Breaking down the key account management process and how KAM software can help.
Key account management is an essential function of your organization. However, it can be extremely overwhelming to establish a process, but without one, you have no real way to track results and fix what isn’t working. Kapta provides a process roadmap and all of the tools to back it up so that your key account team can focus more on building strong relationships while the software does the heavy lifting of keeping track of metrics and results. Keep reading to learn all about the key account management process and how KAM software can help.
The KAM Process: Your Roadmap for Building Customer Engagement
Key account management is a must for organizations needing to prioritize their most important clients. However, it can be difficult to figure out where to begin when trying to implement this new process.
With Kapta's process roadmap, organizations have a proven methodology at their disposal to transform customer relationships by knowing more, so you can plan better. Not only does Kapta provide you with the roadmap, but with the tools to help you get there.
Know More, Plan Better
To run a successful key account management program, you have to know and understand your client. This means diving deeper than just names and titles so you can understand their goals, motivations, and expectations. Here is how you should do this:
- Understand the dynamic by creating an org chart so you can easily keep track of who the key contacts are and who you need to go to with specific questions.
- Understand the objective by running a SWOT analysis to identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Move forward by utilizing the information you have gathered from the last two steps to guide your roadmap creation. Using your org chart, you can determine who to do a voice of customer interview with so you can create a perfect action plan.
Action Plans that Make a Difference
Once you understand what your customers' goals are, you can develop a plan to help them et there. Here is how:
- Think strategically by breaking large goals into smaller manageable action items. Kapta’s action planning tools help you through this process by determining goals and tracking them.
- Stay organized with dashboards to keep track of budgets, timelines, and status updates for projects.
- Work together with not only your internal team but the client team as well.
Measure What Matters
Not only do you need to do the work, but you also need to show the work. Here’s how:
- Measure specific KPIs so you can determine what is and isn’t working.
- Keep track of account health by tracking your customers' satisfaction, engagement, and overall health. This way you can be proactive rather than reactive by seeing any problem areas that pop up early.
- Measure success by tracking organic growth that is stemming from your efforts. With Kapta, you can track what works and what can be improved for not only your clients but also for your internal team’s roadmap.
A Repeatable Process Roadmap
Kapta’s KAM process roadmap is intentionally cyclical. Having a repeatable process makes it easy to understand what works, what doesn’t, and how to make adjustments for future clients.
To dive deeper into the KAM process roadmap implementation, read this helpful guide.
Setting the Foundation for Your Customer Strategy with a SWOT Analysis
A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis can help you gain a deeper understanding of your client’s perspective, their goals, and what roadblocks may be in their way. This tool will help you build stronger strategies which in turn, will lead to longer-lasting relationships.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis is a basic framework for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of an organization. You can use this framework to not only analyze your own companies competitive position, but competitors, and client organizations as well. They help determine how to address certain factors, what limitations are standing in the way, and gain a deeper understanding of how the organization stacks up against others.
In the key account management world, SWOT analysis can help assess the long-term health of a client, determine how well they are doing, and predict moments for strategic upsells. Knowing this information can help your financial team better predict your own organization's financial health and growth opportunities.
How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis
There is no one way to conduct a SWOT analysis. However, your account managers will need to thoroughly evaluate the client so they have a complete understanding of their business and industry to complete a reliable analysis.
Here is where you identify what your client does well, especially in relation to their competitors. These points will lead to future growth.
These are your clients' limitations. These could be weaknesses relative to competitors or internal weaknesses that may be holding them back.
These are areas where your client can grow. These could be external factors like changing consumer trends or increases in industry demand.
Threats could be external threats that could present as a roadblock for your client. This can also be weaknesses that could damage their organization.
How to Use a SWOT Analysis to Build a Successful Customer Strategy
Use your SWOT analysis to gain a comprehensive understanding of your customer. Once this is done, you can use these aspects to build a stronger strategy:
- Build off strengths by providing support for their growth. You can also use their strengths to showcase how your business can support them to help them stay competitive.
- Work on weak areas by offering services that can help them minimize or resolve them.
- Remove threats by discussing how to future-proof their business model, how they can outperform competitors, and how your products and services can help remove threats and help them stay competitive.
- Utilize opportunities by using them to help your client better envision success.
- Look for connections between the quadrants.
- Prioritize your ideas rather than trying to elicit buy-in for all of your ideas at once. Determine which ideas can strengthen both the relationship and service contracts.
A SWOT analysis is only one step of your journey to creating robust account management strategies that help you and your clients' businesses grow.
For a deeper understanding of how to execute and utilize a SWOT analysis, read this blog.
How to Create a Strong Org Chart
Keeping track of your client's organization and relationship can be challenging, and mixing up details regarding who does what or not having clear insight into their dynamics can make them feel undervalued and result in missed opportunities. Creating a robust org chart can help you avoid these damaging situations and help you take a proactive approach to key account management.
What is an Org Chart?
An org chart displays the internal organization of a client’s structure. It can outline the C-suite employees, employees within a specific department, or how the decision-makers you interact with fit into the larger organization.
Org charts help you keep the contacts within a client organization straight. It helps you determine who you should get in touch with for specific questions at a quick glance. It also notes who manages which responsibilities and takes on tasks regarding the services you provide.
4 Types of Org Charts
While certain types of org charts are more popular than others, there are four common types of org charts that are used.
1. Functional Top Down
These are the traditional hierarchical charts that are easy to read and what most people envision when they think of org charts.
2. Divisional Org Charts
These split up the company by specific regions, product lines, or entities.
3. Matrix Org Chart
This type of org chart has an external perimeter like a functional top-down chart, but the interior is a grid. This helps break down relationships if some employees have multiple managers or if one person interacts with different people based on the task.
4. Flat Org Chart
These have a web layout that illustrates connections between different roles and people.
How to Create a Strong Org Chart
Here are six ways to create a detailed org chart:
- Your first step to creating an org chart is to pull the goals you’ve identified for your client after completing the SWOT analysis.
- Understand any inter-departmental conflicts, contradictory motivations, or contacts who don’t work well together.
- Determine which type of org chart is best for your objectives. Before entering any names, create an outline of the chart by identifying key roles.
- Once you have your outline of the type of chart you want to use and the key roles, you can begin filling in names.
- From here, you can add more details and helpful information about each person. This will allow you to build strong relationships and retain a deeper understanding of how to operate with each contact.
- Now that you have a detailed org chart, you can reference it over time when you need to interact with contacts and make updates to it as your client’s organization changes.
Understanding the different aspects of your client’s organization is a vital part of delivering strong key account management to your customers. Having a strong org chart will help you gain a deeper understanding and ensure you are working proactively. For more information about developing a strong org chart, look at this article.
The Importance of Creating a Repeatable Voice of Customer Process
When organizations think of getting customer feedback, they typically think of net promoter scores (NPS). However, these results don’t cover enough or push deep enough to gain a clear understanding of what your organization needs to do to create healthier and longer-lasting relationships with key clients. A voice of customer strategy is a much better way to learn more from your customers so you can better serve them.
What is the Voice of Customer?
The Voice of Customer (VOC) is the feedback customers may give you regarding their experience with your organization. These conversations are strategized to gain specific information about how your organization has served your customer while still focusing on relationship building and customer services.
Having a repeatable VOC process helps you gain a deeper understanding of your customers' expectations, aversions, and preferences and allows you to track these over the lifetime of your client. These processes are more valuable than NPS data because you get more in-depth insights and you can use these interviews to build stronger relationships with your key clients.
Why You Should Create a Repeatable VOC Process
Not only should you create a VOC process, but it should also be a repeatable process. Standardizing these processes with help you identify the correct client for interviews, utilize similar or identical questions and conversation processes, and create a consistent schedule for reaching out to your clients again in the future.
How to Create a Repeatable VOC Process
Every organization is different, which means your VOC process will be different. However, this is something your KAM director can create alone or with input from the KAM team. This process should fit your market and may be revised over time.
1. Collect Data
Your first step in creating a VOC process should be determining what data you want to collect and the mechanisms you want to use to collect it. Some examples could be interviews or online surveys.
2. Analyze Data
Next, you’ll want to analyze the data you collected. By using a key account management program like Kapta, you can input the feedback and the results will be automatically integrated into your existing client’s health view, SWOT analysis, and goals.
3. Use Results to Make Changes
Once you understand the results, you can use them to make beneficial changes for your customer.
Your VOC process should be repeated with each of your customers so you can track what is and isn’t working and keep track of their responses. In doing so, you will position yourself as a strategic partner instead of simply a vendor.
To learn more about how to create a repeatable VOC process, read this helpful guide.
How Voice of Customer Software Improves Account Management Efficiency
Creating a repeatable VOC process is essential to the success of your key account management program. But what should you use to build and execute these processes? VOC software is a dynamic tool that helps your clients and AMs succeed together. It helps you create your process and keep track of results over the lifetime of your client.
What Does Voice of Customer Software Do?
Voice of Customer is feedback that can fundamentally improve how you do business, but only if you have the proper tools to fully understand and utilize the data you collect. Good VOC software should:
- Gather data
- Interpret data
- Develop client-specific questions
- Track VOC interviews over time
How Will Voice of Customer Software Benefit My Team?
In certain instances, software that is meant to take tasks off your team's plate does the opposite and only adds. VOC software should save your team time and energy to provide direct benefits to your team including:
- Knowing your customer better by providing insights AMs need to predict problems, upsell opportunities, and avoid personality clashes.
- Better results by upgrading the levels of service you provide so your products and solutions stay relevant, vital, and convenient.
- Elevate your client relationships by giving your clients personalized attention.
VOC processes are essential to your KAM success, however, having the tools to back up your team is necessary too. Find out more about how VOC software can help your team take your VOC process to the next level by reading this blog.
Utilizing a Customer Health Score to Identify Growth Opportunities
In today’s day and age, the biggest challenge most businesses face is building and maintaining customer relationships. With so many options available at your client’s fingertips, one wrong move could chase them to your competition. This is why it is essential to catch potential breakdowns before they result in irreparable problems.
With a customer health score, not only can you catch potential problems before the relationship is ruined, but you can also find potential growth opportunities. Here is why you should implement a customer health score as soon as possible.
What is a Customer Health Score
A customer health score is an easily digestible score that highlights risks, gauges satisfaction, and can flag accounts that need immediate attention. It can help you easily identify which accounts are in good standing and which ones need immediate attention because they are at risk of leaving. A customer health score can even identify opportunities with your clients such as upselling opportunities or potential churn.
Benefits of a Customer Health Score
There are three major benefits to tracking and monitoring customer health scores including:
1. Customer Insight
Health scores can provide a holistic look at your clients to make sure things are always running smoothly and as soon as they aren’t you can be ahead of the problem.
2. What Is and Isn’t Working
Customer health scores allow you to evaluate what is and isn’t working for a client so you can make immediate adjustments before problems arise.
3. Identify Growth Opportunities
As a KAM, you need to identify every possible growth opportunity. With a customer health score, you can be sure you don’t miss any potential opportunities. Not only can you offer relevant fixes to their issues, but this, in turn, grows the trust and helps build the relationship.
How to Use a Customer Health Score to Identify Growth Opportunities
Customer health scores can help identify growth opportunities in at least four different ways, such as:
- Monitoring risks help you easily see areas you can improve upon. This helps you address problems sooner and resolve them before they ruin the relationship.
- Identifying your ideal customers by giving you more insight into your current customers and figuring out how to reach a larger portion of that audience.
- Identifying accounts you have the opportunity to upsell, downsell, or cross-sell to. This not only helps your bottom line but grows trust between you and your client by letting them know that you have the solutions to their problems.
- Allowing customers to be more strategic by easily identifying what changes they can make so they can more easily stand out from their competition.
Customer experience and satisfaction are the biggest contributors to growth opportunities. Keeping a close eye on your client’s satisfaction, being proactive with problems, and being able to easily identify and execute on growth opportunities will help you continue to grow the relationship into a strong partnership. For more information about how to identify growth opportunities with a customer health score, check out this helpful guide.
How to Prepare a Useful Quarterly Business Review
Being a great key account manager means having a comprehensive view of your clients and building strong, lasting relationships. Quarterly business reviews (QBRs) help you keep in touch with your client to make sure you are serving them to the best of your ability throughout the partnership. However, these are different than your average business reports, so you can’t approach them in the same way.
What is a Quarterly Business Review?
A QBR is a meeting you hold once every quarter with each of your clients. This is where you can sit down and have an in-depth conversation about what has worked over the past quarter, and what you plan to do in the upcoming months. These are helpful meetings to fill in your client on how you have been a beneficial partner, and find ways to add even more value.
The main elements of QBRs vary significantly from average business meetings. These are meant to be balanced meetings between you and your client so you both walk away with a full understanding of where you currently stand and where you plan to go in the future.
Preparing for a Productive QBR
There is a decent amount of preparation you need to do before hosting your QBR. This includes preparation from you, your team, and the client. There are four things you need to do to prepare, including:
- Ask your client to prepare for their part
- Examine what has been working in the partnership
- Examine what hasn’t been working in the partnership
- Limit the invitees to essential personnel only
QBRs can be extremely beneficial to your KAM program by giving your team more valuable insight into each of their clients. They help you determine what is and isn’t working and keep you in touch with your clients so you stay front of mind. However, QBRs are often not utilized or conducted properly. For more information about how to prepare a useful QBR, read this article.
Kapta offers KAM software that can help you track and manage each of these essential processes. Unlike customer relationship management software, our KAM software is designed specifically to help your account managers with their daily tasks and allows them to have greater insights into each of their clients to build stronger and longer-lasting relationships. To learn more about how Kapta can help your KAM team, reach out to us today to schedule a demo.