Strategic Account Management

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Frustrated by the loss of one of your key accounts?

Remember the Pareto Principle? It is named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who discovered that 80% of the peas in his garden were produced by 20% of the plants. He also observed that 80% of the land was owned by 20% of the population. This principle is also known as the law of the vital few. Key Accounts are those accounts that are vital to your business. They account for a significant volume of your business and are key to your profitability. As such, they require attention, time, effort and resources in order for you to grow and retain these accounts. How well do your account managers really understand these accounts? 

The traditional sales-buyer relationship is no longer enough for these major key accounts.  They are looking for a business partner, someone who really understands their business and can add value to their business. Establishing the essential relationships to make it work is one of your most important competitive advantages.

There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling the excitement of a large deal about to close only to find out that it’s gone to the competition. After months of intense effort and follow up, with your account manager telling you he or she is on top of the situation, you are stunned to find out they really weren’t as close to the client as you were led to believe. What’s even worse is when you lose a key account after years of working together. This is often the result of neglect. The relationship became comfortable. The customer was taken for granted. Meanwhile, hungrier and nimbler competitors entered the playing field and sniffed out emerging opportunities that your account manager never even thought of. 

We know. You’ve worked hard to implement a sales and account management process that works, but somehow, it doesn’t seem to be working. When you lose a key account, it can have devastating consequences. People (top employees, investors and customers) begin to lose confidence. They begin to defect and pull others with them. Often they end up with the competitor who is gaining momentum. You need to protect and grow your market share in order to retain your momentum. If an account is dysfunctional and will never go any where, you need your sales team to face that reality early and get them focused on accounts where you can really gain ground. You need to get on top of your account management approach. 

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