Account management, a strategy for success

Written by Posted On Saturday, 17 February 2018 18:06

If you saw a chapter of the famous television series "Mad Men" or you are fond of the history of advertising, surely you know the importance of managing accounts to achieve success. But that business practice that already dominated advertising companies in the second half of the twentieth century has been extended to virtually all labor sectors, including yours. Knowing that the management of accounts is a strategy for success is important, but more important still knows how. Let’s go see it.

The key accounts of a company

In colloquial language, we could say that an account is key for a company when it is able to generate a significant volume of billing. Theoretically, the sum of all the billing of a company's key accounts would be equivalent to 80% of its total billing. For example, a pizza delivery company would be a key account for a company that, like ours, is dedicated to rent electric motorcycles, a type of vehicle perfect for this type of urban travel.

Given the importance of these key accounts for the survival of a company, the management of these clients' accounts must be entrusted to the most valuable member of the commercial department, the so-called KAM. We see it below.

The KAM and the management of accounts

KAM is the acronym in English of "Key Account Manager", a fundamental position for the business strategy and that usually is occupied by one of the most valuable members of the sales department. Depending on the volume of key accounts, this task of managing accounts can be assumed by a single person or by a team of people led and supervised by a senior manager. A final feature of KAM that is important for the success of your work is that you must develop your work in collaboration with both the management department and the area of external communication, advertising, and marketing.

Account management, a strategy also for SMEs

Reading the previous paragraphs can make you think that the management of accounts is a strategy that only large corporations can successfully implement. Nothing is further from reality. Any small or medium-sized company and even any self-employed professionals have one or several key accounts in their portfolio that support their business. Perhaps those accounts do not generate the million-dollar volume of turnover that those that work with groups or multinational companies, but their contribution are fundamental to the success of our business.

How can we do good Key Account Management if our commercial department is reduced or even nil? Some advices:

  • Make a list of your key accounts. It's a matter of making numbers: what is the turnover of each of your customers? Apart from the direct income that involves working with them; does it contribute other important intangible values to your Organization, such as money?
  • Once you have defined the profile of your key accounts, you have to think about the sales, marketing, and communication strategy that your company will apply to these accounts. For example, you might decide that you have to visit or call your key accounts once a month to check their degree of satisfaction or that they should enjoy a range of discounts that do not apply to other customers, or that you can serve their orders faster than the rest, etc.
  • The last advice: get the entire human team of your company to know the importance of managing key accounts for their present and future work. If you can afford to have a KAM template, the rest of the team should know and recognize their important work and contribute their bit to the task of managing accounts. If the work of account management is done by a member of the management area, it is essential that the rest of the departments know it and that each employee is responsible for the specific tasks assigned to them. It seems complex, but it is a simple matter of organization.
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