It's very easy in Key Account or Large Account Management to focus heavily on strategy. We can be overtaken by academic research and bombarded by SWOT analysis and strategic planning that we miss an important consideration. Key Account Management is all about three areas of engagement with your customers: Relational, Strategic and Tactical.
To have explosive sales and relationship results from your key clients you need to be congruent in all three areas. They're all just as important as the other. However the relational and tactical engagement is what actually drives the sale forward. The strategic engagement helps you to know where you're going. No one has really tackled the implications of this in practice. Before I get to this let me explain what I mean by Relational, Strategic and Tactical engagement.
Your ability to connect with your clients and deepen trust & influence.
Many miss this in account management. We’re told we need to build relationships, which is critical to customer success. But what does that actually look like? How will you know things are working? What will you use to build those connections, amplify trust and deepen those relationships important to you? this is what relational engagement is about. The considerations of what your relationship to look like and how you get there with your client. Without a focus on this you limit your ability to grow your influence and opportunity.
Your ability to align yours and your customer’s goals to one or multiple mutually beneficial outcomes.
This is all the things you and your managers can spend a lot of time on. Making specific account plans, cost/benefit analysis, SWOT analysis etc... It's also where you'll set expectations with your client on how you’ll work best together. This includes your business growth goals. It may also plans on who you'll make what I call 'power connections'.Connections with key influencers or stakeholders that move your strategy forward. Strategic engagement ultimately helps give you a clarity on where to go, where the potential opportunities are for present and future success with your customer.
Your ability to deliver on the right things to win consistently.
This is the area that is probably spent the least on thinking through in Key Account Management. What are the daily and weekly tactical implications of every strategy or plan set with your client and internally with your business? This can include how you decide to build relationships, how you align the rest of your internal departments to support customer success or how you execute growth goal promises with your board and account management team. If not considered carefully and without a clear process for how you execute on strategy. You may still have wins without it but you'll have very few business transforming client successes. That's what I want for you and believe every KAM can have with their existing customers.
If you haven't considered all three areas of engagement today. Now is the time!
How do you start thinking about this? in preparation for my book the Key Account Hack available next week. You can check out free content i've produced in Slideshare that addresses these ideas. Better yet click the book image and sign up to pre order the complete guide to helping you see those business transforming client successes I mentioned.
If you’d like to connect with me Join over 100 account management and key account management professionals and look me up at www.jermaineedwards.com or SIGN UP to the Key Account Hack client insight list with others like you wanting to take their client sales to a new level. Click Here