Key Accounts are a B2B company’s most strategic, valuable and long-term clients. They are typically large, complex global entities with multiple buying units, functions and verticals. Key accounts are hard to win and can be equally as challenging to grow.
These customers not only provide significant current business, but have an untold amount of opportunity within other buying centers, lines of business or geographic regions. Many organizations find that penetrating accounts in a strategic, successful way can be even more difficult than getting the first piece of business.
Large enterprises – your key accounts – are transforming rapidly to keep pace with the added complexities of globalization and digitization of the business ecosystem. While these organizations hold out the promise of exponential growth and profitability, they offer that same opportunity only to those who can help them grow.
In other words, to vendors they view as “strategic partners” – vendors who make client business objectives their own. With joint planning, collaboration and a strategic focus on business goals, this is possible. Unfortunately, most B2Bs are struggling with just retaining key accounts let alone helping them grow.
Even with all the systems, CRM, methodologies and highly paid KAM teams in place, why are so many B2Bs missing the transformative growth opportunities within their key accounts?
What changes could put your key account program on the path to growth and expansion?
CSO Insights notes that 56.5% of sales organizations don’t take advantage of account planning to grow their strategic accounts.
They also point out that the primary tools organizations use for strategic account plans are Word, Excel, or PowerPoint and these represent manual, static approaches that lack consistency, process or a clear way to execute the account strategy.
It’s becoming clear that the core technologies and tools that sales teams use are not designed for the unique challenges of managing key accounts.
CSO Insights makes the following recommendation:
“In the 21st century, it’s time to revisit strategic account planning regarding focus and approach. And it’s time to liberate strategic account plans from files on desktops and make them living plans that are created, and more importantly, executed by a cross-functional account team on one shared platform, connected to the CRM system.”
With the right people, strategic insights and enabling tools, your key account growth potential can be virtually unlimited over the medium to long-term.
In the next blog post in this series, we will discuss how you can drive exponential growth and value creation in your key accounts by applying a more dynamic, collaborative approach to account planning and execution.