Key account management
This key account management course is a complete program on how to best manage and develop key accounts. It is specifically designed for quick, consistent, easy and effective development of pro-active account development. Can be fully tailored to match your business and objectives.
Who will benefit
Sales professionals, marketing staff, account managers, support and technical team members; senior managers and executives.
- Developing a ‘best practice’ approach to account management.
- Providing more consistency and structure in developing and growing business from both existing accounts and new potential customers.
- Improving the ability to sell additional services proactively.
- Better co-ordination and growth of international accounts and opportunities.
- Using the PROFIT account plan and methodology.
- Skills and methods to use when managing and developing both existing customer and target accounts.
- Building on current best practice and integration with existing CRM tools.
Notes: Participants will be asked to bring with them details of two ‘significant’ accounts. Exercises, planning sessions and role-plays will then be constructed and focused on these real-life examples during the course.
This programme is an interactive mixture of short and concise presentations, interactive discussion groups, practical team activities and practice on various skills, techniques and methods using carefully selected case studies and video sequences. It provides the latest instructional technologies to enable each delegate to learn and apply the skills and techniques used in the programmes.
Brilliant Account Management Skills
Effective business, sales, service and negotiation Strategies – Gaining new business, upselling to key clients, planning and managing the key account negotiation process
- Key Account Presentation Skills – Preparation (intimate knowledge of the client and client needs, gaining attention and buy-in from key decision-makers/influencers within the key account), Opening, Presentation Proper and Closing – Achieving a positive effect and impact
Key Account Servicing and Maintenance
- Maintaining Long-term Client Satisfaction by gaining feedback and managing internal service providers
- Problematic / Difficult Key Accounts – Managing expectations (e.g. to comply or not to comply with demands that go beyond the contract terms? Managing disappointments and dissatisfaction)
- Ongoing needs analysis to uncover and arrest problems early, identify new opportunities for business growth
Key Account Retention
- Key Account KPIs – How do your key clients measure your performance? Setting up a Key Account Dashboard
- Measuring the Value provided and received from your Key Accounts – Assessing the impact of the loss of one / several key accounts
- Maintaining a Competitive Advantage, Warding off Competitors in the short and long term
- Retention – Continuing to provide the level of service that creates Long-term Customer Loyalty
Key Account Expansion
- Key Account Revenue Expansion – How and when? How much is enough?
- Identifying and Developing Opportunities for Key Account Growth
- Structuring and Executing a Key Account Expansion Plan
Key Account Recovery
- Regaining a Lost Account – Lost-Account Confidence-building strategy
- Win-back tactics – Developing and executing a Key Account Recovery Action Plan
PROFIT principles of Brilliant Account Management
Good account management goes way beyond the management of opportunities. How you measure your accounts and what you measure will largely determine the direction and focus of your development of both new and existing revenue streams. This module defines best practice account management measures and metrics, both activity- and results-based. It examines very practical ways in which performance of both existing and prospective accounts can be easily monitored and progress highlighted. This includes the use of a one-page customised account ‘dashboard’.
Using a relationship matrix approach, it is vital that relationships are created, developed and co-ordinated at all levels in accounts, where appropriate. You should work on developing both a coach and senior level contacts. Relationship management should be approached in a structured and planned way, using online and offline sources of information.
A good account manager will view an account as a revenue stream, with a series of linked or consecutive opportunities. These should cover short-, medium- and long-term business development cycles. Accurate qualification, regular review and organised persistence are the three essentials for developing opportunities proactively.
Feedback and retention
This section looks in detail at customer and account retention in a positive and pro active way. First ensuring a high-level of customer satisfaction, but then building on this with a series of steps and initiatives. Identifying ‘at risk’ clients is also covered, and how to respond to customer dissatisfaction.
Good account managers or great influencers? Advanced persuasion, communication and people skills are a pre-requisite to developing accounts and opportunities effectively. This is particularly true in promoting new or solution-based propositions. This session discusses some ideas from participants and introduces some advanced techniques around a consultative or solution-focused approach.
Time management and teamwork
This is an essential skill of effective account management. Prioritisation of accounts, managing daily activities, effective horizontal delegation and co-ordination of others within an account structure are all covered. We also include aspects of virtual team management and effective communication
Brilliant Account Management – course outline
PROFIT – Introduction
- Introduction to the PROFIT model
- Practical account development strategies: overview and case-studies
- Using practical tools to help you manage and measure account performance and success, including profitability and key performance metrics
- Designing and build a monthly account dashboard for all types sizes of account
- Prioritising and managing accounts and customers pro-actively and successfully using proven planning tools
- Developing a cross-selling strategy to integrate solutions and products into the customer’s business as closely as possible
- How to build and manage key relationships within an account
- Qualifying and managing key influencers accurately
- Producing a ‘relationship matrix’ for each account quickly and easily
- Approaching and developing new contacts strategically
- Tools and techniques for successful tracking of contacts and call-backs
- Developing a coach or advocate in every client site pro-actively
Objectives and goals
- Where are you now?– how to establish your competitive position within an account
- Knowing how to set, monitor and track key objectives for accounts over the short, medium and long term
- Selling against the competition – developing both long and short sales strategies
- Understanding the concept of long-term customer value and the importance of adapting a customer-focused attitude
- Setting jointly agreed goals, objectives and business plans, and tracking their successful implementation
- Feedback and Retention – building loyal and satisfied customers
- How to monitor and track your customer’s perception and satisfaction with your organisation, products and services
- Building a personalised satisfaction matrix for each account – plus making each customer feel ‘special’
- Customer review meetings: best practice in building loyalty by regular joint planning events
- Spotting and reacting to early warning signals that may cause an account’s loyalty to fade, reduce revenue or cause a customer to change system usage
- Developing a loyalty strategy for key accounts or groups of smaller accounts
- How to integrate your solutions with the customer’s business needs and processes
- Getting your message and strategy across to C-level contacts
- Being able to better anticipate, identify, create, and develop business opportunities within an account.
- Advanced consultative skills: structured and advanced questioning techniques to uncover opportunities, need areas and business criteria – confidently and efficiently.
- Knowing your personalised value message: Differentiating your solutions clearly and accurately with customer/client-matched value statements.
Teamwork and time management
- Working with others inside your organisation to achieve your account goals
- Managing and working with a virtual team
- Creating cross-departmental communication loops
- Managing your time and accounts effectively
- Putting it all together
- Personal account reviews, personal learning summary and action plans
PROFIT: Managing accounts successfully
To manage an account successfully you must be client-centric, not product centric.
This approach puts the client at the centre of everything we do — with the goal of developing more loyal and more profitable client relationships. It focuses on three processes — managing relationships, creating opportunities and orchestrating teams — to deliver a differentiated and consistent client experience.
The key to making the client-centred approach a reality is in the way you work together with other departments and suppliers. You need to take the lead in understanding the client’s needs, exceeding their service expectations, proactively developing new business opportunities and assuring the client of your commitment to them. Of course, the larger the client relationship, the more complex this process becomes. However, regardless of the client’s size, industry or investment needs, the same client-centred principles apply.
The key to managing your organisation/client relationship is the development of an account plan, such as PROFIT. Your plan should align the organisation’s goals with the goals of your client and assign specific accountability for relationship and management activities. It is critical not only as a roadmap for all the people in your organisation who provide service to the client but also as a means of communicating with other individuals and teams at your organisation from which you’ll need support. Of course, the more client input you have into your plan, the more effective it will be.
Another key part of managing relationships focuses on the individual client relationship. The better you understand how your client contacts or consultants prefer to work with you and how they perceive your organisation, the more successful you will be in deepening your relationship with them and increasing their loyalty and business commitment to your organisation.
Creating and realising opportunities
This is about effectively preparing for and conducting business development meetings with your client contacts. It is linked to the three driving principles of client-centred business development: focus on the client, earn the right to advance, and persuade through involvement. These principles can be applied via a consultative communication style, with an emphasis on listening to the client (rather than presenting the organisation).
This consultative approach involves engaging the client in a dialogue; getting information about the client’s needs and ultimately persuading the client of the unique value and advantage your organisation offers them. This style can also be applied to respond well to any objections the client may have. This theme includes detail on how to effectively plan, conduct and follow up on your business development activities. It also includes techniques for understanding the motivational style of individual client contacts so you can adapt your communication style and message to be most effective with them.
Managing Client Teams
It focuses on the elements of successful teamwork as they apply to our business and way of working. The key here is to ‘orchestrate your internal resources’, so that they are focussed on providing ‘seamless’ service to your client.
This theme includes consideration of the stages of ‘virtual’ team development and the specific tools and activities that promote productive teams. A ‘virtual’ team can be thought of as a group of people brought together as required to achieve specific goals and results for the client and your organisation.
It suggests the importance of gaining agreement on team goals and ground rules, as well as how to motivate and get buy-in from individual team members.
The PROFIT toolkit will help the team plan how it will work with other people in your organisation who are critical to its success. Being a ‘virtual’ team leader requires that you conduct appropriate team meetings and briefings, manage the flow of information as well as a technique for constructively sharing feedback with others within your organisation.
Profit toolkit and workbook
The combination of this training and these notes and tools will allow you to:
- Increase your success with an account, both in terms of business development and retention
- Use it as a briefing document for others who might be working with this account
- To plan the account strategy and tactics and demonstrate best practice account management, using it as a discussion and planning document
This workbook contains several processes and tools that you can use to plan accounts more successfully. It does not matter if you complete all the sections, or in what sequence. The exact ones that you use will be based on your account, the objectives for the account and your account management style.
- Added value account management
- Account dashboard
- Cross-selling matrix and action plan
- Business development opportunities
- Relationship matrix
- Contact profile
- Build an advocate and coach
- Mission statement
- Goals and objectives
- Action planning
- Customer service standards and client satisfaction scorecard.
- Client review meetings.
- Performance analysis
- Joint planning/working.
- Business/product alignment strategy.
- Be part of a client change process
- Managing the supplier manager relationship
- Internal stakeholder map.
- Virtual team communication loops.
- Time and account management
The facilitator of this course is international trainer/consultant and published author.