No matter what industry you work in, there are bound to be myths and falsities lurking around. Key account management is no different, and because it’s a lesser-practiced sect of account management, at Kapta, we hear these myths every day.
Luckily, our team is well-educated in key account management, and we’re able to steer people in the right direction. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to always combat these myths and misconceptions head-on.
Today, we’re going to look at the top five most prevalent myths about key account management that you might think are true. We’ll counterbalance them with the facts behind the myth along with some actionable advice you can use to overcome these myths and put the facts into practice.
Myth 1: It’s important to be liked.
Fact: In reality, it’s much more critical to deliver outcomes for your key accounts. While it is nice to be liked, it isn’t a requirement to be a good account manager. Actions and results speak louder than kind words, and if you’ve ever received a “We REALLY like you, but we’re moving on” email, you know what we’re talking about.
Action: To help your customers achieve their ideal outcomes, you need to know what they are in the first place. Conduct a comprehensive Voice of Customer and find out exactly what they want you to do for their organization.
Myth 2: My customer will call me if there’s a problem.
Fact: In a perfect world, they would. But in the modern corporate environment, a lot can happen in a short amount of time. If you want to be their strategic partner, you need to be on the offensive and pick up the phone before it’s too late.
Even if your client does call you whenever there is a problem, wouldn’t it be better if you’re the one to provide a solution before the problem instead of scrambling when caught off guard?
Action: Be more proactive in your work and make sure that you’re asking deeper, strategic questions. If you can ask the right questions, you’ll be able to see obstacles and potential problems a mile away. This means that when a problem arises, you already know what to do and you won’t be playing defense.
Myth 3: I’m a trusted advisor/strategic partner to my key clients.
Fact: You might think you are, but more times than not, you’re probably just another vendor to your key accounts. Even if they trust you and you are their strategic partner, you should never take your foot off the gas. Always strive to improve, and the outcomes will be even better because of it.
Action: Learn more about your client’s organization. Pretend like you work there and their problems are your problems much like your success is their success. Be proactive and each day, strive to bring more value to the client. If you can consistently do all this, then you will eventually achieve the coveted role of Trusted Advisor.
Myth 4: My customer doesn’t want to hear from me more than once a quarter (or once a month).
Fact: This myth is incredibly prevalent and maybe the worst on this entire list. It’s no secret that we aren’t fans of the QBR here at Kapta and we have good reasons. The role of a key account manager is to be the expert clients turn to.
In fact, even if it might not seem like a big issue, if you aren’t talking to your key accounts on a regular basis, they notice, and bring your value down a little more. If you want to be their trusted advisor, you need to communicate more often with them.
Action: Take the time to speak with your clients on a regular basis. You can set up a schedule that works like clockwork, and you and your client will always be in the loop. It’s worth noting that when we say you should communicate more frequently, we don’t mean you should call them for no reason. Remember, our time is more valuable than anything.
Make sure that every interaction with the client brings real value to both of the organizations and moves the ball further down the road.
Myth 5: I’m too busy to do an account plan.
Fact: Are you really though? Many people confuse being busy with being productive. While your to-do list might seem insurmountably long, chances are a majority of those tasks are created subconsciously, so you have something to do. Use your time wisely and look for new ways to bring value to your key accounts.
Account plans might seem like they take a long time to create, but using a platform like Kapta makes it easy. The best part is that once you build one, you can then use that template and transfer it to your other accounts.
Action: Some things can wait, but plans for your key accounts can’t. If you fail to plan, then you’re basically managing the account blindly without any clear direction. Give yourself permission to postpone a few things and sit down to draft a comprehensive account plan for each of your key accounts. Although it might take some effort now, having a dedicated account plan for each key account will save you time, and make you more successful in the future.
How Kapta Can Help
Many of these actions are incredibly simple with the robust key account management platform from Kapta. We designed this platform to work with the day-to-day work of any key account manager seamlessly. With features like Voice of Customer Insights and Account Planning tools, you’ll never drop the ball again, and you can go from “just another vendor” to Trusted Advisor easily.
To see how Kapta can help you and your organization, request your free demo today.