10,000 people are retiring from their jobs every day for the next several years. How do you make sure that your business’s key asset is protected as this boomer retirement wave starts to accelerate? How do you ensure your business’s long-term success? Your success will come from building and retaining your key accounts. Is your leadership team prepared?
What do you need to know to protect your key relationships within these key accounts? It’s not just that 30% of your key and strategic account managers and team members are retiring. The number is the same among your contacts in your best customers. Over 80% of your business resides in these accounts. How do you prepare your teams?
I work with clients to help them minimize their risk in key account programs. In most organizations, these programs account for 80% of their revenue and profits. They are more vulnerable because they typically have many of your best resources associated with them. Many of these people are looking forward to retirement.
I believe your best clients are just starting to see people retiring. People are feeling good about retiring again. How deep do your relationships go in your key accounts? How prepared is your team for your key contacts potential retirements?
The first step is to identify the people on your team who are nearing retirement age. Thirty per cent of boomers will retire over the next 5 years. Have you considered who might be in this group? I’ve discovered the number is closer to 40% of my clients’ key account teams will leave their organizations in the next 5 years. Only a small part of this group has a succession plan in place for their key roles.
Do you have the organizational capabilities to begin building succession plans for key people in your key account teams’ organization? Smaller HR departments with limited resources are trying to get managers to evaluate this risk on their teams. Many senior team leaders are struggling to keep up with the accelerated pace of change. The impact can be catastrophic for your organization. The critical 20% of your business is now at risk.
The second step is understanding that many of your younger team members feel like they should be moving into roles with more responsibilities. Are your boomers going to assist in this transition? How is your organization addressing this challenge? Many of your organization’s future superstars are getting several calls per day from executive search professionals and internal recruiters. They don’t get calls, they get texts and LinkedIn messages.
LinkedIn has helped create a thriving market for your talented key account team members. It has changed the workplace in ways that are just beginning to emerge. How are you preparing for the future? How will you engage and retain your key account team members?
For the most talented key account professionals, the hiring process has gone from months and weeks to days. It will continue to get faster. I know of several organizations that are using new technology tools to find and track the best and brightest stars in their markets. Your favorite business network has become a nurturing mentor and career coach for the next generation of leadership.
It only takes the loss of one key player on your team to lose your best customer. It may not be the team leader either, the best teams have the best support people. What happens when your supply chain misses a client production deadline? Your business is at risk and the world is waiting to swoop in.
The final step is understanding that traditional training and development can take you only so far. If you’re not investing in developing your people, they will not be able to compete in the digital marketplace.
The problem is that many organizations use only traditional training, which delivers average results at best. Is your training and development millennial friendly? For example, companies spend over 20 billion dollars yearly on sales training. Do the sales professionals you talk with on a regular basis seem well prepared to help you with your biggest challenges?
We have a challenge that cannot be avoided. Many of you think that technology is the answer to your problems, you don’t need people to get things done. I have bad news for you. It’s not just about technology. Good businesses have great technology, great businesses have better people leveraging technology.
See you next week.