key account management selling time

Let’s consider the following example/assumptions to determine the possible impact to your bottom line:


  • Each key account team consists of 5 full time or dedicated team members
  • You have 5 key account teams
  • Each key account team member has 2000 hours of selling time available per year
  • Industry specific ideal state: 1500 actual selling hours (75%)
  • Actual selling time 1125 hours
  • Average key account rep salary $150,000 / year
  • Average annual Key Account sales per rep $1M ($5M per account)
  • Average sales per hour/rep: $889, per hour/account: $4,445




  • 375 hours of lost selling time / rep / key account team
  • Total lost selling hours: 9,375 hours (25 reps x 375)
  • Lost sales opportunity: $1.67M/account or $8.33M




      • Perform a time study on each Key Account Team
      • Reduce or eliminate non-selling activity
      • Shift and lift required non-selling activity to a lower cost support resource
      • Analyze customer spend: are you already getting everything you could from the account? If yes, consider whether you require 5 head count on that account


Solution benefits:


    • Increased sales of $1.67M per account or $8.33M for all 5 Key Accounts in this example
    • Increased selling time: 9,375 hours (equal to 8.33 head count under the current

selling hours)

  • Worst case: reduced cost of sales


Key takeaways:


  • Understand actual selling time in your Key Account Management Program
  • Role corruption is killing most sales organizations but the solution is straight forward and within your sights
  • Start with a time study
  • Ask yourself, do I know the actual selling time per Key Account rep?


In my next post we’ll discuss the importance of team chemistry within your Key Account Management program.


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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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