In Australia many organisations are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the increased administration, high costs and low ROI of their investments in CRMs and Key Account Management processes and systems
“Our software and/or blue or pink sheets will solve all your account management challenges and grow sales” is a regular mantra from technology providers and yet the ‘coal face’ implementation rate across the country is way too low
5 key reasons why this is the case include:
- Senior managers are often mandated into investing into a global Key Account Management Training program by their overseas ‘President’ or head office, and it is not relevant to the Australian market, economic situation or business needs, yet they have to “toe the line” politically, knowing in their hearts that the program they are investing in is either out of date, doesn’t work or fails to address the root causes of poor account penetration and growth.
- The process is too administration heavy and light on action. It is basically an online diary for past actions (to keep the ‘boss of your back’) rather than focusing on next step actions after having met the customer
- The people tasked with actually using the Key Account Management process and/or CRM were not actually involved in the consultation and design of the program yet have it dumped on them
- Some just ‘sign on’ to a none sales departments ‘flavour of the year’ – they have just heard that to be a leading edge organisation and employer of choice that they should be “doing key account management”, and push the agenda throughout the organisation without really understanding its process, pitfalls and potentials.
- Sales people or managers are promoted into the position of Key Account Manager, not because they have the expertise or skills, but because they have been in the company for a while and there is no other role to promote them into; or because they are have hit target more often than their peers and are rumbling behind the scenes about going to a competitor if they don’t get a promotion and/or pay increase
Key Account Management Training is different to Sales Training and Sales Pipeline Training however many decisions – due to an insufficient and deep understanding of what Key Account Management really is – are made on ‘blind faith’, and a willingness to spend hard earned dollars on an enterprise and process without first doing their due diligence about the correct Key Account Management strategy in the first place.
lf this is happening in your organisation you could be your wasting a lot of time, valuable resources and money and any company Financial Controller, General Manager or Risk Manager would call this “risky business”.
The failure to produce the desired sales results from a poorly implemented Key Account Management process can be a very frustrating experience for customers, and can have significant, negative and debilitating impacts on your results, your company brand image and staff morale.
From first-hand experience with organisations around Australia, here are just a few
- Bottom Line Pressure – Key Account Management is a ‘long game’ and does not create immediate results, so due to initial high investment costs and low immediate returns, corners start to be cut, and other ‘short term priorities’ are get pursued so that ultimately all of the upfront commitment dwindles out of the door and is replaced with the next ‘shiny sales strategy’
- Poor Sales Team Commitment and belief in the Key Account Management process – why?, because if it doesn’t meet or exceed the original expectations or ‘promises’, then no one believes in the process and abandons the cause – never again to be burnt from the scourge of Key Account Management
- Political Games and Lack of Responsibility – Managers dump the Key Account Management process on their colleagues and keep as far away as they can from the initiative that they were once the original advocates or sponsors of. (Wouldn’t happen in your organisation? Count how many days your managers have spent on the road in the last 2 months, actually coaching the sales people, instead of managing from behind their desk)
- Customer disappointment – your key customers can’t believe that after all your promises that you were going to be a “strategic partner” and give them a “higher level of service” including proactively helping them navigate their way through your company and resolve all issues – you are now going back on your word and they feel like you are abandoning them (at a time when your competitors are becoming more proactive!)
Everyone has heard of the Pareto Principle where 80% of your business come from 20% of your customers, and yet how effective is your Key Account Management process.
When you lay awake at night thinking about your Key Accounts, how confident are you?
In addition, check out Part 2 and 3 of David’s 3-part Key Account Management Series
The KONA Group is Australia’s Leading Sales and Sales Management Training and Coaching company and provide customised training programs that include: Sales Training & Coaching, Key Account Management Training, Call Centre Training & coaching, Negotiation Skills Training & Coaching, Motivational Speakers, and more.
So if you are looking to increase the effectiveness and results of your sales team, contact KONA today on 1300 611 288 or email: email@example.com to discuss how we can help you to improve your organisation’s results.