Whose Account Is It Anyway?

Why you need to implement a key account management program.

The objective of a key account management program is "embeddedness" -- that is, a successful key account management program will make you indispensable to your customer.

Unlike the traditional salesperson, the Key Account Manager does not think transactionally. He thinks strategically. He doesn't pursue every account equally. He selects accounts very carefully.

For centuries, buyers have been wary of sellers. However, something has changed in the last few decades. In every industry, power is shifting from sellers to buyers. This is partly due, among other factors, to buyers having superior access to information, more choice due to globalization and access to improved technology. In this new world, sellers are having difficulty adjusting. This difficulty in transition isn't exclusive to the sales process as sellers grapple with strong purchasing agents, it also challenges suppliers in the account management process.

One of the fundamental keys to effective persuasion is understanding people's needs and goals. Goals are the keys to emotions and emotions drive decision-making.

The Customer Is NOT Always Right!

Not Every Customer Is Right For Your Business

The customer can no longer mean anyone who does business with us. Increasingly, some of the most demanding customers are the least profitable. Conversely, when a relationship with a "right-fit" customer is secured, you must be willing to make the appropriate investments, innovations and adaptations to remain on-goingly relevant to this customer.

Buyers will always want transactions, but in the near future, they just won't pay for the overhead of a salesperson. In addition to transactions, buyers will always require transformations. For these, they will happily pay for a Strategic Account Manager. Suppliers will be automated. Symbiotic Partnerships will never be automated. They require a genuine human-to-human connection. Those who try to play in the middle as transactional salespeople will be crushed by the march of progress.

Executives of large organizations are realizing the need to focus on their core competencies and work with key partners to provide complementary competencies as needed.