If there is one thing I dislike more than anything it’s technology that adds unnecessary layers of complexity to my life. As a sales professional you can be met with systems that move you to want to punch your screen rather than welcome it’s helpfulness to your selling life.
In Key Account Management we face a similar crisis that some of us have learned to accept and frankly just adapted to.
This could be the irrelevancy of your CRM or what I’ve called many of mine in the past.
- C – customer
- R - relationship
- M – mess
I’m a pragmatist. I’m always on the lookout for tools and approaches that help simplify what I do, how I engage with my clients and manage my work and business.
I started thinking about my roles managing key accounts and working with other key account managers. A question that came up often. Is there anything out there that can practically help me;
- Work more effectively when managing my time
- Help me add value in different ways
- Keep a high view of those people most important to engage with
I started to explore some of the 50 + tools out there for account management. I wasn’t going to list them all because frankly a lot of them were terrible. I’ve been biased and picked just 3 based on what I’m using right now to achieve and the impact it’s had on me and my clients.
Tool for working more effectively
Doodle/youcanbookme – Why this – think about all the meetings and trying to get people in one place at one time. Why not collaborate but do this through a tool that doesn’t require your attention and can follow up on your behalf. Doodle for group date management and youcanbookme for individual scheduling. Make managing those important calls easier. I’ve now saved almost 3 hours a week and can dedicate that time to having conversations that matter. www.doodle.com and www.youcanbookme.com
Helping add value
LinkedIn – This is in my mind one of the most powerful ways for you to keep front of mind and valuable with your clients. Of course you can use email and that is very effective when done well. it’s so utilised it seemed too obvious to include. Here are two ways I and you can use LinkedIn to add value to your clients.
- By adding tags to your contacts you can quickly and easily segment lists and select content personalise this based on your clients interests. The beauty of this is it bypasses spam, the inevitable email overload and is sent directly to them uncluttered from their business mail.
- Offer referrals and testimonials of their business – by taking 5min a week you can recommend a contact client raising their profile. Demonstrating your partnership but it will also tell their contacts about you. In one 5min interaction you’ve practically spoken to the world.
Keep view of clients, conversations and connected relationships
Kapta – One of the biggest challenges in CRM and there are some great ones out there. Very few, if any are set up to support the perspective and sales engagements of key account managers. When you have multiple relationships, strategic plans that need weekly recording and the weight of larger and more dense excel documents. You need something to save you from this. That saving tool for me has been Kapta. Clean, easy, mobile and is intuitively empathetic to key account management. All that information most important to you to make strategic and tactical decisions immediately (as long as you put in the information). No extra excel or word docs. All in one place. Genius. http://www.kapta.com
There you have it that’s my three. What tools do you use to aid your sales effectiveness and simplify the day to day of your sales life?
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