The competition, the phases of change, the successes or even the periods of doubt are the prerogative of our sales teams.
In short, the parallels are striking and we will try to demonstrate that key account sales management is indeed a high-level sport. We will then immerse ourselves in the practice and share with you 3 keys to success:
- The strategy
- The team
- Be ready on D-Day
We often hear Fabien Galthier (coach of the French national team) talk about his famous arrow of time. This arrow represents the ultimate goal, culminating in the 2023 World Cup. It is marked by milestones that validate the team's progress through key performance indicators (world ranking, victories, level of play, trophies). Of course, this famous objective is part of a well-established strategy: choice of players - selection method - training method - roles and responsibilities of each player - physical preparation - game plan.
Establishing a strategy to approach a major account is therefore key. This strategy must allow you to reach a specific objective. It is impossible to approach and succeed in a key account without knowing where you want to go. A call for tenders to come in the next few months may be the ultimate objective, the strategy will then consist in defining the different steps and the means to be in the best position to win the bid when the time comes.
Here again, sports, and team sports in particular, are very enlightening in terms of team dynamics. It is difficult to succeed alone in a major account development strategy. Building your account team like a project team seems essential. Complementarities and different sensitivities are as many assets in your game as the forwards or the backs of a rugby team.
Key accounts management and development is not an individual sport. To isolate oneself is to take the risk of not knowing or even not being able to cover all aspects of the account's ecosystem.
The key account manager plays a key role, as does the captain ; he/she must lead his/her team, drive it forward and animate it to reach the ultimate goal. Leadership is an essential tool for the key account manager and can be expressed through his/her expertise, his/her ability to influence, his/her foresight or his/her ability to unite around a common project.
The famous momentum dear to Fabien Galthier, the moment when everything happens, the one you must not miss. The bidding process is like the winning match, where you have to be good, make an impact and eliminate the competition.
As in rugby, in order to be good on the day, you have to be well prepared. A coach used to tell me: "You play the way you train".
In order to succeed in your defense, you have to succeed in your preparation. And there we often miss the essential. We generally spend a lot of time preparing our presentation material, hours choosing the right visuals, the right content... Okay, but how much time do we spend preparing our speech, defining the right posture or even defining our presentation strategy according to the people we are talking to?
The pitch is THE moment that makes all the difference in a bidding process, it's where you have to create the desire, your expertise has already been demonstrated in your technical answer. No fuss, no long sentences, no technical explanations, just a compelling speech that makes people want to say « YES! »
As we have just seen, there are many similarities between high-level sport and business development in key accounts management. There are many other points that we could share and discuss.
One thing is sure: YOU and your TEAM have the keys!
Do you want to develop your sales approach to key accounts, structure your response to calls for tender, prepare memorable presentations? Contact one of our experts who will be able to help you with your project.
To contact us in Switzerland: +41 22 566 16 66, in France: +33 4 58 10 07 41 or simply by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.