For Impact


How to Succeed at Key Account Management (KAM)

For Impact Ideas | | Tom Suddes

Reading a great post this morning from HBR Blog Network by Lynette Ryals on KAM.

I’ve not really heard that term before but Key Account Management fits perfectly into our For Impact | The Suddes Group’s thinking around RELATIONSHIPS, MAXIMIZING RELATIONSHIPS, RELATIONSHIP MANAGERS, NATURAL PARTNERS, TOP OF THE PYRAMID, etc.

I encourage you to read this article, with particular emphasis on the 7 Steps of KAM.

Step One: Recognize that KAM is an organizational change, not a sales technique. I love this. “Organization change is not a sales technique.” High-level attention to our highest level prospects and potential investors is an organizational issue.

Step Two: Get high-level buy-in. Again, organizational change… not just a sales technique or process within the advancement office.

Step Three: Appoint a KAM champion. In our world and vocabulary, this is the RM, the Relationship Manager. In her words, this also might include the NP, Natural Partner. Both should be CHAMPIONS of the Key Account/Top Investor.

Step Four: Identify your key accounts — carefully. Master Prospect List. Nuff said.

Step Five: Appoint and train your key account managers. Assign an RM (Relationship Manager)… and then actually train them in the Why and the What and the How they should manage this.

Step Six: Set the right metrics. Cliche as it is, you actually do get what you measure.

Step Seven: Benchmark and build. Love her last line on this step. “Remember, you don’t have to be ill to get better.”(!) Also remember, you can’t manage a relationship you don’t have.

Remember: You cannot ‘manage’ a relationship that you don’t have.