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3 Hidden Secrets About Key Account Management

account based sellingAccount based selling is an art, not a science.

Attracting key accounts is the #1 challenge for account based selling teams. (No big shocker there, right?) Their charter is to land and expand within their named accounts while fending off substantial competitors and navigating an increasingly complex buyer landscape—while simultaneously coordinating an internal team to devise a strategy and assign a myriad of tasks.

Yes, it’s a tough job, and the hard work doesn’t stop there. Account based selling teams need their own specific strategy with sales activities mapped to each stage of the sales process, which then need to be mapped to the buyers’ processes. Buying committees have now increased to 6.8, which means it’s getting even harder to reach all buyers and determine who has influence, who has the budget, and how decisions are made. It’s complicated and time-consuming. And is all this talk about planning really necessary?

You know the answer to that question, even if you’d rather not admit it.

Does Your Key Account Management Plan Include These 3 Things?

What’s the secret to creating a successful Key Account Management plan? Jonathan Farrington, CEO of Top Sales World, shares three components in his post: “Key Account Management Is An Art, Not a Formula.”

According to Jonathan, most account management plans fall into one of two extremes: Either there is no plan, or the plan is too rigid. But sales is not a science. It’s an art, and like artists, salespeople need discipline and creativity, and a lot of practice.

As Jonathan puts it:

Managing a key account needs all three parts. Discipline helps us follow the plan, to be self-controlled. Practice means that we do not expect to be perfect overnight—we think and plan and prepare for every important “performance.” Creativity allows us to change the past, to find new ways to solve problems and to win opportunities. If we think of Key Account Management as an art, then we will avoid the two dangers of working randomly and rigidly. 

How can discipline and creativity go hand in hand? Read the rest of Jonathan’s article for more insights.

Skipping Practice? Bad Idea!

I especially resonated with Jonathan’s segment on practice. We all understand that to excel at any skill requires practice—lots of it. Whether you’re a distance runner, sprinter, musician, professional speaker, swimmer, or cyclist, you don’t just show up and win a race or wow an audience. You practice intensely, and thus make extremely difficult tasks appear simple.

Why, then, don’t account based selling teams incorporate practice into their strategies to land and expand? Winning deals takes more than charisma and cool technology. It takes intense practice with your team to nail a presentation and close deals.

Want to learn more? Download this whitepaper and take a deep dive into what Key Account Management really means.

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