Key accounts are a sales persons bread and butter. We spend lots of time trying to develop key accounts. Once key accounts are established, they are like gold. Reliable, and lucrative; key accounts can put a lot of bread on the table. But, key accounts don’t last forever? Despite our best efforts, key accounts can and do eventually die.
How do we know when it’s time to move on?
Jamal had been the Sr. Account Executive for West Side Solutions Account for 10 years. At it’s peak, West Side did 50 million dollars and represented 7% of Jamal’s companies business. West Side produces a synthetic bonding agent used in the construction industry. Jamaal’s company sells a product that helps in the manufacturing of the bonding agent.
West Side Solutions was killing it during the building boom. However, since the decline in new homes and commercial construction, West Sides numbers have been declining. West Side will finish 2011 at just under 20 million.
Jamal is doing his 2012 account plan and he is starting to wonder if West Side should continue to be a key account. They are down over 50% in the last 4 years. There is new executive and middle management. His projections for 2012 look dismal, and based on early feedback will shrink again, falling to about 17 million.
Jamal knows he’s at a critical place in the management of this account. He needs to determine whether or not this account is worth saving and if so how? Jamal knows he has one year to figure out whether or not he can turn this account around of if he should begin to find another to take it’s place.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
- What should Jamal do in this situation?
- What questions should he be asking himself?
- What questions should he be asking West Side Solutions?
- If you were Jamal, what would you do to determine whether or not you should save the account?
- If you were going to save it, what would you do?
- If you weren’t going to save it, how would exit and make up the 20 million dollars?
- How would you tackle Jamal’s problem?