For many companies, strategic account management offers a clear pathway to sustainable growth and competitiveness through enhanced engagement with key customers.
Most companies reach a stage of development when effective sales practices have brought the company to a threshold in revenue, growth rate, and customer base. Executives begin to ask, “How do we take our company to the next level?” and “What strategic moves will bring about revenue sustainability and higher margins into the future?”
Strategic account management is the coordinated practice of identifying select strategic customers, gaining a deep understanding of their business needs, and then orienting your company’s functions, operations, and even structure to serve the customers’ end goals. In latter stages the knowledge and intelligence gained through that process can be used to improve strategic decision making. The company becomes more competitive. Pathways for sustainable future growth begin to emerge.
SAM occurs outside of the normal sales cycle and has many variations and degrees of sophistication. Sales forces taking the first steps into consultative selling, increased customer intimacy, analysis of customer needs, building trust, and the coordination of various functions (marketing, product development, finance, or service delivery, for example) to serve customer needs are moving toward SAM. For the SAM approach to be most effective, management up to and including the CEO and Board of Directors must acknowledge the initiative and support the changes that will occur.
When implemented as a corporate-wide initiative, SAM can help your company adapt more effectively to changing conditions and become more competitive, sustainable, and profitable in the long term.
Mentioned in this ESR/Brief are: Performance Methods, Inc. and Revenue Storm.
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