We have discussed selecting the right key accounts, how to develop opportunities within accounts, compensation and even the type of competencies required of key account managers but what about the avoidance of job corruption.


Avoiding individual role corruption will prevent less than optimal selling time within your accounts. How do we prevent role corruption? Clear roles and responsibilities!


My last post provided one example of a Key Account team; there are literally hundreds of different structure options, the key being; what’s right for your key accounts? The structure you have for Pepsi will be different from Wal-Mart, as will Verizon, Raytheon, Boeing or Bechtel. Align your key account structure, roles and responsibilities to how your key accounts buy.


The following list provides a glimpse of some of the positions that may be required as part of your key account structure and a brief summary of the positions responsibilities. The positions are also broken down by either direct account team or shared resources:


Key Account Managment worksheet



Key Account Management Details


As mentioned, avoid the mistake of tackling too many key accounts right away. Start with a couple, perfect your support roles & responsibilities then expand. Remember Key Account Management takes time; don’t start if you’re not in for the long haul.


In my next post we’ll discuss the role inside sales takes in support of the Key Account Management team.


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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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