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STRATEGIC ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT


STRATEGIC ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT

Business today is tough! Customers have become larger and more complex requiring relationships between supplier and customer at several points and at different levels.  

Competition is fierce.  It is no longer just local, it’s global. Customers have more choice than ever before. This creates a great challenge  - how to provide product and services that differentiate you from your competitors.  

How we manage the relationship with our customers is critical - it must be based on thorough research and strategic planning. Relationships are at the heart of Strategic Account Management (SAM). They provide the source of information and understanding that can be built into added value activities.  They also provide the foundations for long-term business based on mutual trust and confidence.

SAM is not a sales initiative, it is not something we do to customers to get sales.  It is a systematic, team effort and more than that, it is a business wide effort. Account management strategies will require the full support of the whole business where the No 1 priority is meeting the customer's needs for mutual benefit.

Some of the important capabilities for a strategic account manager and for successfully implementing SAM in your business are:-

  • Understand how SAM uniquely applies to your business;
  • Develop a detailed, yet fluid, strategic account plan for your major account customers;
  • Create value differentiation that sets you apart from competitors in the eyes of account customers;
  • Move from just being a “supplier” – to a trusted advisor and external partner;
  • Strategically manage relationships;
  • Influence internal departments, break down "silos" and develop a "customercentric" culture;
  • Measure and evaluate customer feedback so you can effectively manage SAM;
  • Identify customers needs (both stated and unarticulated) and create "value" by developing products and services that go beyond just meeting needs;
  • Be competent in all the skills required of a strategic account manager today.

You must set your own rules for SAM based on the nature of your products, markets and your customers. Contact Tom to discuss and to arrange a detailed proposal.