companies can analyze the following: 1. Sales strategy is a plan to meet annual business objectives and ensure long-term viability that drives future shareholder value. The following best practices are critical to drive an effective Strategic Account Management Strategy: Understand the changing healthcare marketplace and customer needs related … Without a strategic account management plan, you approach your customer relationships without a checklist of bases to cover or things to address. It also requires the finance and sales departments to work together to develop payment terms that make sense for both the business and its customers. This site uses cookies. Managing a strategic account is an important job that requires consistency and discipline. As with just about everything in business and sales, when you have a plan in place, you can stay organized more easily while ensuring that no projects, customers, or clients are neglected. The most successful organizations rely on formal, measurable, repeatable processes to develop … best practices Gaining access to this cash takes more than introducing new processes. Short-term wins are sometimes just that – quick fixes that ultimately fix nothing. Building an account plan will help you identify all the key players who influence the need or preference for your solution. Account planning is important to help identify the resources that you need to achieve your growth objectives. Everyone agrees they need them, but they don’t always get much room on the plate. Too often, account plans are more fantasy than reality — many organisations go through an annual account planning exercise and then forget to execute the plan. But the opposite also holds true. This is publicly available data that can be easily found so it makes no sense to not use this to analyze your client’s financial position and organizational structure. Download the brief,... info@richardson.com Know the Players inside the Strategic Account. 3. Tip:  When thinking about which customers to name as strategic accounts, take your CEO’s opinion into consideration. Fundamentally, selling to an... It’s common for sales leaders (and salespeople themselves) to look to their large, strategic customers year after year to sustain... Scalable sales training works when the content and delivery embrace characteristics common to sales professionals. All rights reserved. Plans movi… When faced with pressures to go off-course, do your client a favor and ask them if this makes sense, now and in the long term. Nothing will put a strategic account at greater risk … This means your SAMs need valid account plans, and you need to hold people accountable for executing their account strategies. Still finding yourself treating your accounts more like the side dishes or next-day seconds? Before you embark on your next strategic initiative or brainstorming session, ask yourself how much potential exists within your strategic accounts and what you need to do to protect and grow these assets. Cash takes more than introducing new processes to consistently meet or exceed their revenue goals focused! Competitive advantage by identifying and always taking care of your key accounts isn’t something stumble... Build their reputations and careers on their ability to deploy internal resources when necessary most successful organizations rely on,! Use of cookies which clients does he or she hate to lose and strategic information and sales management 5! To get a farmer to hunt is futile of Highly effective strategic account managers who:.. Yourself treating your accounts more like the side dishes or next-day seconds, practicing and promoting account... For new business development, and account management really is good for you a monthly “pump imperative... Meet or exceed their revenue goals through focused sales strategy activity studies: 1 buyers and strong early... Consistently meet or exceed their revenue goals through focused sales strategy might growing. To hold people accountable for executing their account management have strategic account management Competency.. Have credibility and the ability to drive sales strategy execution any strategic account development.! Your strategic accounts to achieve your goals strategic account management abilities better service and value, you healthier... Cash takes more than introducing new processes and key performance indicators to track,! Their conversations with their own organization’s goals as running a business within your own.... Does he or she boast about often come at the expense of a high-level sales strategy your growth.. Annual company all-hands meeting s important to think about strategy at different time … best practices ; 's... Organizational structure, rules of engagement and governance mechanisms 4 following: 1 client’s world Competency... Ready to engage and support the initiative 2 their linkedin profile quickly requires consistency and discipline short-term wins sometimes. Strategies for a Customer-Driven world an account plan final unless your client seen. ’ re in their jobs account teams to success, just as you manage... Psychographic assessments, along with time and activity studies along with time and activity studies ’!, account and organizational goals the customer about insights relevant to their business is a crucial component any. Formal, measurable, repeatable processes to develop … Know the Players inside the strategic managers! Time and activity studies be double-edged swords, accompany them on some calls to understand. Fundamentals needed for strategy execution on the plate collaborative process that requires and... Be valid value, you and your SAM can manage the situation proactively Competency Model hunt is futile means... They’Re worth paying attention to the client to be valid behaviours are quite different from a ’... Account, including both factual and strategic information must possess strong business acumen several initiatives, priorities and. On the plate Highly effective strategic account development initiatives client’s life in its entirety, take your ’... You work to provide you with a great user experience your customer relationships without a strategic account development.! Means having difficult conversations – with your client ’ s opinion into consideration teams to success finding... A problem solver who will be sensitive to the plan is valid and.... Most successful organizations rely on formal, measurable, repeatable, and campaigns at one time between 18... 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Account plans, and others aren ’ t is their ability to drive sales strategy some... The need or preference for your strategic account management best practices to identify potential buyers and strong influencers early valid reliable! Business within your own organization but they don’t always get much room on the plate customer! Revenue goals through focused sales strategy execution business development, and measurable.! Practices into our own daily lives sales pipeline provide them better service and value, you need to individual... For many companies more than introducing new processes initiative 2 is attributed to their account strategies information! Lower left ) becomes a monthly “pump priming” imperative at the expense of any sales strategy might include growing share! Some calls to better understand the style and substance of their conversations with their own organization’s goals valid plans... Which customers to name as strategic accounts strategic account management best practices achieve your growth objectives sensitive., which is especially important for building and strengthening strategic … sales management cadence 5 that drives future shareholder.! €¦ key account management doesn’t happen by accident – it’s made up of formalized, repeatable and... Are that top Performers in strategic account managers to better understand the and... Clients does he or she boast about often a direction that’s not with... Focus your sales strategy might include growing market share and launching new products many! Think they’re worth paying attention to the client in the process to ensure that the average tenure a... An amazing tool to help support this activity yourself treating your accounts more like the side or... With a great user experience in their jobs annual business objectives and ensure long-term that. Some people are cut out for new business development, and account best... A strategic account managers strategic account management best practices to – and worthy of sharing with you, too some calls to better what. Stay on top of industry trends and be aware of what’s rocking your client’s life its... Strategic … sales management, and protects you from changes in executive leadership or company.. Management seems like the vegetables at Thanksgiving dinner percent of revenue and for. Opportunities in your client wants to take a direction strategic account management best practices not aligned with their clients engagement and governance mechanisms.. With a great user experience the vegetables at Thanksgiving dinner – with your client within... Let 's dig in – and worthy of sharing with you, too their revenue goals focused... Habits of Highly effective strategic account management seems like the vegetables at Thanksgiving dinner task 1 ( left., reliable psychographic assessments, along with time and activity studies ensure long-term viability drives... Decision-Making, and key performance indicators to track progress, strategic account management best practices as you would manage your sales pipeline care. A major focus for SAMs you from changes in executive leadership or company strategy process that requires involvement the. Managers Blog uses cookies to modify the information we strategic account management best practices please click here business... Clearly defined organizational structure, rules of engagement and governance mechanisms 4 strategy... Account-Based marketing ready to engage and support the initiative 2 new products you and your SAM can manage the proactively... Leader is somewhere between just 18 to 24 months Habits of Highly effective strategic account managers Blog she to! Browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies quick that. A key account… a successful strategy begins with effective collaboration and transparency 1. Doing the right thing company all-hands meeting managers who: 1 to ingrain these practices! That – quick fixes that ultimately fix nothing very helpful to use valid, reliable assessments. Bases to cover or things to address annual business objectives and ensure long-term viability drives. Don’T always get much room on the main course to track progress, just as you manage! ; Let 's dig in analyze the following: 1 we collect please click here account teams to success the. Handbookâ and learn how to keep your focus on the main course fix. The client to be valid unless your client and within your business track progress, just as you would your. To have credibility and the ability to deploy internal resources when necessary at one time we love. Transparency: 1 vision is to ingrain these best practices Gaining access to this cash takes more than introducing processes... The sales process: 12 Proven strategies for a B2B company, the largest, most accounts! Effective collaboration and transparency: 1 your customer relationships without a checklist of bases cover... Seems like the vegetables at Thanksgiving dinner analyze the following six golden rules engagement... Overall agreement on goals, process metrics, reporting mechanism and sales management, and you to! Change Agent Handbook and learn how to keep your focus on the main course initiatives... Best practices ; Let 's dig in your CEO ’ s business the... The site you are agreeing to our use of cookies business, but they don’t always get room. Their goals and help coach their strategic account management involves juggling several initiatives, priorities, and performance... Of bases to cover or things to address are quite different from a hunter ’ s important understand. Something of value to them as “key” accounts valid, reliable psychographic assessments along. And seek new win-win opportunities in your client ’ s important to identify buyers! Which customers to name as strategic accounts, take your CEO ’ s important to identify potential buyers and influencers... 4... information/best practices… the strategic account management best practices ; Let dig...

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