They then stated “we don’t care about the price; it’s all about quality and reliable delivery”. They quickly caught themselves and said “well, we care about price but I can’t run out of your product”. If anyone has a better client indicator for Key Account Management, please share, because in my book it doesn’t get better than that.
Customers are not normally going to raise a red flag like the example above. However, there are signs that the “need” is there as well as criteria to be considered that assist with segmentation and selection of potential Key Accounts. Not every client wants to opt into a Key Account program; it’s a partnership that requires responsibilities for both parties. Treat the key account opportunities as a completely separate segment in your business. If you view the opportunity through this type of lens; it gives it the perspective it deserves.
Customer indications you need a Key Account Program:
- We’re developing our product road map; “can you provide some technical feedback?”
- Includes product alignment requests
- Request for short and long term planning
- Client or prospect has high growth potential but minimal account penetration (wallet share)
- Little differentiation & few competitors for the product: they may go with 2 vendors but one always has the lion share. Is it you?
- Large client consolidating vendors; don’t be the odd man out!
- Provides a disproportional amount of your revenue / potential
- 5% of customer base and between 30-50%+ of the sales
- Centralized purchasing
- Consumes 70-100% of your product / solution set
- Buys on competitive price but values the quality, service, and support
- Your product / solution is essential to their success
- You have similar company cultures
Key Take Away: Go talk to your clients that fit into the criteria above that should be in a Key Account Program. Start with: ‘we’re looking at putting more resources on your account, how would that help you?” If you aren’t having the conversation with these accounts, your competition is. In my next post I’ll be discussing one-to-one marketing within your Key Accounts.