Key Account manager (KAM) is a necessity in the present scenario. Corporates should take care of the following points for KAMs success:
1. KAM requires a top down support if he and the corporate really want to succeed. KAM is the center point of the business, he is the core, so a positive support from all departments is a minimal requirement for his success.
2. If we talk about accountability, then whenever a key customer gets affected, or can be affected, the commitment for that customer must come from all levels, departments etc. of the supplier. Without proper support a KAM can do nothing whenever there is a crisis and therefore he alone cannot be held responsible.
3. There should be teamwork and for the same it is critical to sustain an energetic internal communications programme.
4. In my opinion a KAM knows his client the best so he should have a say in decision making, all employees should accept the change and work towards it, thereby supporting the KAM.
Tips for KAM:
Understanding the customer’s business is very important. Unless and until a KAM understands his client business, he wont understand his requirements. Thus he will not be able to frame any value proposition for his client and gradually will fail. As the relationship progresses the value proposition will change. e.g., from just providing a service, the expectation will grow to providing the service with best quality and in time. Below are few suggestions:
1. Understand what your client wants, some only want a commodity or a service supplier. If this is the case, then sorry they are not the key.
2. Add value, articulate it and not the cost alone.
3. A win-win situation, proposing a mutual value proposition, is the best thing to do. It benefits your client as well as your own company.
4. Keep refreshing your value propositions to match with the customer’s changing business. This will help you gain a beneficial position with your client.
I am sure these tips will help you all. Remember, do things gradually, dont rush! Keep experimenting but make sure it does not harm your reputation nor the corporate’s, and learn from your old mistakes.
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