Some customers will drive more revenue for your B2B company than others. Known as key accounts, they typically purchase larger volumes of products or services -- and they purchase those products or services more frequently than other customers. By focusing your sales efforts around key accounts, your B2B company will benefit from increased sales. Unfortunately, though, it's not uncommon for key accounts to leave a B2B company. If you're guilty of making one or more of the following mistakes, you can expect to lose some or all of your B2B company's key accounts.
#1) Not Asking Key Accounts for Feedback
For key accounts to stay with your B2B company, you must develop and foster a strong relationship with them, which is why it's important to ask key accounts for feedback. If a key account recently purchased a new product or service, contact him or her to see if they were satisfied with their purchase. Using this feedback, you can adjust your approach to develop stronger relationships with key accounts.
#2) Using the Wrong Communication Channels
Another common mistake that can cost your B2B company key accounts is using the wrong communication channels. While social media may sound like an effective way to communicate with key accounts, it pales in comparison to other channels. Statistics show that only 9% of buyers prefer communications through social media. In comparison, 81% of buyers prefer communications through email and 58% prefer communications by phone.
#3) Offering Key Accounts the Same Deals as Other Customers
If you offer your B2B company's key accounts the same deals as other customers, they may choose a competitor instead. To make key accounts feel special and appreciated, offer the exclusive deals or discounts that aren't available to other customers.
#4) Prioritizing the Wrong Key Accounts
Failure to prioritize key accounts using the right method can result in some of these customers leaving your B2B company. How should you prioritize key accounts exactly? Look at all elements of your B2B company's key accounts to determine their likelihood of making a purchase. You can then prioritize your sales efforts around the key accounts who are most likely to make a purchase.
#5) Not Using Key Account Managers
Does your B2B company have a dedicated team of key account managers? If not, it could cost you some key accounts. Key account managers, as the name suggests, are sales reps who specifically handle key accounts. These are many times called reapers. They know how to develop long term strategies, keep in regular contact with the customer and is in tune with what they want and need and by when.
One of the main jobs of a key account manager is to expand business especially if there are multiple divisions, departments or companies. They will need a particular resource in order to identify who the players are. Not every contact within the key account will know others in the different departments or companies, so having an industry specific database that can provide that information is essential to their success. Once they reach the new contact, they can tell them about their success with the other department or division and they can call to get a great reference.
So how can they find out who the right contact is? Using the Target Account Sales Intelligence database, you'll be able to identify the right contact person for each of the departments, divisions or companies. You'll get the person's name, title, direct phone number and email address. Now the key account manager can effectively expand the business within the key account.