KAM Enablement: Why CRM is Not Enough

To most sales leaders, it is no surprise that 80% of your business comes from only 20% of your key accounts. Chitra Iyer, Contributing Editor at MarTech Advisor, traces how many businesses have recently chosen to deploy specific technology that optimally serves to manage the scale and complexity of these Key Accounts. In describing the B2B Sales Landscape today, Iyer writes, “The luxury of having a choice in KAM Transformation is gone. If you have Key Accounts, you need to enable Key Account Management with the RIGHT tools. Today.”

The Challenges of Key Account Management

The article investigates a larger challenge facing many enterprises today. While many have deployed KAM technologies, they still are struggling to optimize their full revenue potential. The article claims, “B2B leaders are asking: we have had a KAM strategy in place for a while now, so why aren’t revenues from key accounts growing? Why are so many opportunities slipping through the cracks?”

To address this problem, it’s important to look at the story behind KAM technology. The complexity of the modern enterprise has made it increasingly difficult to share and align customer knowledge across sales teams and throughout an entire organization. Iyer describes these modern enterprises as “Global behemoths with multiple buying units spread across geographies, functions, lines of business. Matrix organizations with complicating reporting structures and diverse affiliations…”

The primary sales challenge lies in the fact that most enterprise sales teams are organized around vertical industries, geographies or product and service categories – rather than around the customer. This is compounded by the significant gaps that exist between pockets of knowledge and value of information resulting in lost revenue from missed sales opportunities.

Because of these challenges, Key Account Managers spend a significant amount of time just managing the relationship with customers. Size and complexity have made account management a time and resource-consuming effort. With no technologies in place to improve the efficiency of the process, account managers are left “pulling data from various sources, formatting annual plan templates, compiling reports for leadership, and aligning stakeholders just to get the basics done.” All in all, they must “run faster and faster just to stay in the same place.”

The Shortcomings of the CRM

Many believed that CRM systems alone would solve this issue. To improve the efficiency of the process, enterprises put “key accounts…along with all 55,000 other accounts” into the CRM system. However, they quickly realized that CRM alone was not enough to provide key account managers with the complexity and depth of analysis necessary for the key accounts. While CRM often serves as the global warehouse for that data, most enterprise sales executives agree that they alone do not provide the necessary framework to understand or communicate information about complex customer relationships or actionable intelligence required to drive the sales process forward in a meaningful way.

Iyer elaborates on this problem:

“Farming and mining the business potential across the many buying units, functions and lines of business became almost impossible – because the intel simply wasn’t there – or it was so spread out or so stuck in silos – that KAMs couldn’t even begin to consolidate it, forget using it to build strategy. The dots were just not being joined across data points to create a ‘big picture’ from which a global strategy could emerge.”

Looking Beyond the CRM

If organizations do not use the right KAM tools, they cannot capitalize on the untold amount of revenue opportunity that lies within key accounts. This poor visibility into, and collaboration around, key accounts has a significant negative impact on an organization’s ability to properly determine account value, define account objectives, ensure that value is delivered, and forecast accurately for the long term. That’s where Revegy comes in – a technology purpose-built on the foundation that key accounts require specialized technology and a unique approach that enables reps and managers to get a picture of the customer that is absolute and complete. Check out the best account plan ever to see what real, effective KAM technology looks like, and read about how it is helping world class account teams unlock the full lifetime value of every strategic customer relationship.

To learn more about the sales enterprise challenge, read the full MarTech article here.