A Quick overview of the state-of-the art of Strategic Account Management.

The SAMA EMEA 2018 Conference took place in Berlin recently. This yearly event is a good place to get a view on the actual state-of-the-art practice of SAM.

This year’s take away from the Conference can be summarised as follows;

  • Driving a SAM/KAM initiative is a company-wide effort which, to reach maturity, must be spread over several years based on a clear development roadmap (nothing new here). The status of the SAM/KAM initiative must be audited regularly and this audit is far more relevant and effective when driven by an external team.
  • Co-creation is a marker of the most advanced way to engage with truly strategic customers. More and more, this co-creation process is driven by associating other members of the ecosystem and relying on new forms of collaboration. In addition, Design Thinking has emerged as a key instrument to foster the capacity to drive co-creation.
  • SAM/KAM initiatives are complemented by, and must complement, other company-wide initiatives such as Customer Orientation, Sales Excellence, Sales Enablement. Sales Excellence and Enablement have a broad scope as they need to impact all sales reps and customers. SAM/KAM has a narrow scope as it is focused on carefully selected strategic customers. However, in terms of knowledge, tools and behaviours, there is a certain overlap between the two kinds of initiatives which must be clearly identified and managed in order to maximise the utilisation of resources.
  • Effectiveness in getting and leveraging the Voice of the Customer requires to go way beyond NPS with adequate analytics and with a regular open dialogue with key contacts on each account. The Customer Experience and Satisfaction must be measured across various types of contacts at the customers, not only a few senior managers. In addition, the experience and satisfaction of both the customer and the supplier must be discussed openly as part of the regular Business Reviews.
  • Although not being specific to SAM/KAM a few initiatives focused on developing specific skills and capabilities have a high impact on the quality of execution of SAM/KAM. Some of the most important ones are the capacity to understand the needs of procurement and build a stronger relationship with them, the creation of strong messages, narratives and content, adapted to each type of targeted contacts, and, last but not least, the willingness of the Leadership Team to work on the company’s culture in order to facilitate alignment and foster collaboration within and outside organisational boundaries.

All the points listed above are developed in the white paper which can be downloaded here.

If you want to have a deeper exchange on how to enhance and better link your KAM, Sales Excellence and Sales Enablement initiatives, please get in touch.

olivier.riviere@powering.com
+33 6 37 04 98 40 or +49 173 5731 586

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