Whatever your precise definition, Key Accounts are usually critical to our success in sales and in business overall. We all know the pareto principle that says 80% of the business will come from 20% of our clients or customers.
Accounts can vary in scope: a business, a division, a team, or a single account. Key Accounts are any organizational entity where we hope to have long-term relationships based on mutual value creation.
Your most important accounts probably require, perhaps even demand, considerable attention. With this in mind, these are the capabilities that I most commonly work to develop, to enable my clients to manage and grow their target or existing Key Accounts:
- Effective account planning;
- Understanding the client environment;
- Manage and engage key stakeholders;
- Engaging the different Social Styles;
- Needs analysis dialogue skills;
- Planning and executing effective client meetings;
- Building trusted relationships;
- Develop client advocates;
- Developing Compelling value propositions; and
- Review performance and progress against plans.
Sales professionals often make serious mistakes in their investment in Key Accounts. It is easy to over-invest without understanding the situation, or that the potential for additional work is minimal.
Conversely, it is also easy to under-invest by assuming that the account is stable and requires little work.