Many organisations put in place a structured approach to produce and improve their key account plans yet some are less disciplined in producing, updating and following an overall key account programme plan.
In our experience gaining buy-in to Key account management activities across an organisation’s leadership group is often hard. Maintaining it can be even harder. Some key management programmes just seem to run out of steam too quickly. Commitment diminishes as initial results aren’t quite as high as desired and the vision of potential becomes clouded.
Recently we’ve worked with two large, international organisations – one in ‘lifting equipment’ the other in healthcare, on a holistic approach to account planning. One that involves yes creating strong account plans for each key account, but as importantly ALSO formulating or upgrading an overall key account plan too.
This doesn’t just aggregate all the numbers and actions of individual account plans.
It takes a more strategic, leadership approach, one that is dynamic and which keeps the right version of key account management at the top of the agenda
It builds on and reshapes the financial business case for key account management, supported by a road-map of next step activities. In these cases, we’ve looked five years forward, to cover target market sectors, required talent developments, new product and service needs, organisational structure, supporting technology investments and risk assessment.
Such key account programme (or program) activities require their own planning rhythms including looking outside of existing market to see what other organisations are doing to develop better practices, pulling together customer demands, selecting new target key accounts to replace those on the wane, judging KAM initiatives against others within an organisation, looking an alternative pathways and building a compelling financial case.
Such plans have been crucial in maintaining commitment and showing the holistic pathway required for enduring key account management driven success.