The world is changing very fast.
Big will not beat small anymore.
It will be the fast beating the slow.
Welcome, and yes we are now in the Year of The Goat and the goat comes 8th in the Chinese zodiac calendar.
Most searches of the meaning of the year of the goat is centred on people who are calm, well-mannered and live peaceful existence. The Year of the Goat will be anything but calm and peaceful for you and your strategic accounts.
For senior executives, senior managers and those that manage strategic accounts this year will be about rapid change, turbulence and opportunities.
Across the globe, companies are under relentless pressure to keep pace with change. They face changing competitors, changing customer expectations and changing technology. Yet, shareholders still expect companies to deliver better results quarter on quarter, year on year, despite the increasingly complex and challenging environment.
So companies must pull many levers simultaneously: drive the core business hard to maximise market share and profits, ensure strategic accounts still understand your vale proposition, yet also invest in the future through the introduction of new products and services, acquisitions, partnerships, entry into new markets and other strategies.
In large and complex organisations where account managers need to work effectively across product and service groups’ progress is often slower than desired. People need to learn how to be more effective at influencing internally, and the organisation needs to adapt quickly to reshape systems and processes to make the company more agile.
In the Harvard Business Review article, “Is Your Growth Strategy Flying Blind?’ a key issue was highlighted that is of critical relevance to this Year of the Goat:
“We’ve observed that people and process issues are more important than structural challenges – and frequently take more time to get right because they are the guts of how most companies run.”
In the Year of the Goat, account managers must also ensure that their internal teams have aligned themselves to ensure that they deliver results to the top accounts. They must also have clarity around value for their top accounts and continue to sell the value message internally. If the internal leadership team does not understand value, they will start cutting costs and resources.
Finally, as much as Goats want to avoid wars, some of your competitors might not be that obliging. This is a good time of year to update your skills and attend the UTS Executive Education course: Strategic Account Management delivered by the authors of Managing B2B customers you can’t afford to lose, Peter Browne and Gary Peacock.