Key Account Managers are tasked with ongoing, dynamic business and relationship management, 365 days a year. It’s not enough to evaluate KAM performance only at annual or mid-year review time; ultimately, the health of your accounts depends on the performance of your account teams, and both should be checked on regularly. Even quarterly business reviews (QBRs), which tend to zero in on deals booked and progress-to-goal, oversimplify the state of an account. After all, key account management isn’t just sales, so it’s not enough to just look at quota.
By focusing on numbers only, important success factors are being missed entirely. Things like the strength of the customer relationship and the business value delivered to the customer, for example, are huge key indicators of client retention and growth. Customers with strong relationships who feel they’re getting consistent business value are less likely to fall into the arms of a competitor.
By the way, we do think QBRs are important. We just think there are things you can do to make them more effective.
So how to measure the performance of your account management team, and glean a full picture of total account health? We recommend taking a closer look at the following.
Your customers need to see and feel value over time. Read that again.
If your customers aren’t consistently getting value, or they’re not aware of the value that your company and account manager brings, you could lose them.
The best way to demonstrate value to the customer is to work toward a list of shared goals that have been created in collaboration with the client. In designing value that your customers can see, ask:
- Does the Account Manager or CSM have 3-5 goals that they set with the customer?
- How do they track toward those goals?
- What about SLAs and support tickets—are they met on-time and to the satisfaction of the customer?
Working toward shared goals helps a key account manager demonstrate value and progress to the client, and also helps the KAM build a story of their own success within your organization. Combined with an effective action plan, shared goals will allow an account manager to have a clear idea of what needs to be done to help their clients get closer to their goal, each and every day.
If possible, make direct customer feedback part of your account managers’ performance reviews. Consider sending a five-minute survey to clients, with three to five questions about their experience with their account rep. Ask your client questions you don’t necessarily know the answer to; think of it as an opportunity to improve your own understanding of your company’s key accounts.
Direct customer feedback will give you the best understanding of your account manager’s performance; it will also help you understand how well your team is meeting the customer’s needs, and if the customer is satisfied with the level of value they are receiving from their key account manager. Soliciting this unfiltered feedback from the client will also demonstrate that you have their experience top-of-mind; it can also be a jumping off point for establishing new, more customer-centric goals.
If you (or your account manager) get stuck, think about what success looks like and identify the steps that need to be taken to get there—specifically:
Know what the customer is trying to achieve.
Act to make it happen.
Measure client results.
It’s a simple ethos, but it can be an overwhelming process. We designed Kapta to, with one quick glance, show how often and how meaningfully your KAM is making client contact, how strategically and methodically they’re building action plans, how closely they’re tracking on time and budget, and how well they’ve performed for your customer.
Kapta also tracks additional leading indicators that build customer engagement, including:
- Regular Voice of Customer (VOC) inputs
- Regular SWOT analysis
- Actionable account plans
- Frequent client check-ins
If key account managers focus on the above upstream activities throughout the year, your accounts—and their associated KAM relationships—should be in good shape come time to review.
A key account manager’s job is to make and keep an account successful, and account’s success is about more than just sales and revenue goals; it’s about a strong relationship and delivering ongoing value. To see how Kapta can help key account managers drive engagement, retention and growth, schedule a personal demo today.