Key account management is managing key account relationships of company. Now the question arises is what key accounts are? These are accounts of those customers, which contribute a major part to sales. This does not depict that small customers does not have any value. They are important too but they are not key accounts for the company. The criteria for selecting key account can be to select few combination of given few criteria:
- Buys a certain amount of products from the company.
- Increasing there purchases over time.
- Open to new ideas and suggestions.
- Potential size of customer’s business.
- Helps in meeting future and present needs of business.
There are no fixed criteria to select key accounts. The managers can select the combination of few criteria to select key accounts. The key manager also needs to know the difference between long term and short-term needs of business. The long-term business need to focus on long-term growth of business but also needs resources, investment and sacrifice whereas short- term business needs focus on non lasting needs that is which needs to be fixed immediately. Key account managers have to make balance between long term and short-term needs and solutions accordingly.
Once the key accounts are selected, the next step for managers is to set priority. The key managers are trained in this field and they know how to balance between short-term and long-term need priorities. This helps them in achieving what they want and help business in growing. Key account management process cannot happen overnight but needed to be worked upon gradually and steadily. In addition, managers should know that it would render long run benefits instead of quick results.
Key account management if handled well can prove to be the most effective business plan that can take the business to the completely new level.