Developing a key account management program is a worthwhile effort, given the fact that key accounts can represent 30 to 50 percent of revenue and margin for many companies. So, retaining these top accounts is essential in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
According to a Gallup report, B2B companies that implement key account management see benefits like:
- 50% higher revenue/sales
- 34% higher profitability
- 55% higher share of wallet
- 33% greater likelihood to be the first choice for future business
- 63% lower customer attrition
- 32% few days sales outstanding.
But creating a team of successful key account managers (KAMs) is not a one-and-done process. With all its complexity, the KAM role requires the mastery of a vast array of skills. That’s why it takes continuous learning and reinforcement to advance toward proficiency based on the KAM Maturity Model. Coaching provides the consistent feedback, reinforcement, and accountability necessary for the long-term success of your KAM program.
Why KAMs need coaching
Top KAMs are continually learning and developing their skills and knowledge. Plus, account managers have a multitude of skills to learn and master including all the elements of the KAM process. These include voice of customer (VOC), SWOT analysis, account planning, quarterly business reviews (QBRs), and internal account reviews.
Developing these skills isn’t accomplished by simply teaching KAMs how to do them. It takes practice, repetition, and feedback to master these skills over time. That’s why coaching is a crucial element in each KAM’s learning process since research shows that after one day, people forget more than 70% of what was taught in training and in a week, the number jumps to 90%. That’s why spaced repetition, in the form of coaching, is needed to reinforce learnings and key takeaways.
It’s known that sales coaching is effective at boosting performance and revenue, but consider the following facts:
- People who receive feedback on their strengths have an almost 8% increase in productivity.
- Those receiving regularly scheduled coaching closed about 13% more deals than those receiving random coaching
- Providing real-time, account-specific sales coaching increased revenue by 8.4% year-over-year
- 50% more sales reps achieved quota at high-performing organizations where reps consistently received regular coaching when compared to low-performing sales teams
Leveraging the Maturity Model elevates customer experience
Your organization already knows that providing excellent customer experiences are essential for client retention. Consistency is the key to building customer loyalty and keeping customers happy in the long term.
The only way to cultivate that consistency is to make sure it’s part of how your teams prepare for every interaction and makes every decision. But old-fashioned metrics and KPIs can’t effectively account for consistently excellent customer experiences. So, that’s why we recommend leveraging the KAM maturity model to assess your AMs and guide your coaching.
The KAM maturity model helps you identify gaps in performance and provides clear behavioral goals for individuals and teams training and coaching with customer centricity and the superior customer experience in mind. And the ultimate goal is creating a team of trusted advisors your key accounts see as partners.
The value of KAM coaching
KAM coaching helps account managers and your organization in various ways including:
- Feedback—where KAM skills are appraised, identifying behaviors to discontinue, reinforcing proper performance, and making recommendations for improvement
- Accountability—keeps KAMs on track, preventing them from omitting a step in the KAM process, and ensuring they are staying on schedule while consistently applying new concepts for continuous growth
- Progression—facilitates advancement through the levels of the KAM maturity level through continuous learning, feedback, reinforcement, and accountability
- KAM retention—prevents the disruption of account manager churn by giving KAMs the employer-provided upskilling that 65% of workers deemed as very important when evaluating potential jobs
Start coaching your KAMs today
Key account management has the potential to have a huge impact on your business. But establishing a successful KAM program is not as simple as providing one round of training. It takes continuous learning, feedback, reinforcement, and accountability. Coaching is the best way to accomplish this. Then leveraging the KAM maturity model as a coaching guide helps you create a team of trusted advisors and an excellent customer experience for increased customer retention.
Looking for account management training to coach your KAMs through? Register for KAMGenius Plus, the only online KAM training course taught by KAM experts in easy-to-consume bite-sized videos full of actionable tips plus 5 live sessions and certification.