Large enterprise technology deals in complex, risk-averse industries are hard to win, but when you do, you’re in the position to grow the deal size with your current deployment and across the company. If you’re ready to deepen existing relationships and attract new business units to your solution, intelligence-driven key account management is the essential strategy for success.
Key Account Management Focuses Your Team on the Most Promising Current Accounts
Key account management (KAM) draws an outsized amount of marketing and sales resources to a small set of prospects. So it’s important that your account planning and choice of key accounts is based on a clear understanding of their potential for expanding current and future deals. Look for targets which have already made some commitment to your solution or ones which have high growth potential over the next several years, such as some of the new insurtech firms. These will merit your investment in partnership.
KAM is most successful with companies who see your solution as part of their long-term business plans. For example, while many insurance firms are struggling to manage, integrate, and protect gigabytes of data, how well your solution aligns with their roadmap depends on past data initiatives, current tech stack, and risk tolerance. Before bringing an account into your key account management program, ensure you have a nuanced understanding of their current situation and future plans.
Also, consider how well your corporate culture agrees with theirs. Consult with contacts about the account’s culture and partnership style to determine if they can work with you as a strategic advisor. And investigate whether your solution aligns with their highest priorities, such as data security or self-service. If you’re not sure about which prospects are most promising, get help from your champions or industry experts who can share the intelligence you need to move forward with confidence.
Key Account Management Uncovers Pain Points for New Business Units
Your KAM team understands key accounts extremely well and customizes sales and marketing processes to suit their needs. As a partner, you’re not just helping to alleviate current pain points, you’re anticipating future ones and identifying similar opportunities in other business units.
To capture a realistic assessment of pain points you can address, the KAM manager will need to cultivate communications channels at all levels across the account. Work with a champion or insider who can help you locate the best people to connect with. And coordinate your intelligence into a big picture of their business, from technical gaps your offering can fill to global objectives you support.
Strong relationships across the account will also help you understand which benefits of your solution the account prizes most, which nascent problems may jeopardize major initiatives, and what each area of the company expects from your partnership. In addition, you’ll learn how decision-makers like to interact with strategic advisors. They may prefer regular face-to-face planning meetings, more casual email and text communications, or conference calls.
Then based on what you’ve learned, create a KAM strategy that meets their needs. For example, as the insurance industry faces disruptions, your team could help established firms predict what they’ll soon face in terms of customer demand, data storage, and security. Or you can help newer tech-savvy enterprises identify leading-edge solutions, such as telematics and artificial intelligence, that are most likely to make good on their promises. Working with the account on product development, support plans, new feature training, and user conferences also demonstrates your commitment to their ongoing success.
If you’re just beginning to build relationships in a key account or are having trouble bridging to new business units, bring in an advisor who knows the buying committees well and can introduce you to the right people or help strategize ways to expand communications. These insiders will also help you understand the differences among business units so you can approach each one successfully as you grow deals.
Key Account Management is the Channel for Broadcasting Your Value Across the Account
With outstanding intelligence and strong mutual connections, your KAM team is the best channel for communicating your solution’s value at every level and department. Leverage champions to customize marketing materials, presentations, and meetings according to what different buyers care about.
Beyond addressing specific pain points, however, the KAM team will need to demonstrate value as a business partner who understands and contributes to the industry overall. For example, your company may participate in technology standards boards, present at conferences, or collaborate with the key account on skunkworks projects. Focus on activities that your target values for the greatest benefit.
Depending on how independently different business units operate, you may need to adjust your approach for each one. If you want to expand from the P&C division to life, you may encounter new objectives, challenges, and corporate cultures. The KAM team will need to translate the value of your solution for a new audience, leaning on the successes you’ve already had while acknowledging the unique needs of each business unit.
Moving to new areas of the key account can be tricky; you may need some experienced insight to help you strategize. But as you grow connections across the company, you’ll position your solution as a foundational element of enterprise-wide business goals.
How Emissary Advisors Help You Create a Powerful KAM Strategy
Every sales or marketing plan depends on your team’s knowledge about the prospect and the insurance industry. But when you bring a company into your KAM program, you need the detailed business insights only an Emissary Advisor can give you.
Emissary Advisors have worked as leaders, IT buyers, and executives at the prospects you’re considering for KAM. They can share details you’ll never find on a corporate research website. They know what the culture is like, how the c-suite prefers to do business, where the hidden influencers lie, and most importantly for KAM, what they expect from a partner.
When you’ve selected some prospects for your KAM program, Advisors will help you determine if they’re a good fit. And if so, they’ll help you identify the right people to build relationships with, select initiatives that demonstrate your value as a partner, and develop a long term plan.
Contact us today to learn more about how Emissary Advisors help you expand deals with key account management.