This post is courtesy of guest author: John Thackston, Vice President of Client Engagements and Co-Founder of SOAR Performance Group
If you had a dollar to invest in your business, how would you decide where to invest?
We realized that many of our clients are facing this question, and are struggling to come up with a good solution. This prompted us to investigate how other companies are handling investments so we could find the answer.
A common theme we have seen over the past two years is increasing investment into key accounts, which lead us to wonder:
- Why are customers choosing to invest in key account management?
- What has the return on their investment been?
What’s the big deal about Key Account Management?
Fundamentally, there are three reasons that we have seen organizations make the choice to invest in key account management:
- Protect Downside Risk - Through interviewing hundreds of our customer’s customers, we have come to realize that key accounts are rarely as secure as you think. In fact, as many as 80% of customer executives we interviewed shared that they would openly consider leaving a key supplier if another supplier offered better value. Key account management ensures that you maintain strong customer relationship and helps your sales team decide what relationships would be most beneficial to strengthen and grow.
- Capture Upside Growth - One of the other key drivers for investing in key accounts is capturing additional growth within top customers. Many of our clients have found that their business with identified key accounts grows as much as five times as their business did with non key customers.
- Create Differentiated Value - For some of our customers, there are certain verticals or types of accounts for which their offering creates differentiated value. Sometimes organizations invest heavily in key accounts because their offering is more tailored for a specific type of customer who will pay a premium. With key account management you’re able to focus on your customer’s pain points and needs and align these to your business for even more growth potential.
5 areas Key Account Management can improve your business
With those three reasons in mind, we wanted to learn:
What kind of returns are organizations getting from their investment in key account management?
We surveyed thousands of account managers and found several areas where organizations are recognizing a return on their investment in key account management:
- New Executive Relationships
- Growing Share of Wallet
- Developing New Opportunities
- Improving Net Promoter Score
- Winning New Opportunities
Check out this handy infographic to see how much the organizations we interviewed have improved in each of these areas.
As you are planning for investments in your sales organization, remember that Key Account Management means focusing on a small number of accounts, but will have a huge impact on your success.
One of the most critical factors for ensuring the success of key account management initiatives is supporting them with enabling technologies that allow for visibility, collaboration and adoption of account planning best practices.
Leveraging technologies such as Prolifiq CRUSH, a native Salesforce account planning application, is pivotal for achieving sustained results through account management.
For more information on how your organization can achieve these kind of results for deployment through account management strategies and best practices contact SOAR Performance Group.