April 14th

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The SAMA Knowledge Series

Part 1: The SAM Process

In case you missed it, check out  Part 2: The Strategic Customer-Centric Organization  and  Part 3: SAM Skills and Competencies (The SAMA Competency Model)

These are crazy times for everyone - for our companies, for our families and for our customers. As we get accustomed to this “new normal,” companies will increasingly look to their suppliers for guidance on how to navigate what lies ahead. Those companies that make themselves essential to their strategic customers during the present crisis will be rewarded with increased market share and an unshakeable bond with their customers.

What does it take to come out the other end of this on top?

Number 1: A repeatable process for partnering with customers to discover and co-create value.

Number 2: Strategic account managers expert at marshalling their internal resources to discover, create and deliver customer business value.    

Number 3: An organization designed around enabling and encouraging all of the above.

While you’re tethered to your home office for the time being, we want to make sure we’re furnishing you with knowledge and resources to help you meet and defeat the challenges of the day. Below you will find some all-time great SAMA resources designed to equip you with tools, knowledge and inspiration to show up for your customers in the hour of their greatest need.


STEP ONE: Customer Co-Discovery and Value Fit

Only by deeply understanding your customer – their business drivers, their competitive landscape, their strategic goals – can you identify opportunities to deliver value. Here are a few resources for you from the SAMA archives:

How One Global Technology Firm Co-Discovers Value Insights and Opportunities with its Customers through its Strategic Account Managers

Once You’re in, You’re in: A SAM-Tested Process for Expediting Human Interactions to Acquire Invaluable Customer Knowledge

Developing and Leveraging Strategic Customer Knowledge to Sell Your Value

STEP TWO: The Strategic Account Business Value Plan

The strategic account business value plan is both an information system AND a management tool to formalize all the critical steps required to carry out the steps of the value co-creation process. It’s a powerful tool to create alignment and accountability, also bringing discipline and order to the co-creation process.

Transforming the Customer Experience: Planning to Grow with Your Most Important Accounts

The Four Pillars of Work a SAM Must Execute to Be Successful

Engage, Win and Grow: Driving Success for you and your Customer

"SAMA Framework for Collaborative Strategic Account Plans " ( NEW!)

STEP THREE: Co-create Value

Traditional sources of growth alone aren’t sufficient to sustain business. To stay competitive, companies will need to engage with customers and partners along their value chain to co-create new sources of value by deepening insights, aligning goals and developing quantified value propositions that promise mutual business value.

Creating Joint Solutions with Strategic Customers

Quantifying and Monetizing Customer Value: A Case Study From AVI-SPL

Six Steps for Developing Financially Quantified Value Propositions

STEP FOUR: Mobilize and Align the Multifunctional Team

The SAM role is uniquely challenging because it requires marshalling the breadth and depth of internal resources for the good of the customer -- more often than not without any direct authority over those resources. To do it well requires political savvy and exceptional leadership skills.  

Mobilizing and Leading Multifunctional Teams

Aligning the Company Behind the SAM Account Strategy

From Strategic Account Management to Strategic Ecosystem Leadership

STEP FIVE: Capture Value Through Negotiation and Closing

You can create the best customer-driven solutions in the world, but the customer still has to be willing to pay for it. While negotiation was once thought to be a “soft” skill, we believe strongly that it’s very much a “hard” skill that can - indeed must - be taught.

Return on Investment Through Negotiation and Closing: A Case Study from Nalco

Crafting the Right Sales Message for Every Customer-Supplier Situation

A Systematic Approach to Successful Negotiations: How to Find Out What the Other Side Really Wants

STEP SIX: Execute Value and Deliver to Customer Commitments and Orders

Without seamless, smooth execution, there will be no collaborative co-value creation and nothing on which to build a durable long-term relationship.  

Execute Value, Deliver on Customer Relationships and Commitments: Thoughts about a Coach

Accelerating Customer Decision Making Through Rigorous Business Assessments

Effective Business Reviews: Engaging in Strategic Discussions (and Staying out of the Weeds)

STEP SEVEN: Realize and Expand Value Through Overall Relationship and Outcome Management

Effective strategic account management isn’t about managing deals. It’s about managing relationships. To do so requires using the voice of the customer to establish a dashboard of customer metrics, which enables objective measurement of success and effective management of the overall business relationship.

Realize and Expand Value through Overall Relationship and Outcome Management

From Vendor to Trusted Advisor in Just Three Years: An SKF Success Story

How Top Companies Drive Value with Strategic Accounts"