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Strategies for Major Account Management - ChannelOnline
  • Strategies for Major Account Management

  • Thursday, May 17, 2018

Your biggest accounts are responsible for a substantial proportion of your business, and as a result, it's a good strategy to keep them happy — within reason. For this reason, major account management requires a fine balance between understanding your needs and understanding your client's needs. A skilled account manager does exactly that. However, you still need an overall strategy to manage these clients.

Major Account Management Objectives
The objective of any account manager is to ensure that your company:
• Is easy to work with
• Gets the job done
• Creates a working relationship
• Keeps key clients

Identifying Major Accounts
First, you must identify your major accounts. Traditionally, this is done by identifying the accounts who bring in the most money, and that's a pretty reasonable way of doing it. However, some accounts are more complex than others, and they need more managing. Why allocate a major account manager to a client who doesn't need it? So identifying accounts that are particularly complex and bring in a certain amount of money is key to identifying your major accounts.

Next, you need to grade your accounts. It often helps if you create a multilevel system of support. Your biggest accounts get individual attention, your mid-level accounts get somewhat personalized attention but from multiple people, and your lowest level accounts get general support. You can subdivide even more finely if you wish, so that you're offering the right services to the right people.

Identifying Needs
The next stage is to identify the needs of each account. In general, major accounts have multiple points of contact from multiple departments. If, for example, you supply HR and payroll software, the users of the HR software may not have much to do with the payroll software and vice versa. Consequently, major account management means finding the right contacts for each user group and being able to immediately shuffle them to the right helpdesk for their needs.

An overall account manager must be able to create a strategy for dealing with that major account and ensure that their needs are dealt with as a priority. This also means communicating with multiple departments and formulating a strategy for that account.

Identifying Individuality
Each strategy must be unique to the account. It should identify the points mentioned above but should also treat the account according to the needs of your business. Essentially, you need to look at the account from a global perspective, how it fits in with your overall corporate strategy, and how you fit in with the account's overall corporate strategy. This is where trust is key, as major account managers must be able to make critical decisions. However, they must also make them in line with established guidelines, so that they know what your corporate strategy is.

Because of this, you need an account management software that is able to deal with multiple strategies and integrate with key programs. ChannelOnline's built-in account management functionality and its integration with Salesforce CRM provide support for the proper management of major accounts, making your major account management strategy much easier.