Double loop Key account management
Improve value creation and capture with your most important accounts
Silo thinking, lack of internal collaboration, missing innovation and strategy, too little customer centricity and insufficient support from internal functions are the enemies of successful key account management.
Our Double Loop Key Account Management turns silo thinking into true and profitable customer-centric collaboration for your most important accounts. It’s simple and effective.
What Double Loop Key Account Management is all about
The digitalization of account management is being accelerated by COVID-19 and will increase your Account Management’s efficiency. But it will not make life easier with respect to the traditional challenges in key account management.
Double Loop Key Account Management helps you to master these challenges. And to improve on all KAM success factors. Online and offline.
It is about
– Getting rid of silo thinking,
– Implementing customer centric internal collaboration processes,
– Coaching your account managers in strategy and account planning,
– Implementing an „Account Plan Challenge“ as your annual cross-functional strategic decision making pit-stop,
– Identifying growth potential,
– Sharpening roles and responsibilities as well as
– Preparing and leading value based negotiations.
Double Loop Key Account Management has supported our customers in achieving double digit sales and profit growth.
This is what we call value creation and value capture with Double Loop Account Management.
Our Double Loop Key Account Management increases customer centricity and enhances value creation, value selling and value capture for your most important customers …
Strategic account plans
The account plan is a key pillar of your Double Loop Key Account Management process, as it provides strategic orientation and stability: internally and externally.
Writing strategies is often not perceived as the biggest fun part of an account manager’s job. However, in Double Loop Account Management, key account managers understand that their key account plan is their key tool for selling their ideas and needs internally.
After getting the key account plan approved in the Account Plan Challenge, it will provide the key account managers with a strategic guideline and better preparation for their customer interactions.
It also provides all the internal functions with the key information they need to manage and prioritize their resources effectively to support successful delivery of the key account plan to the customer.
The account plans should not be overengineered and overloaded with templates. Instead, they should follow a simple structure and clear story line, revealing business opportunities, growth paths and necessary investments and actions. They can be integrated into your CRM system and will become the linchpin of your Double Loop Key Account Management.
We support your key account managers in developing sound account plan storylines, structures, content and formats.
But of course, we know that it takes much more than pencil, paper and plans to win your battles …
APC = Account Plan Challenge
Day to day business decisions will be taken by the key account managers and their teams, based on their internal exchange and alignment with other functions. This is an ongoing process and business as usual.
However, for bigger, potentially controversial and more strategic decisions, the annual or bi-annual Account Plan Challenge (APC) will be the focal point of your Double Loop Key Account Management process.
The APC is a strategic decision making meeting with all key account managers and all other relevant stakeholders and decision makers, who are involved in value creation, value communication, value selling and value capture, incl. Marketing, Technical Service, R&D, Supply Chain Management, Regulatory Support, Regional Sales etc.
In the APC the key account managers share their strategies, pain points and proposals and are challenged by the internal stakeholders. Based on these discussions, per key account and across key accounts, strategic decisions, including investments into key customers, will be taken in facilitated discussions.
The APC should be done at least once a year. And early enough to feed into your budgeting process for the following year. The actual design of the APC will depend very much on your specific business and culture.
As a result, the key account managers will be fully aligned with all internal functions. They get up to speed and know what to offer and what not to offer to their accounts. Their self-confidence will increase due to the backup of the internal organization. Silo management is replaced by new ways of internal collaboration and the “engine room” of your organization works in sync with Sales and Key Account Management.
We plan, organize and facilitate your APC including methodology and a review and feedback process.
APC preparation & coaching of account managers
The APC is a meeting where high level decision are taken. Failing is no option here. The key account managers‘ strategies and presentations must be of high quality to ensure a good performance during the APC. This is why the APC has to be prepared for thoroughly.
During the preparation, strategy coaching will help your key account managers to boost their strategies and account plans and to prepare them for their presentations and individual challenges.
Besides operational and organizational tasks, the APC preparation usually comprises alignment meetings and calls with the key account managers or and / or strategy meetings with Business Management and / or Marketing.
Before the APC, the key account managers can then do an „APC Dry Run“ as a rehearsal to finally prepare them for their APC presentations.
Thereby we help you and your key account managers to be fully prepared for the APC.
Successful customer interactions
Based on the outcome of the APC and the decisions taken, the key account managers can prepare their value centered customer interactions in the external loop.
How much support is needed for the external loop depends very much on the experience level of your key account managers and the maturity of your KAM organization.
If needed, we coach and train your key account managers to ensure they are well prepared for their customer interactions.
Our Value Touchdown method for preparing negotiations, the MBTI for improving your internal and external communication and our business specific negotiation trainings are just three examples how we can help here.
Account Manager Bootcamps
As an additional support we offer our business specific key account manager bootcamps, e.g. as an annual training event for your key account managers.
Here we train and coach your account managers in subjects such as strategy, account planning, business acumen, pricing, negotiation strategies and tactics, negotiation psychology, preparing negotiations, value selling, virtual selling, presentation skills, account team leadership and other relevant topics.
On top, the bootcamps become an institution for internal team building.