key account problem opportunityI’m currently in the middle of a project with the same customer and what I found interesting was one comment he made regarding clients being so close to an opportunity they see it as a problem.


Key Account Management is an opportunity most customers either – don’t implement because they don’t recognize the opportunity or the idea of implementing such a large, long term program seems outside of the immediate objectives, or worst yet they think they have a key account program in place when they don’t.


When we focus on one thing, we miss another. This is what typically happens in most sales organizations when for example:


  • They focus on the same set of customers they always have because that’s the way it’s always been


  • They take the same approach they always have, rather than see things from a different perspective


Many of the reasons companies bring in consultants are because they are so close to the business, that the obvious, in many cases is simply missed even though it’s right in front of them. The ability to see the obvious typically requires a view that doesn’t share the same internal bias; in essence the ability to see the opportunity rather than the problem.


I’ve aggregated some case study findings below that when executing a Key Account Program correctly, the following opportunity is available:


  • Reduction in Key Account churn between: 5.6% to 13.2%
  • Grow Key Account revenue between: 4.1% to 8.7%
  • Increase multiple product penetration rate between: 12.6% to 17.9%
  • Increase Lead conversion rates between: 23% to 41%


Is it time to consider whether a key account program might be the opportunity you’re looking for? As with any program, it’s about execution: do you have the team to pull it off? It’s a long term investment: do you have the patience to go the distance? While you’re considering program, review the top 10 best practices for launching a Key Account Program.


Key Takeaway: Check out Michael McMillan and consider whether you may be viewing an opportunity rather than a problem when it comes to Key Account Management.


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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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