Summary of Categorizing and Selecting Key Accounts and Customers

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Good key account management can benefit your company in enhanced profitability, customer lifetime value and customer trust. But many organizations make simple but costly mistakes in key account selection. In this article from research management platform Synap, software entrepreneur Jeremie Bacon explains how to select your key accounts: how to narrow the field, how to create a selection matrix and how to distinguish between two types of key accounts. Entrepreneurs, relationship managers and customer success professionals will appreciate Bacon’s clear, actionable tutorial.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What qualities set apart the customers that merit “key account” status,
  • How to create a selection matrix for key accounts, and 
  • Why key accounts come in two flavors – “strategic” and “core.”
 

About the Author

Technology executive Jeremie Bacon has co-founded multiple software companies and pioneered SaaS CRM and account management platforms for financial services firms, tech services companies and digital agencies.

 

Summary

Key account management requires identifying the accounts that merit special, customized attention. Key accounts represent the customers that your organization will rely on to reach its long-term strategic objectives. By making careful key account selections, you can enhance your company’s growth and stability – and avoid costly mistakes. Don’t merely choose the highest-revenue, most commonly known or most demanding customers. Nor pick the ones with whom executives of your company have friendly relationships. Instead, take a systematic approach, categorizing customers according to carefully chosen criteria. An interdepartmental team of senior managers should develop a selection matrix consisting of no more than eight clearly defined, measurable criteria. The team should define criteria by considering the company’s strategic objectives and examining its most successful customer relationships. For each of the company’s best customers, the team determines its market position, growth potential, fundamental needs and strategic objectives. The team should compare these with the company’s own strategic objectives and should consider whether each customer would favor a key supplier relationship with the company.


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