Does your tech stack help or hinder your key account managers (KAMs)?
The right technology stack supports processes and workflows to streamline operations and boost productivity. So, if you’re asking your KAMs to work with software that increases their workload, you may be holding them back.
For example, if your KAMs must work with a cobbled-together tech stack of email, Slack, Monday.com, a CRM, and some reporting software you are increasing their workload unnecessarily. They can’t possibly function efficiently with numerous tabs open on their desktop, constantly toggling between applications to find what they need to complete essential activities.
Simple tasks become a major undertaking, causing KAMs to waste valuable time as they search for information and piece together data or reports. This leads to disjointed workflows, leaving KAMs stretched thin and struggling to drive customer value effectively.
This is significant. But, why?
Why the KAM Technology Stack Matters
There’s a lot at stake if your KAMs are struggling to function at peak efficiency. That’s because KAMs are tasked with retaining your company’s largest customers, the 20% that represent up to 80% of your annual recurring revenue. These accounts are also crucial for long-term growth. They offer you expansion and advocacy opportunities to boost your bottom line further.
None of this growth or opportunity exists if your account managers can’t deliver value to these VIP customers by helping them achieve their goals for using your product or service. Failure to drive measurable customer results has been found to be the best predictor of customer retention, putting your top accounts at risk.
That’s why it’s essential to your company’s long-term success to support KAM activities with the right software so they can effectively drive measurable results for top accounts to boost retention and growth.
What types of activities need to be supported for KAMs to succeed? Let’s look at the account management process and how the right software stack facilitates these tasks to drive success.
The KAM Process and How Tech Can Support It
Account managers have an overwhelming number of activities and tasks to tackle on an ongoing basis. A KAM process is designed to act as a roadmap to ensure all activities are completed routinely in the right order without skipping an essential step.
Let’s use Kapta’s proven KAM Process™ to discuss how the right software supports key account management activities. This cyclical process includes three stages Know, Act, and Measure. These stages are designed to guide account managers through tasks that help them create value for their key accounts by achieving their top goals by using your products or services.
The first stage of the KAM process involves getting to know the customer, their organization, their goals, priorities, and requirements. This includes activities like:
- Creating robust Org charts and client profiles that capture reporting structures, decision-making processes, and individualized insights.
- Conducting Voice of Customer interviews to glean client needs, expectations, goals, and priorities.
- Completing SWOT Analyses to gain a clearer picture of the circumstances.
Technology that supports these activities enables KAMs to create digital Org charts and profiles where all the other account data is stored. It acts as an easy reference to identify and track key decision-makers and contacts as they change, get promoted, or leave the customer account.
Voice of Customer interview insights should also be stored on the same digital record for easy access during the account planning process. This enables KAMs to easily track changes to goals and preferences.
The SWOT Analyses should also be stored on the same digital record where it’s accessible.
The second stage of this repeatable process is essential to delivering customer value. All the insights gained during the Know stage are leveraged to create detailed account plans in collaboration with the internal KAM team and input from the customer.
Historically, account managers created these in isolation. They documented them on PowerPoint slides or Excel spreadsheets, never to be revisited again. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t help customers achieve their goals.
Technology that supports account planning stores the account plan where all account data lives. It enables account managers to assign individual tasks to team members and track progress toward milestones in the plan to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
With the right technology, the account plan becomes a guide to success, visible to all team members where they can record updates and flag looming deadlines. This makes it easy to recognize issues and adjust accordingly.
Activities included in this essential third stage of the KAM process include data collection, activity analysis, and assessment of account plan progress. This is where KAMs ensure all account plan steps are completed and on schedule.
To simplify adjustments, technology needs to not only support this level of data collection, but it also should facilitate notifications across the team to get things back on track.
Account health and progress toward internal goals also need to be tracked during this stage. Ideally, the supporting technology automates this process to keep all necessary data visible for easy analysis.
Other Essential Attributes of a KAM Tech Stack
Additional characteristics to consider when determining how well-suited your tech stack is to support your account management team include:
Built-in Workflow: A KAM process workflow acts as a guide to keep account managers on track with each account, so they never need to figure out what to do next with a specific VIP client. This enables them to focus their energies on achieving measurable results.
Shared Access: An excellent KAM software makes all key account insights, account plans, updates, and data easily accessible for viewing, commenting, and collaborating across all stakeholders that engage with the account.
At-a-Glance Account View: Having all requisite account and portfolio information available in a handy dashboard facilitates routine monitoring of crucial data, providing the team and individual contributors with a single source of truth.
Account Planning Tools: A suite of templates and automations to streamline the minutia involved in the account planning process such as report generation, data collection, and sharing of account-facing versions of account plans.
Achieve KAM Success With the Right Tech Stack
The right tech stack for KAMs supports the entire account management process so KAMs can efficiently drive value for VIP clients. Falling short means failure to deliver measurable results, putting the lion’s share of your revenue-producing accounts at risk.
Looking for the right software to support your KAM’s? Schedule a demo to learn how Kapta fully supports KAM success.