Recent research has shown that barely half of all salespeople are currently reaching their targets. Alex has been a Key Account Manager for over ten years, but even he still struggles with orders that he budgets for but ultimately never signs off. He also frequently ends up in discussions based solely on price. Let’s have a closer look at Alex’s case, and aspects of his approach that he could possibly improve.
How does Alex select key accounts?
Much to Alex’s frustration, he’s often unable to convince accounts to make a purchase. So we asked him how he selected the customers he’s currently working with. It turns out he uses the 80-20 rule based on sales completed in the past. Well, that’s one way of doing it. But it means he’s ruling out other possible indicators, such as size, current profitability and profit potential, and his chance of success compared to competitors.
What value is he offering customers?
When Alex doesn’t reach his targets, there’s a good chance he doesn’t really understand his customers’ needs. And if he fails to clearly show how his solution will help the customer, the only bargaining tool he has left is the price. So he’s pushed himself into a difficult position.
Alex needs to work out a plan for each of his carefully selected key accounts. What are the basics of a robust account plan? First and foremost, it’s essential that he talks to the main stakeholders to get a good idea of their issues and KPIs. His solution can only create value for the customer if it’s based on this information. He then develops a strategy for each focus point, working out who he needs to speak to and what resources he needs.
Three crucial steps for developing accounts
The following steps are essential for Key Accounts to reach their full potential, and for keeping competitors at bay:
- Identify the main decision-makers and influencers, and develop your network
- Use your time and resources in line with expected profit
- Add value to your customer’s case which benefits both parties
If Alex follows the above steps correctly, he won’t just become a partner and adviser to his customers, he’ll also get a lot back in return:
- Bigger average order
- More customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Keep competitors at bay
- Accelerated buying cycle
- Enhanced company image
Read more about the KEY ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT open training, see if the next session fits into your schedule, and book your seat straight away:
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