Five Considerations for Your KAM Strategy
Life sciences companies that excel in key account management (KAM) build competitive advantage through the creation of strategic partnerships, shifting their engagement model from B2C to B2B. As accountable care organizations (ACOs) and integrated delivery networks (IDNs) in the United States continue to grow in importance, the more innovative companies are evolving their commercial models and developing the elements for effective account-based selling.
Key account management improves access to important accounts, offering greater value in a more complex reimbursement landscape. It provides a deeper understanding of accounts, creates partnerships with customers, and develops a more collaborative relationship.
Account-based selling requires a strategic approach that begins with the right commercial model, an understanding of accounts and priorities, and the ability to leverage complex data. Instead of just focusing on a technology solution, companies beginning their KAM journey can think more holistically about their program. The fundamental building blocks for KAM are organizational buy-in, hiring for the right skills, and being able to make use of data for advanced analytics.
Here are five considerations for building your key account management strategy:
Strategic partnership: successful account-based management means moving beyond the traditional reach and frequency approach to embrace a multi-step process. It requires understanding the organization’s hierarchy of treatment influencers, their primary drivers, developing account objectives and a coordinated account plan, and a focus on developing a synergistic relationship with the account.
Coordination and collaboration: the complexity of KAM requires a coordinated approach among sales, medical, market access, brand and marketing, contracting, and customer service teams. Technology acts as the enabler, ensuring that various teams have visibility into each other’s activities.
Alignment: account-focused teams align to the way ACOs and IDNs are organized. The key account manager acts as the driver responsible for ensuring alignment among medical teams, market access, specialty reps, and others.
Data and analytics: account teams are effective when they are armed with advanced analytics backed by accurate, real-time data. They require a holistic view into past and planned interactions, channel preferences, formulary status, sampling history, sales and claims data, and much more. Having this big-picture view ready at their fingertips allows account teams to help shape therapy decision-making.
People: it’s not sufficient to simply promote your best-performing sales reps to KAM positions. The account-based model requires clearly defined roles, common responsibilities, hiring for the right competencies, and a culture that fosters knowledge-sharing. It is often the most complex aspect of key account management.
KAM is fast becoming the industry-standard commercial model and leading organizations are already transforming their commercial activities to align to current market dynamics.