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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.