One of the things my team and I are pretty fired up about for 2019 is selling the key account. Here are a few insights around key account management for association membership. You probably have about a dozen organizations that are larger, more complex, and poised to garner higher dues levels. Landing the big fish requires a more specialized sales approach vs. that of the regular prospects you manage on a daily basis.
I utilize a key account matrix, which is an excellent tool to track relationships within a company. Often, we believe there is only person – the CEO who is the decision maker. However, the decision-making process may involve several people, and several relationships within the organization must be developed to sign the big company.
Secondly, I look at the relationships these companies are having with other members or suppliers we work with. Developing this intel is important to find out how these folks are working together.
The third element is tracking advocacy issues that are important to them. There are several sources out there to research their lobbying and PAC activity, as well as other associations they are a part of. It’s critical to know how they’re playing in the public policy area.
I also track media. For example, is this prospect presenting or giving speeches at conferences? What are they pushing out on the issues of importance to their company? Are they buying other companies? Are they interested in sustainability, for example? What are they focused on as an organization?
Finally, I want to look at other associations they may join. Is the company a member of the US Chamber of Commerce, for example? Are they a member of another specialty association? We need to know these aspects of the company. Here’s why – if they are, it’s an excellent sign for us.
Key account sales is a major focus for me in 2019. Let me know if you want to discuss this further at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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