How CRM Integration Is Changing the Strategic Account Planning Process

Fragmented processes can cost your organization a lot of money behind the scenes. Employees have to shift from tool to tool, typing in repetitive details and losing steam with each transition. 

Disconnected tools also stop your employees from doing their best work — and in a sales environment that requires more precision and focus on a personalized customer experience than ever before, this can be disastrous. Some of the biggest flaws of using processes and tools that fail to cohesively work together include:

  • Missing information and context
  • Legacy processes
  • Delays
  • Communication silos
  • Inability to keep track of all the missing parts of key accounts

That translates to hard dollars lost. In fact, betanews reports that "The cost of poor software quality in the US in 2020 was approximately $2.08 trillion according to a report released today produced by the Consortium for Information and Software Quality (CISQ) and sponsored by Synopsys." 

That high financial cost, as well as the lack of insight and manual tedium of working across disconnected tools, should make finding a better software solution your priority. 

But you might not have to scrap everything and start fresh. Your CRM may be exactly what your company needs — just without the key account management (KAM) functionality integrated into it. In this article, we'll explore the difference between a CRM and KAM software, how both can be integrated, and how that leads to better account management for your teams.

The Harmony of CRM and KAM Software

Your organization doesn't have to choose between CRM and KAM software; it's not an either-or situation. In fact, the two platforms are designed to handle different processes and approaches to growing your company's revenue.

So having two tools that can work together while still presenting different lenses and workflows for your employees is critical to building relationships with key accounts and focusing on revenue. 

What Is a CRM?

A CRM system — or a customer relationship management tool — is a software or platform that helps your team improve business relationships. CRM systems often manage contacts, have customer accounts and profiles, automate or streamline processes, and handle functions throughout a customer's lifecycle. 

CRM systems are meant to be used across all of your revenue teams: marketing, sales, and customer service. 

What Is KAM Software?

Key account management software focuses on strengthening an existing relationship and giving your account managers a framework for organizing their insights into the client's organization and anticipating client needs and growth opportunities. The focus of the best KAM software is to give organizations better insight into their clients and how to serve them best.

Breaking Down CRM Integration and KAM Software

CRMs and KAM software have very different approaches. While both tools are ultimately focused on bringing your organization long-term profitability and satisfied client relationships, they fulfill different roles in your organization.

  • CRMs are built for acquiring and onboarding new clients, often with a heavy focus on facilitating marketing and analytics.
  • KAM software is built specifically around in-depth client relationships that are critical to your organization.

One way to think about the two platforms is that both bring in new revenue: one does it by bringing in new customers (the CRM) and the other by increasing sales per client (the KAM software). Both of these areas require different skills, processes, and tools.

However, they're also very similar. They need to pull from the same information; after all, key accounts are part of your total customer pool. So when you find two platforms that can integrate and speak to each other, it's much easier for your organization to maintain consistent account and contact details across both systems. 

It's also easier to provide the right service levels, prevent silos from forming around key accounts, and ensure your executives have the insights they need into all the moving parts of the revenue engine.

CRM Integration and Strategic Account Planning

Some of the key advantages of CRM integration when it comes to strategic account planning include:

Identifying and Tracking Key Accounts

Not all key accounts will start their relationship with your organization as a key account. Some clients will become growth accounts after a slow start, or changes in their own organization will prompt bigger orders. Some key accounts may also slow down and shrink in size, requiring less hands-on attention and management.

When your CRM and KAM software are integrated, your teams can determine which new and old accounts need to be recategorized and tracked. Both software have a complete history of the client, and there's no risk of a missed opportunity.

Creating Account Plans

Good account management relies on good account plans. But your account managers need reliable data, historical records, and contact information to build out relationships and plans. Integrated CRM and KAM platforms let account managers uncover what they need to know about the clients so they can anticipate needs, start communications on the right note, and create detailed, actionable plans.

Supercharge Your KAM

When business-critical platforms in your organization don't talk to each other, all of your revenue teams lose out. Some accounts may be hidden and receive poor levels of service. 

Your account managers will be busy with manual, duplicated tasks that cut into their ability to create meaningful relationships and gain trust from clients. Ultimately, your revenue growth will be less than what it could have been if technological barriers weren't getting in the way.

At Kapta, we specialize in creating KAM software that integrates with popular CRMs and provides the framework and capabilities key account managers need to seamlessly manage accounts and capitalize on opportunities to grow accounts.

Organizations can integrate Kapta and Salesforce for easy data migration, revenue tracking, and customer insights so key account managers can develop the best workflows for their unique roles.

Contact us today to learn more about our key account management platform and how it can optimize your organization's processes. You can also browse our blog for more KAM insights and strategies.

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Senior Engagement Manager at Kapta
Jennifer is a Senior Engagement Manager at Kapta