Key Account Management: The Ultimate Guide
Existing businesses are more profitable and less expensive than new businesses. Fact.
But (and this is a significant but), account growth, renewals, and advocacy are difficult for indirect suppliers due to procurement’s emphasis on spend management.
How can we resolve the issue?
The rescue comes from key account management!
What are account management and meeting software?
Key account management (KAM) is the planning and management of a mutually beneficial partnership between a company and its most valuable clients. Significant to an organization’s long-term, sustainable growth, key accounts require a substantial investment of both time and resources.
Account management software is a type of software that helps businesses manage their customer accounts. This software can help businesses keep track of customer information, contact information, and account balances. Additionally, account management software can help businesses automate customer billing and invoicing.
To overcome this modern office nightmare, businesses are turning to project and meeting management software to help standardize their approach and enhance meeting effectiveness and efficiency through better preparation, organization, structure, and archiving.
What are the benefits of account management using meeting management software?
1 – Enhanced cooperation
Effective meetings include all attendees and encourage participation. Presentations, video demonstrations, using a whiteboard to work through process issues, or asking participants to “sticky note” their thoughts and ideas can help keep meetings interesting and achieve results more quickly when they can add value.
2 – Synchronized data and real-time revisions
By keeping everyone in the loop digitally, changes and updates can be made instantly, ensuring that participants always have access to the most recent information and that version control is effectively administered. No longer will you devote hours to a set of tasks only to discover that half of them have been replaced since you last accessed the file.
3 – Streamlined note-taking
If you’ve ever managed the agenda and acted as a scribe for a meeting, you’re likely familiar with the situation in which you jotted down a shorthand note, only to forget what it meant later. As a result, it is easy to overlook important details or forget why something was noted, as the context is lost by the time the notes are written up. Automated meeting notes can help ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and that every meeting has comprehensive, shareable minutes.
4 – Improved remote meeting participation
With the right meeting software, it won’t matter if participants are in different parts of the city, country, or world; everyone can participate as if they were in the same room, saving time, and money, and allowing progress to continue despite participants’ busy schedules.
Why is account management essential in an industrial enterprise?
The core role of a key account manager (KAM) is to handle the most valuable clients.
Frequently, businesses struggle to retain their clientele in every way possible. And increasingly, businesses attempt to shift their focus from account marketing to sales process via customer service. However, according to a Gartner study, customer service does not drive revenue, whereas customer improvement may do the trick.
Account management comes into play at this point. 61% of companies, according to a study by Global Partners Training, report that strategic account management programs helped them increase their revenue and customer satisfaction. This report demonstrates the importance of a working account marketing program for all businesses.
In addition, retaining the best customers who can provide you with a reliable source of revenue and profit allows you to plan your business in advance. However, the process entails a large number of activities, and this guide will help you understand the essential aspects of Account Management.
Strategies to succeed in account management
A KAM needs leadership abilities to guide her team members (which might include a salesperson, marketer, technical support, implementation, and/or onboarding specialist).
- Be proactive
Even though the primary duty of an account manager is to maintain positive client relationships, this cannot occur unless the account manager proactively reaches out to customers.
Advice on being proactive:
Clients are typically too busy to contact a business unless they experience a problem. Therefore, account managers must conduct outreach by promoting the delivered benefits. They can accomplish this in a variety of ways.
- Recurring performance updates: An AM should email performance results and client status notes to customers on a recurring basis.
- Check-in conferences: Regular client check-ins demonstrate a proactive approach to customer communication.
- New client enrollment: Discuss onboarding procedures and workflows affecting the client with a new client, such as the escalation process when reporting an issue that is not being resolved quickly. Customers value this type of assistance, especially in the beginning.
- Implement core account management (KAM)
The aim is to understand your customer’s pain points and goals in order to identify opportunities for added value and collaboration. If a business is successful, the number of clients under an account manager’s purview may at some point exceed the AM’s bandwidth. Therefore, it makes sense to implement a KAM strategy.
KAM, which stands for key account management, refers to the notion that the account manager should devote the majority of their time and effort to the accounts that generate the most revenue. Most businesses require a KAM strategy because neither their time nor their resources are unlimited.
Advice for implementing KAM
Because adding a client to the list of KAM accounts is easier than removing one, define the criteria for this higher tier of service with care.
- Limit KAM clients: The list of KAM accounts should be small, between 5 and 20 accounts depending on the total number of clients on an AM’s client list (referred to as their book of business). In addition, AMs should routinely review their KAM accounts, perhaps every quarter, to ensure that accounts that were previously qualified continue to qualify and to identify new candidates.
- KAM strategies engage the entire organization: Because KAM clients should be handled with greater care and attention than the rest of an AM’s book of business, they require different work processes, such as distinct steps to resolve issues, than non-KAM clients. Consequently, a KAM program should be an organizational change that requires a change management plan and company-wide buy-in, and not just a sales team process.
- Employ CRM software
Account managers must track a great deal of information for each client. This is where CRM software comes in handy. CRM, which stands for customer relationship management, is a concept centered on providing an exceptional customer experience. CRM software is designed to support this objective through a variety of features.
Advice on utilizing a CRM
Modern CRM software is highly developed. In order to get the most out of it and to ensure the efficiency, the team should receive extensive training on its use.
- Utilize the software’s built-in automation tools to automate repetitive tasks, such as sending regular customer reports.
- Customer life cycle management: Track each client through the customer life cycle using CRM software to identify opportunities. Such as which accounts are prepared for upsells and which are expanding to the point where they are eligible for the KAM list.
- Ensure the CRM is genuinely beneficial: CRM software is not a substitute for a customer strategy. Before utilizing a CRM, it is vital to comprehend the needs of clients. Before sending weekly automated emails, you should determine if that is the best approach for the customer. For some clients, a weekly email may feel like spam.
- Utilize a Meeting management tool to aid enterprise
In up to one-third of meetings, time is utilized inefficiently. This may be due to a lack of planning and preparation, communication difficulties among team members, frequent emergency meetings, and other internal and external factors. Having a meeting management system is the first step to effective planning and competent workspace organization.
Guidelines for using meeting management software
- Planning and Task Assignment: a fundamental function that plays a crucial role in team development and work process organization. Planning tools may vary based on the needs of the customer.
- Centralize meeting agenda, files & images on a single page for easy visibility and accessibility for the other team members.
- Having your agendas, meeting notes, comments, and archives all in one place keeps you organized and holds your team accountable.
- Team Communication Management, including discussing and coordinating the resolution of workplace issues.
- Create shared online agendas for one-on-ones and team meetings.
How should managers and employees approach one-on-one meetings?
- Ask your employees how they feel at work.
- Are they achieving their objectives? If no, why not?
- Determine what your employees are most enthusiastic about.
- Is there anything you can do to improve the success of your employees?
Select Meeting management software
The tools also give meeting participants the option to choose time slots on the basis of their availability. So, pretty much everything is in your hands when it comes to managing meetings.
Microsoft Teams, is a tool for organizing team collaboration, particularly work meetings. The benefits include the ability to conduct audio and video conferences, access to the screens of the speakers. Most importantly, direct integration with other Office 365 tools, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, One Drive, Sharepoint, and Microsoft apps/services such as Azure.
Zoom, one of the best conferencing applications on the market, provides a vast array of collaborative features. It can integrate with a personal calendar, making it convenient for scheduling appointments. And it allows for file collaboration (view, edit, and update). It is also possible to create chats for both individual and group conversations.
A remote control system whose primary purpose is to provide technical support. Teamviewer also has a conferencing feature that facilitates the conduct of meetings. It may also grant access to the computers of other discussion participants.
isLucid transcribes your meetings in real time with multilanguage support. You can create tasks or highlight important details through voice commands. Every task integrates with multiple project management and CRM software. IsLucid allows you to create meeting minutes and have a generate meeting minute file after the meeting. You can edit it, add tasks and share it with other employees.
There are dozens of tools for managing work processes. All of them help organize and enhance communication within the team, connecting employees from different parts of the city, country, or globe. Regardless of the method you select, it will improve team performance and business growth.
If you are interested in isLucid digital meeting assistant, get it for MS Teams and try it for free: isLucid Download Page.
You can also book a demo and get a walkthrough: Book a Demo.