Key Account Teams
Imonic have been working with account teams for 10 years in several industries, however in some sectors they are a relatively new phenomenon. In others the idea has yet to catch on at all and the benefits to be realised.
In large organisations, where multiple departments or functions have staff that interface with key customers, it is not uncommon for customers to say things like "great people, I just wish they'd talk to each other", or "the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" or even "I feel like we are doing business with 3 or 4 different companies rather than one!" It is all too easy to forget that different departments have different priorities and objectives, and of course often work in different ways.
At the end of the day, the customer feels they are receiving a poorly co-ordinated service, which does not make your company easy to do business with (ET-DBW).
The benefits of setting up account teams can be huge. Such a co-ordinated group of individuals will be able to pool knowledge of the customer's business, share account objectives, identify further opportunities and create a step change in customer satisfaction.
This is usually done as a matrix responsibility so rarely adds cost to the operation. Co-ordination is led by one of the team, perhaps a Key Account Manager or a team member who interfaces most with a particular customer.
Internal communications and the culture of the organisation are also positively affected by working together, and becoming more aware of each department's difficulties.
Imonic can help you to review the account team concept, identify your key customers and organise a transitional approach. Launch workshops, setting expectations and defining clear responsibilities are part of the process. We also get involved in an account review to measure the impact of an account team, and hold workshops to share learning and best practice between teams and functions.
As an example, our latest client to do this is in the
Utility sector, where account teams are uncommon. We believe this may even be
a first. The approach has been to implement account teams for 30 key customers
in the first year in three phases. Early success has been achieved and the benefits
referred to above are rolling in as expected.
As far as the customer is concerned 'Key Account Teams' make big organisations act, communicate and serve them like a small company would.