If you look for this keyword – Key Account management (KAM) on Google or any other search engine, you will be flooded with hundreds of thousands of pages and you won’t know where to click. For all the search results that KAM gets, it is a highly underestimated role in the sales chain. Still struggling to find its rightful place under the Sales Sun, Key account management needs to be demystified in honor of the critical role these Key Account Managers play in their organizations.
Managing a customer is not a mean task and Account Managers do just that. They are the customer-facing, frontline fighters of the organization who may not have won the glory that salespeople always do, but that does not leave them fighting any less to keep building on the customer relationships they are responsible for.
Key Account Managers are the front-enders, the people in the direct line of fire of the customers, if at all. They are the force that is responsible for customer nurturing, satisfaction, acquisition and contract renewals. They have to make sure that their customers are deriving good value consistently from what they have to offer; that customer is happy with the relationship and willing to continue the same for the long term.
The Marathoners v/s The Sprinters
Key Account Managers are the Marathoners of the company they work for, they are people who are willing to work hard at bettering themselves and their relationships with their key customers. They are people willing to take a backseat and allow the sales team their moments of glory. They are willing to go the distance at a steady pace, gradually improving their pace and stamina. Salespeople, on the other hand, could be well compared to the sprinters – the winners- who hunt and win accounts. These accounts are then nurtured, farmed and harvested by the Key Account Managers. But if you were to compare the targets to the sales force, they have to deliver as much as the salespeople in a far shorter time.
The Tools of the trade for the Key Account Managers were missing until now
Until today, the Key Account Managers were the behind-the-scenes guys, facing customers, but receiving little support in terms of technology and automated tools for the trade. Moreover, while the Sales Team got their share of advanced key account management tools and systems to work on their targets and the Marketing Teams got their own set for delivering more value in a short time, the Key Account Managers were caught in the crossfire They had to do with a mix of both, trying to derive value out of CRMs, spreadsheets, email trackers and so on. They did not have software or tools customized to their own requirement. While everything was being automated, the Key Account Managers needed a system where they could balance the person interface and the automated one.
A KRM for Key Account Managers
A system that helps Key Account Managers to focus on building their customer relationship and add value every time, at the same time automates the operational part, is what the Key Account Managers need – Key Relationship Management (KRM) somewhat like the CRM, but much more than that and differently customized. DemandFarm has such a system for Key Account Managers that helps them probe deeper into the relationships with their customers. It gives an overarching view of their strategic accounts, as well as helps the KA managers to focus on the complexities involved to help deliver a win-win to their customers.