Can you afford not to implement Key Account Management?

June 26, 2012 at 7:00 AM

If ~80% of your revenue comes from ~20% of the customer base, can you afford not to pay special attention to a few Key Accounts? When you analyze the 20% segment would the loss of a couple accounts make it impossible to be successful? The answer is typically “of course it would”, so what are you doing to maintain, defend, and continuously provide value to those customers?

We recently analyzed a set of customers for a client and within several of those accounts the customer was growing at a much faster pace than the relationship between the two companies. Meaning, the client was providing business to a competitor instead of providing more business to the incumbent.

When the client looked at the data internally it appeared on the surface that the relationship was solid (8% year over year growth). A problem was recognized when we compared the customers overall growth (17%) and the client’s growth (8%) within the account.

Before downloading and conducting the exercise highlighted below, let’s remember the 3 challenges we’re solving for within our Key Account program:

  1. Defense
    • Eliminate attrition of your most profitable / anchor accounts
  2. Cross/Up-sell
    • Sell more where you and the top customers best align
    • Sell different products to existing accounts (cross sell)
    • Sell more of the same product to other divisions and business units in the existing accounts (Up-sell)
  3. Over serve the Top
    • Provide premium services to the most valued accounts

With the above challenges in mind, download the “Key Account Growth Rate Analysis” tool here to compare your growth rate to your Key Accounts growth rate.

Key Account Growth Rate

After completing the analysis, answer the following 5 questions:

  1. Is your growth rate within each key account aligned with their growth rate?
  2. Are you leading or lagging the growth rate? Why?
  3. Are you hanging your hat on those key accounts that are losing the overall market share battle?
  4. Are you missing cross/up sell opportunities within these accounts?
  5. Analyze the overall market growth rate; are the key accounts you identified still the right accounts?

With the continuous consolidation of vendors in Key Accounts, how long will it be before you find yourself outside looking in at the key accounts in your market? Review the 3 challenges for Key Account management and make sure you’re addressing them before it’s too late. Make sure you’re over serving those Key Accounts that provide the greatest opportunity for growth.

Download The Key Account Growth Rate Analysis Tool Here

I’d like to hear from you; how are you measuring the success of your Key Account Management program?

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Topics: Key Account Management

Posted by John Staples

John Staples
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