Terminus Guide: Blueprint to Key Account Marketing

Key account marketing expert? Account-based marketing rookie? Somewhere in between? Whether you need a step-by-step guide to implementing an ABM strategy or just a source of inspiration, Terminus has you covered with this resource.

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An Actionable Guide to Building Out a Key Account Marketing Strategy


Key Account Marketing

Key account marketing is really just another name for account based marketing. Both terms can be used interchangeably when discussing marketing strategies. But understanding key account marketing also gives you a step toward understanding what account based marketing B2B means, because it emphasizes the fact that key accounts are the ones that are important. Account based marketing is a type of marketing that emphasizes high value accounts and building relationships with these accounts. Account based marketing 2019 has grown significantly throughout 2020 and now through 2021 and is one of the most popular marketing strategies.

Importantly, account based marketing is different from lead generation. Lead generation is a broad strategy that hopes to bring in as many leads as possible in the hopes that some will convert. Account based marketing is far more targeted, trying to ensure that the right leads are being brought in and focused on. The main goal of account based marketing is to personalize the buying experience and make it enjoyable for the prospect or customer. The term personalization in account based marketing means that interactions with the customer are customized. It’s generally used for high value sales in both B2B and B2C markets but it’s particularly useful for B2B sales.

Account based marketing vs lead generation deals a lot with quantity vs quality. Companies interested in learning more can take a look at the account based marketing Wiki. The account based marketing customer journey is not entirely different from a traditional customer journey, but it does mean that everything has to be analyzed to ensure that things are working well. The customer journey shows how customers are interacting with the account managers and whether the strategy is effective. The customer journey is also used to consistently improve the relationship with the customer.

Key Account Management

Let’s take a look at a basic key account management definition. This is something that could be found in the guide to key account management McKinsey or the key account management the Definitive Guide PDF. Key account management is closely related to customer marketing. Core to key account management is the fact that the person managing the account makes a huge impact. It’s important to hire talented account management for that reason.

As account based marketing becomes more important, the key account management job description also grows. There are more key account management jobs now looking for specific key account management skills. A good account manager is able to recognize aspects of the customer that they should key into, which is very important when marketing has to be customized. Rather than trying to interact with 1,000 customers at once, account managers under account based marketing need to be able to identify the 10 accounts most likely to have the most sales. From there, they need to be able to customize their marketing to them.

And, of course, an account based marketing platform will help. With an account based marketing platform, the manager is able to work with 1,000 customers if they desire, still delivering a personalized experience with the right channels, right data, and right analytics.

Key Account Program

It’s important for every business to have a strategy for their key account management model. An account based marketing strategy helps create a unified, coordinated effort to identify key accounts and market to them and sell to them. Technology, tools, platforms, and agencies can also help with this. This can start with a key account management strategy PDF or a key account management strategy PPT. Either way, every company looking to improve its marketing should start with a key account program.

An account based marketing agency (or even account based marketing HubSpot advice) can help provide a starting point for revenue teams.

This begins by finding the right account based marketing tools and account planning software, but key account management software alone can’t build your processes. Key account management tools make it easier to implement your strategy, but it isn’t a strategy itself. First, you need to customize these tools based on what your customers and future customers are most interested in. This comes from demographic information and prior sales at first, later it comes from internal analysis within the marketing tool itself.

After this, there are the processes and customization designed to bring customers further in. This includes things like email marketing campaigns, retargeting through paid advertising, social media advertising, and more. Altogether, account based marketing strategies need to be tailored to a business, even if they start with a general strategy or a template. And this general strategy or template is going to be something that a company can get from anywhere, including an agency, but the company is going to need to customize it as it goes for what works best for its customers.

Because account based strategies are designed to be customized for customers, it’s always going to be the case that the company needs to do more work to understand how the customers think and what they best respond to.

Sales Account Plan

What would a specific sales account plan look like? An account manager would first need a framework and then would use technology and help other team members execute their plan. Frameworks help to execute the plan, but don’t necessarily create the sales account plan itself. Rather, the account based marketing framework just creates a process. The key account management framework isn’t always perfect, but the key account management plan shows what might need to be improved.

Let’s say a customer interacts with a website and leaves their email address. This is part of the key account plan PDF and the strategic account management plan; it’s the first interaction with the customer. The account platform then sends the customer a tailored email that’s customized to what they were looking at and interested in, perhaps even a discount on these services or products. Then, when the customer shows interest by responding or clicking on a link, the account manager connects with them to find out more information.

This is a framework used to bring in qualified customers who are interested. By the time they start to respond or click on a link, they’re showing that they have some interest. By having the customer’s information passed along (regarding what page they’re on), the account manager can determine which customers are more likely to be interested in high-value products and services and which are more interested in lower value (though still valuable to the company) products. Thus, it makes it much easier for the organization to identify which customers are valuable and which need to be focused on.

One Page Account Plan Template

If a framework helps execute a plan, a plan template helps put that plan into action. A one page account plan template is the first thing most organizations will need to start building their strategy. This can take many forms; you can search for a key account management plan template, a key account management plan template Excel, key account management process flow chart, or key account management training material.

A strategic account plan template PPT can help or a strategic account plan template Salesforce. A detailed report through an ABM platform like Terminus (which integrates with Salesforce) can be further valuable in developing a strategy. But overall, organizations also need to think critically about what they need to do to interact with their customers. Each customer is unique and each company is unique. Depending on the industry, different strategies might be necessary.

Companies can also take a look at the competition if they want to know what works for them. A one page account plan template will only go so far, but it produces a foundation on which to build. Companies will start with more generic strategies and will then start developing out those strategies as they go. It’s better than creating a fully detailed plan from the beginning because it’s very likely that this plan is going to change, given the need to customize for customers and to customize for the company and industry.

Key Account Management Examples

Studying key account management examples is often the best way to really understand how it works. The right account based marketing examples and account based marketing case studies will illuminate how this type of marketing strategy really works, and it makes it possible to realistically apply your own strategy. It can serve as a source of inspiration and as a point of what not to do. And there are many account management examples in specific industries that can help you build out your plan.

When looking at something like a key account management case study PDF, note exactly what worked and what didn’t, and the differences between their company and yours. Question why some things worked or didn’t work and whether it would really work for you. A key accounts examples, for instance, might work because a company has a lot of money to spend on paid advertising, but might not work for a lean startup. A strategy outlined in an account based marketing PPT for healthcare, likewise, might not work for a company in general retail because the patients and customers are so different.

But even if these key account management examples wouldn’t work for you specifically, they will show you how account management works and help it become more intuitive for you. The more you understand about account marketing and account based management, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to transition to it effectively. And if you still need to learn more, you can connect with a company that works with account based management, or that specializes in developing these skills.

In addition to looking at a wide breadth of companies, sizes, and industries, you should also keep in mind the fact that account based marketing is changing from year to year, and new strategies are constantly emerging.