Minimize Account Management Risks by Optimizing Your Processin Customer Success, Key Account Management, kamgenius /
Managing mega accounts where a single customer is worth up to 50% of the company’s revenue flips normal account management ratios on their head. Instead of thinking in terms of accounts per account manager, you’re thinking in terms of account managers per account. For example, that figure might be 10 or more account managers managing one account.
This changes how the company is organized and how Leadership thinks about managing those extra-large accounts, like how the account is distributed. These global 50 and 100-type companies are so large that they can’t be a client in an individual account manager’s portfolio.
Once a single client gets above $10 million or more a year, you need a team that works on that account as opposed to multiple accounts per team member. So, accounts of this size are distributed across a team of account managers dedicated solely to the retention and growth of one massive account.
When you’re managing accounts of this magnitude, it’s critical to get the basics of account management right if you’re going to successfully deliver value, retain, and grow the client over time. So mega account management teams must up their game in terms of basics like customer discovery, contact mapping, goals, account planning, and implementation.
The risk of not doing things well on a mega account is significantly amplified when compared to one account in a portfolio of customers. And with extra-large accounts like these, there’s less room for error and a greater need for superior internal coordination and communication.
So, what do your mega account management teams need to do to succeed?
Mastering the basics means mastering all the processes involved in account management to shore up the huge risks associated with an entire team managing one massive client. Get these elements right and you boost your team’s success.
A Roadmap for Success
Key account management is complex to start with. But one massive account managed by a team of account managers requires a framework with guideposts to help keep everyone on the same page while ensuring nobody drops the ball.
A clearly defined cyclical process like Our KAM Process™ serves that purpose. It makes it possible for everyone on the team to focus on more strategic matters while never missing a beat. This is possible because this repeatable process includes all the basics of account management in a logical order for peak efficiency.
KAM stands for Know-Act-Measure where the stages in the cycle include essential processes such as:
- Know: Gathering information and insights about the client including contact mapping, voice of customer, and SWOT analysis to understand the client, their goals, and priorities.
- Act: Creating strategic account plans based on what you know about the client, implementing the plan, and working as a team to achieve the client's goals and deliver value to them.
- Measure: Gauging progress toward client goals in terms of the metrics that are most meaningful to the customer, tracking account health to avoid surprises, and measuring internal benchmarks for excellence as well.
Consistent Client Discovery
Once a well-defined process is in place, the mega account management team members need to become exceptional at client discovery, also known as voice of customer (VOC). VOC is not a one-and-done process. It is essential, especially when working with massive accounts of this value, to establish a regular cadence of VOC surveys and interviews with contacts at various levels within the organization.
This is an excellent way to keep a finger on the pulse of the account, stay abreast of goals and organizational changes as they occur, and get ahead of issues before they become problems.
And it’s critical that all information and insights gathered in these surveys and conversations be documented in a central location that all team members have access to. This ensures that all team members and internal resources are always on the same page for a consistent customer experience regardless of geographic location.
Creating an org chart and client profiles as a team enables you to understand the overall structure and culture within the client’s organization. You understand who runs the day-to-day, who makes big decisions, and who key stakeholders, influencers, and champions are.
Documenting this information in a central location easily accessible to all team members makes it convenient to reference and update as changes occur. It facilitates filling in the gaps as key contacts move up or move on from the client account as well. Plus, everyone on the team can see the big picture and how all the pieces of the client’s organization fit together.
Assess Risks and Opportunities Routinely
Completing SWOT analyses regularly helps the team remain aware of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your organization and the client. This is where knowledge is power, enabling the team to proactively navigate challenges, avoid major issues, and deliver greater value to the account as strategic advisors.
Account Planning and Implementation
Gathering all this information facilitates account planning when it is organized in one easy-to-access place. But account planning across a global team is more complex than one account manager creating a plan locally, so it’s essential that all parties are on the same page. And it is critical that goals, tasks, and milestones are clearly defined with responsibilities for each spelled out and communicated. Otherwise, the achievement of client goals and value is likely to be delayed resulting in a less-than-satisfied VIP client.
Once the account plan is established, it needs to be a living, breathing document that’s easily accessible to all team members and internal resources for easy access, tracking, and course correction.
All this information and planning is useless if it isn’t properly implemented, nobody knows what anyone else on the team is doing, or if the information is siloed where all team members cannot access it. Actions need to be well coordinated between team members and resources to successfully achieve customer goals and deliver the level of value and ROI the client desires.
This communication can take place in a shared Slack group or chat channel, in routine team meetings, and in internal account reviews. Plus, thorough documentation where there is one unified dashboard and source of truth shared by the entire team is necessary to ensure everyone across the organization is always up to speed, avoiding costly missteps and errors or contract violations.
Monitoring and Measuring
Regardless of the size of key accounts, customers must receive value from doing business with your organization to achieve retention and growth. So, it’s essential to establish metrics that have meaning for the client to gauge progress and report value to the client.
In fact, this is likely more important with massive accounts like these than with smaller key accounts within a portfolio. As we have reported previously, research shows that clients that aren’t receiving value from doing business with you are more likely to churn. Measuring and monitoring key metrics is the best way to keep current on the state of huge accounts like these and course correct accordingly to ensure success.
Streamline and Automate to Boost Effectiveness
Key account management is complex enough when applied to average-sized clients. When implemented for massive accounts supported by a team of account managers, the risks and complexity are that much greater. That means that your team needs to get all the basics right to successfully deliver value to retain and grow these highly valuable clients.
Support these account managers with a purpose-built platform, like Kapta, designed to streamline and automate the day-to-day minutia of managing massive accounts. A key account management-specific solution provides your team with the tools they need to succeed. It gives them a central location to document everything about the client, making it easier for all team members and resources to always remain on the same page. This makes it easier to keep a finger on the pulse of the account and deliver the value this critical client expects.
Ready to help your team efficiently manage mega accounts? Schedule time to discuss your strategy with a Kapta team member.
Alex Raymond is the CEO of Kapta.