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Is Your Tech Stack Failing Your Key Account Managers?

Is inadequate software failing your team? Learn how to strategically evaluate, select, and implement tools that empower your key account managers to succeed.
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Feeling overwhelmed trying to pick the right software for your key account management team? Using outdated tools that waste time and money? No straightforward process for finding technology that fits your needs?

There’s a better way!

In this post, we’ll walk through a strategic framework to make choosing the right technology simple and successful for your organization.

Step-By-Step Software Evaluation Process

In customer-facing roles like customer success and key account management, having the right mix of technology to manage accounts and ensure client satisfaction is essential.

But with endless options launching daily, analysis paralysis can set in.

That’s why I had a candid chat with Tyler Kinsherf, an IT consultant, about his process for assessing and selecting tools with clarity and confidence.

While Tyler and I approached this conversation with a key account management and customer success lens, focusing on tech stacks to better serve clients, the lessons are universal.

No matter your role or industry, having the right tools to address your business needs is critical to operating efficiently and effectively.

“I recently built my own tool stack from scratch as a startup founder. It was a journey going through and selecting just the core tools I needed to provide value without a lot of overhead.”

Tyler stressed beginning with the essential “pillars” for your business – the core functional areas you need to operate and serve customers.

“I had support, strategy, and cybersecurity as pillars. I made those the big ones and went through and said, okay, what is support made of? Then I found a tool that checked all the boxes for IT support and remote monitoring.”

Tyler’s approach illustrates how to define your unique priorities first before focusing on vendor features. Determine the problems you need to solve, then look for solutions.

I agree you should start simple:

“I’m a big fan of starting small, figuring out the basics, something like a scorecard. Great way to go. You can do that with a lot of different tools.”

Start With Your Needs, Not Tools

Once you’ve identified your must-have capabilities, it’s time to evaluate potential tools systematically.

Tyler shared his template for methodically assessing any new software:

His process examines criteria like:

  • Function – What specific tasks will the tool perform? How will you use it day-to-day?
  • Purpose – What overarching role will it play? How does this align with our goals?
  • Utilization How does this tool compare with existing solutions we already have? Will it replace or enhance those?
  • Value – Who will benefit most from using this tool – you, your team, executives, or clients?
  • Compliance – Is it cloud or locally installed? What data security factors exist?

Thoroughly answering these questions equips you to build a solid business case.

“Including that compliance link will handle any objections from your IT department or security officers,” Tyler explained.

The strategic evaluation can help any leader or function clarify their technology requirements and make wise software selections to drive growth.

Appeal to Multiple Stakeholders

When proposing new software, focus on the upside for different groups. Leading with perks can be a strategic move to getting licenses approved.

“Be honest about who it will benefit – is it your client, you as an account manager, your team, executives? Appeal to more than one, and you’re onto a winner,” I advised.

Leading with the advantages for leadership is wise, as Tyler noted:

“Does this tool provide valuable insight for executives? Reports and KPIs they can use? If so, highlight that.”

He also stressed minimizing disruptions or extra work for decision-makers.

Top Software Solutions to Improve Any Business

While specific needs vary, we discussed several flexible tools as prime options for the key account management tech stack.

  • Password Manager – Enable staff to securely access client accounts and software with unique, strong passwords for each while managing them effortlessly across all devices (Keeper, LastPass, 1Password)
  • Note-Taking App – Consolidate key details on customer needs, history, preferences, and pain points in one place for the team. Keep personal and shared notes, documents, and tasks in the context of each client for consistent service. (Evernote, OneNote, Notion)
  • Team Communication – Chat, video, and share knowledge seamlessly across internal team members and external client stakeholders. Collaborate on key accounts. (Slack, Teams, Discord)
  • Project Management – Coordinate service delivery, map dependencies, and track timelines across complex client projects and accounts. (Asana, Trello, Smartsheet)
  • CRM Platform – Centralize customer data and history, interactions, tasks, and docs to provide a 360-degree client view. Manage the entire lifecycle from acquisition through renewal. (Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho)

Regularly Evaluate Your Tech Stack

Assessing your technology mix is an ongoing process as your business evolves. But a systematic approach focused on your needs makes selecting software manageable and impactful.

“Sometimes you may get part way through the process and decide not to proceed. That’s okay too – it helps refine your focus,” Tyler said.

Objectively examine your pain points and goals wherever you are in your journey. Follow the framework above to find the solutions that best serve your mission.

Stop forcing square-peg tools into round holes. Evaluate smartly, integrate seamlessly, and watch your business transform.

Need More Help Evaluating Your Tech Stack?

Grab a copy of my free key account management tech stack mind map to jumpstart optimizing the software you use. It’s adapted from recent Gartner research on sales tech and AI use cases.

You’ll find:

  • The software I recommend across categories like CRM, project management, and communication
  • Ways to identify gaps and opportunities in your current stack
  • Links to download the tools mentioned in this article
  • A framework to evaluate new solutions
  • A Google Doc template designed by Tyler for building software business cases that you can copy and use

Don’t suffer another day with software that wastes time and hurts customer relationships.

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