Most sales professionals today would consider account management to be the act of going from one transaction to another and most of them are not aware that it is simply more than that. As a matter of fact, in identifying strategic accounts for organizations, sales people would often make the mistake of identifying clients as key accounts when they truly are not. Then one day, what was thought to be a long-term partnership ends and the organization is puzzled. Sales teams ask themselves, exactly how did this happen?
If this is a common occurrence in your organization and you find yourselves in a situation where your sales team is regularly bewildered by the losses of certain accounts, it would be prudent for your sales people to know the three most common mistakes to avoid in identifying key accounts:
All Big Customers are Strategic. Yes, we have all been there. You have a customer who orders a big volume from your organization and you cannot help but consider them a key account. Still, most sales professionals seem to forget that it is not all about the volume. Big customers cannot be automatically considered as key accounts despite the large quantity of products they ordered when your own organization earns very little from the deal.
Big Revenue Accounts are everything. What if they order a lot and you earn a lot? Is not that a strategic account already? Not necessarily. There is still the possibility that big revenue accounts are not key accounts because they might not have the potential to become long term accounts. Take note that this type of accounts are the ones that would consider your organization as a supplier for at least three years. Take a look at organizations that have a temporary project. It is possible that for their initial order they pay your organization a large sum but afterwards, they are never heard from again.
Easy Sell Accounts are Key Accounts. As mentioned earlier, sales agents and their teams have a habit of considering easy sell accounts as key accounts. However, just because customers order products or services from your organization in a predictable manner, it does not mean that they are automatically considered to be one. These types of accounts are not necessarily key accounts simply because they might not help your organization grow strategically or have a potential to help your organization achieve its targets.