Your Onboarding Success Story

If there is one thing your company cannot afford to ignore in times of economic uncertainty—or at any other time for that matter—it’s your key accounts! Not only do they provide the lion’s share of your turnover, they are also critical to your company’s short- and long-term success.

If there is one thing your company cannot afford to ignore in times of economic uncertainty—or at any other time for that matter—it’s your key accounts! Not only do they provide the lion’s share of your turnover, they are also critical to your company’s short- and long-term success.

Here are five tips that will help you stay productive, professional, and proactive when selling to your organization’s most important clients at a time when your company needs them most:

Keep in touch—even when there’s nothing in the pipeline

Actually, keep in touch especially when there’s nothing in the pipeline. Showing that you care plays a big part in achieving a successful relationship with your KAs, and keeping in touch between projects is one of the most effective ways of doing just that. Remember, many of your stakeholders are probably struggling as much as you are to reach their objectives, keep their employees busy, and combat stress, etc… So reach out and lend them an ear. Let them feel that you are not only interested in their money but also in their challenges and aspirations. Through your experiences with other clients and stakeholders, you may be able to offer timely advice and help your KAs navigate through tough times. That will make you worth your weight in gold.

Research and strategize with your KAs

Another critical step in building a close relationship with your KAs is to plan your own company’s goals and initiatives in collaboration with them and not just for them. Maybe you need to revise or change your value proposition to resonate with your clients’ new realities. The only way to do that is to discuss it with them. For example, you might facilitate a value gap workshop with your customer and/or with your account team to brainstorm on where you can bring added value to your KAs. Then adapt your business accordingly.

Re-evaluate your key account portfolio

Accounts are never static. Inevitably, some accounts will go up in value and show a greater potential for future growth, while some will lose value. This is true in both good and bad times. Therefore, it makes sense to regularly re-evaluate your portfolio using a solid analytical approach to assess your current and future accounts. Maybe it’s time to make new accounts your key accounts and leave others behind.

Re-evaluate your opportunity portfolio

A likely consequence of the current pandemic is a shift in buying patterns. Stakeholders or purchase criteria will inevitably change, and decision power will shift. You need to carefully evaluate how these changes impact your opportunities and then adapt your sales process accordingly. Some opportunities may take longer to materialize than before, so stay engaged, but don’t be afraid to disengage, if necessary, as discussed in the tip above.

Build your virtual professionalism

Last but not least, be proactive in your application of new technology such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. Take advantage of the fact that many decision-makers are more likely today to participate in a call—or part of a call—online than they would have been in the past to attend a face-to-face meeting. Invite your executives along to these virtual meetings to show your key accounts that they are important. Plan for informal conversations by preparing small talk, and schedule follow-up calls to liaise with your close contacts. Sellers who can do all this will win the hearts of buyers now and for years to come.

CA

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