In my last post we discussed the 10 questions you need to answer before visiting your key accounts. Now let’s discuss the 10 questions the key accounts will be asking you?
Download these 10 questions here that your Key Accounts will ask before you walk into your next meeting. If you were able to answer the 10 questions from my prior blog here then you’re well on your way to preparing for your big meetings.
We all talk about putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes and trying to determine what’s important to them. When we do this, we tend to get super tactical and think they want me to; hit the SLA’s, provide quality product, good service, on time delivery, etc. All of these items are important but what is the buyer really thinking about?
First, you should be talking to your customers more; surveying (not a customer service survey, but a buyer persona survey) them on a regular basis and most importantly conducting win/loss analysis every quarter. The most powerful data you can find often comes from a win/loss analysis. How often has your sale rep said it was a “no decision” or “it was the lowest price” (the CEB says 81% of deals are lost by actions the seller could have performed). You later find out the deal was lost by something completely different and it was avoidable. If you’re interested in having me conduct a win/loss analysis on one of your recent opportunities, I’m happy to demo the approach.
Second, he or she is thinking along the same lines as you are. Is this relationship making me look good? How can this relationship make me stand out against my peers? How is this relationship helping me hit my incentive based objectives?
We recently interviewed 45 Vice President / Executive Director level managers and asked what were the three (3) most important items to them? The response; promotion, authority and income. This is different from their objectives; making the number (or performance metrics); more “A” players and relative performance verse my peers.
So the question for you is; how is your product or service contributing to your peer’s ability to get promoted, gain more authority or increase their personal income? If you know the answer to these questions then you truly are putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes and they will find value in your Key Account program.