Over the last few months we’ve discussed everything from hiring key account managers to how to implement a key account program but for now, let’s assume you don’t have a program in place but have made the decision to develop one.
There are four primary steps to building a Key Account Program:
- Develop the Key Account Sales Strategy
- Develop the Key Account Go-To-Market Plan
- Design the Key Account Sales Force
- Build the Infrastructure to support the Key Account Program
Step 1: Key Account Sales Strategy
- Select your Key Accounts utilizing the Key Account selection criteria / segmentation analysis outlined here
- Define the Account Development program outlined on my previous posts on 4/11, 4/24, 5/7 & 5/20
- Map the Key Account buying process and align / adjust your sales process accordingly
- A stakeholder wheel/decision tree/steering committee analysis is a must
- Understanding who and how decisions are made within the Key Account is critical to the program’s success
Step 2: Key Account Go-To-Market Plan
- Select and define the various channels that support your customers buying processes (assume there are multiple buyers, which means you’ll have multiple sales processes)
- Example: If you’re selling a solution set into Ford, you may OEM some product but also sell direct. You may have a national accounts program but also leverage various distributors across the country. Identify them all and map out the Go-to-Market plan for each
Step 3: Design the Sales Structure
- Develop your sizing and structure model based on the alignment of resources across the entire account. Leverage the Diamond structure approach and avoid the Bow-Tie approach
- Develop your Key Account resource sizing model.
- Review the Key Account roles and responsibilities outlined here.
Step 4: Key Account Infrastructure
- Talent Management and Selection Process
- Compensation Plan
- Key Account opt in contract/requirements document
- Key Account Score Card (External), customized by account
- Key Account Performance Management framework (Internal)
Key Take away:
There are a lot of resources linked on this post – leave a comment below if you have any questions.