Tuesday 15 November 2016

At the latest East Midlands Forum, which was hosted by Mazars in Nottingham, Gary Williams of Questas Consulting lead an interesting discussion on key client management and how to get the most out of your programme.  

The session started with a reminder about what key client management is; it’s about delivering value that exceeds expectations through a deep understanding of our clients’ needs, which ultimately translates into bigger profits.

Although the term ‘key client management’ or ‘KCM’ has been around for a long time, it is still relevant as it puts the ‘human’ element into a service and helps build relationships, which in turn can lead to further work and referrals. A key client management programme brings benefits for the clients, the firm and the people within the firm.

Gary took the group through five steps for re-energising your key client management strategy:

  1. Communication – ensure everyone in the firm knows what, how and why you are implementing the programme
  2. Focus on the right clients – re-visit your selection criteria to check the clients on the programme are still the right ones in terms of revenue, strategic fit and ROI. Promote and relegate clients as necessary. You should have a maximum of six top clients.
  3. People – have the right people in the right roles within the KCM programme and make changes to re-energise the roles.
  4. Activity – review your current mix of KCM activities, agree new activity targets and ensure you are measuring the right things
  5. Differentiation – understand what makes your clients tick so that you can differentiate yourselves from your competitors.

He also highlighted the main reasons why some programmes fail; the meetings are unproductive or there are too many clients on the programme.

The Forum concluded with a summary of the key points that make a key client management programme a success:

  • Market the programme internally
  • Get the right people in the right roles
  • Train the salesforce
  • Celebrate successes
  • Regularly reconsider your selection criteria for categorising clients

Written by Leah Bradley
Marketing Consultant, V Formation