Technology in KAM

Technology applicable to key accounts has taken a long time to arrive, with software vendors generally focused on managing large numbers of fairly simple customers rather than in-depth knowledge about a few large and extensive key accounts. Now there is a quite bewildering array of programmes, albeit still from a limited number of vendors, which may be exactly the support you need, or an expensive and time-consuming distraction.

In this AKAM Technical workshop Dr Olivier Riviere guided participants through the minefield, focusing principally on four offerings:

  • CRM

CRM has to be considered because most companies already have it. Olivier concluded that CRM has its uses, even in KAM, but isn't good enough for the whole job by any means. It plays a role in KAM because it is already in place, so it is worth understanding what it can and can't do.

  • KAM-specific applications

There are now viable programmes for managing KAM, normally including account analysis; strategy and plan; account team/execution and monitoring. The number of vendors is still very limited, so Olivier could usefully explore different facets of each, which is particularly valuable to those starting out on this path.

  • Relationships and influences

Relationships are a critical part of KAM. When both supplier and customer are large and complex organisations, keeping track of all the necessary links can be mind blowing. Not only do visual representations help immensely to manage the network of relationships, they do an excellent job of demonstrating the number and range of people who are involved.

  • Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Both the KAM and marketing communities are currently gripped by the potential of ABM, even though even its definition still seems to be unclear, i.e. is one-to-one the only version of ABM that is meaningful in KAM, or is one-to-few also relevant (perhaps it depends on how many 'few' represents)? Technology is intrinsic to ABM but professionals in both KAM and ABM need to understand what it does and doesn't do, and how.

Olivier offered insight into what can be expected of these technologies in KAM; sound advice on how to get started on using them; and pitfalls to avoid. Download the workshop slides here.




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