COO & Co-Founder, DemandFarm
It is essential for organizations to understand which accounts are ‘strategic partners’ and
the relationships where they act as a tactical vendor. Once the distinction is made,
treating the strategic partners as key accounts requires a thorough understanding of the
customer’s business, structure, details about individual business units, strategic
initiatives, and management changes. While having this data is essential, using it to
create solutions that create more value for the customer or answer the customer’s
business challenges is what fortifies relationships – and AI and ML help in this regard,
by identifying areas of focus and/or concern.
The intelligence present in the organization about its key customers can be termed as
‘tribal knowledge’, and it resides in the way clients and key account managers interact,
while adding value to the relationship. This seemingly unstructured information can be
captured into an enterprise memory which can be seamlessly used by multiple members
of a team to manage the same key account. When properly structured, the data can be
used by AI and ML tools for Key Account Management – and ease the process of
collaborating and building relationships with the customer organization. They provide
insights which help in making account plans which lead to revenue goals, specific
actions, and timelines.
Every key account will have unique situations that necessitate customised solutions or
approaches and require a fair amount of cognitive thinking. The insights that AI and ML
tools provide help in the process, but the days of tools providing viable courses of action
are not that far off.