Download this 4 step risk assessment tool here to determine whether you have the capabilities to execute.


risk assessment tool key account management


In our business we make recommendations everyday to firms and the one thing we hear most often is “we tried that and it didn’t work”. The question is: Is it the recommendation or your ability to execute?


A couple of books you might consider around execution: Execution – The discipline of Getting Things Done or Confronting Reality – Do What Matters to Get Things Right


We’ll be examining risk in four different areas of your company:


  1. Execution
  2. Operational
  3. People
  4. Financial


Execution risk focuses on whether you can clearly define and measure the success of the program. The Execution of Key Account Management or any other program should first consider why other attempts at implementation have failed. It’s easy for you to say, Key Account Management is not right for our customers, we tried that already. Change Management is after all, hard work. A recent client execution success story: we worked with a customer who had tried implementing Inside Sales twice before a successful 3rd attempt. In this case it wasn’t the idea or program, it came down to the right internal team members and the execution.


Operational risk considers the level of disruption a program like Key Account Management (KAM) will have on the organization. What impact will the timeline and any key players leaving have on the overall success of the program? When considering any risk to the program’s success, developing a risk mitigation plan will assist in avoiding program impact.


People risk is assessed in order to determine: 1. Do I have the internal skills to execute? 2. If I need to go outside the company, can I find a group that will work well with my team? and 3. How will I deal with the anti-sponsors or resistance to the program? One of the key resistances that is often missed is “Compliance”. This would be that team member or executive who absolutely agrees with everything you suggests and appears to be a raving fan. When this situation arises you need to flush it out. Have them play the role of devil’s advocate and you’ll flush out their concerns.


Financial risk within Key Account Management is typically the one risk that stresses the program team the most. Implementing Key Account Management can take 12-24 months to realize the benefit. It’s critical when assessing financial risk to clearly define how you will measure the return.  What are the key milestones along the way that the team can point to as measures of continued success?


Key Account Management


“In business, everybody always thinks it is about finding the ‘right’ idea, or the ‘right’ plan. The truth is that there are five ‘right’ ideas or plans. The real issue is getting oneself and others to be able to execute it and negotiate all of the people issues along the way”. Dr. Henry Cloud, ChangeThis.


After completing the four step assessment tool here you’ll have a better understanding of the capabilities of your company and the risk mitigation plans that need to be developed to execute successfully.


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John Staples

Leads teams of highly qualified experts, all relentless in their pursuit of helping you make your number.

John is the global leader of SBI’s account management business unit. As such, he and his team help clients across 19 verticals drive top line growth and operational efficiency in sales and marketing.


John’s marketing, sales and product expertise span a multichannel strategic approach. He has an unyielding focus on strategic and key account development, which enables strategic alignment between all functional team members in order to reduce acquisition cost and increase lifetime value.


His broad experience in sales, marketing, product and engineering allows him to bring a unique problem solving approach to his team and clients. As he has discovered through decades of experience, clients are often distracted by the symptoms of a larger problem and overlook the root cause of it.


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