Many say we're in the ‘Age of the customer’
It’s because of this I believe it's the greatest time to be a KAM and have them on your team.
Customer behaviour is changing rapidly. Our clients are bombarded with choice and there are more competitors enter our industry year on year. The world of information and accessibility to products and services are unparalleled in History.
Whether you or your client thinks so or not you’re needed for one reason.
To help your customer navigate choice, reduce risk and discover the solutions that ultimately lead to their success.
KAMs for me are the personalised marketing channel for the company and the insight bringer for the customer. Collaboratively with the wider business you connect everyone else to the client so that there is a clear view of what expectations there are to ensure the consistency of the customer experience and ultimately your customer growth success.
Because KAM’s matter your clients matter even more
Here is the honest reality and challenge of this ‘Age of the customer'. Our businesses are constantly on show, to deliver, because in today’s buying economy there is little room for error.
Businesses are haunted by the unheard question asked by their existing clients every year. That question is: Why you?
For many of your customer’s you may not be a key provider. Why should they commit time, resources and levels of access you’re asking for?
Just as your business has limited capacity to truly manage key accounts, your customers may have limited capacity to manage key providers and allow them to integrate fully within their business. Once a new person comes into the business, a key person leaves, re organisation happens you might be in trouble. We've all experienced those sales altering disruptions.
This for me is one of the biggest unrecognised challenges Key Account Managers have when managing high value customers across the world.
THE CLIENT EXPECTATION GAP - the distance between your perceived experience of where your value is with your client, to where your client perceives it is for them and their business. The further the distance of that perception is the more vulnerable your business is to churn and missed opportunity.
Here are 5 honest statements that get companies to challenge their perceived relationship with their client based on the value of their product or service today: I recognise every product and service is built for different results and purposes. The purpose of this reflection remains the same. To think about that Gap. Read the 5 statements and see if you see your company in them.
- You are a fully integrated provider into most areas and departments of your clients business and have a known, recognised and strategic partnership. Your product or service is seen as very important to their business needs.
- You are an integrated provider in some areas of your clients business. You have a recognised partnership with some departments and your product or solution is see as important to their business needs.
- You are somewhat integrated in your clients business but are only known to specific people. Your product or service is seen as important.
- You are not integrated into your clients business but do offer a product or service perceived as somewhat important to their business
- You are not integrated into your clients business. Your product or service is perceived as helpful but not integral
What did you discover about where you think your business is? Was it what you expected?
Whatever you discovered you’re now more aware of where you believe your value might be. That’s the point. You can now apply the right strategies and conversations to qualify this and either change or improve on what you’re doing already.
Key Account Managers matter because they’re there to challenge where your business is and help your business guard itself from dangerous blind spots, churn and missed opportunities. If you have high value existing clients coming back year on year and you see that partnership grow where you become known as an integrated and very important provider. You probably have a great KAM and investing in them will make a huge difference.
Leave a comment if you disagree or resonate with something said.
Either way have a great day