Time is money, as all Sales people know, so finding ways to maximize the value of your time becomes imperative. The Pareto Principle is the 80/20 rule; from a Sales perspective, this would mean that 20% of your accounts likely make up 80% of your revenue. If we then apply this principle to account management, it can be a strategic method of managing your accounts so that you can get the highest ROI for your time and effort.
The ability to identify and realign the business based on Key Strategic Accounts (KSAs) allows Sales to secure the bread and butter of the business while still allowing Sales to grow additional accounts. Below are some of the key elements in KSA selling.
Be in the Know
This is about more than just wining and dining, though you can do that too. This is about truly understanding who your key accounts are as a business, so that you can meet and exceed their expectations. You need to know everything – their culture, players, business objectives and/or strategic initiatives.
Have an Open Book Relationship
A relationship is a two-way street, and client relationships are no different. Keep your clients informed and be proactive in maintaining a good relationship with your KSA clients. On top of keeping them informed about your company, these interactions are opportunities to keep yourself informed and demonstrate appreciation.
Successful strategic account management is not about just selling them, rather it is about helping your client to solve an anticipated problem. In Strategic Partnerships, there is an opportunity to go beyond merely solving a problem for them and solve a problem with them. Finding ways to leverage each other as partners is one of the best ways to engage a client and further your relationship with them.
The KSA method of account management isn’t just a sales shift, it’s an organizational shift. As a company, there needs to be a greater focus on how to better fulfill the needs of the customer. That might mean greater emphasis on research and development to help you foresee and remedy client pain points, or it might mean priority fulfillment of their orders. Either way, this should be done with the backing and support of your company, so it’s imperative that they’re on board.
What are the main attributes that comprise a Key Strategic Account for your company? What are your company priorities for Key Strategic Account management? What needs to change at either the Company or Sales level to ensure the success of a KSA methodology implementation? Need help putting together a KSA program together? Drop us a line.