In these challenging times, if you are looking for ideas to improve your business, then best companies focus on their greatest asset — their most strategically important accounts.Read More
In July, CEO Sigma Healthcare Mark Hooper announced losing a contract worth $1.7 Billion and in the next financial year earnings would half to $50 Million. Sigma distribute products to 400 stores for My Chemist and Chemist Warehouse and could not negotiate a new contract with their biggest customer.
What does this mean for Sigma?Read More
Customers you can't afford to lose are those customers who supply a good portion of your revenue or profit. Or they can be customers who are growing faster than the rest of the marketplace. The thought of losing one of these customers scares you so much that you might feel tightness in your stomach.Read More
Companies are spending more time on how to compete in competitive markets using value. Four factors give best companies a competitive edge that drives growth:
- Intimately manage your top 10 – 20 key clients.
- Identify and manage your exceptional & strategic suppliers.
- Focus on your unique value proposition for your market – your competitive edge.
- Align throughout the company around the top 3 factors, always— allocating resources, developing talent & managing operating costs— for growth.
In an earlier blog, we explained the first two factors that drive growth. In this blog, we will expand on factors 3 and 4.Read More
By Stephen Kozicki & Gary Peacock
Over the past three years, the world has changed dramatically, and forever from digital disruption, Brexit and Trump. Your industry and your top clients are feeling the stress as their markets change, fast. These fast changes mean that your business needs to be more agile in response to the market. For companies unprepared for these changes this means lower revenue and lower profits.
Our blogs are usually short and punchy to grab your attention. This blog is a little longer than usual because delivering growth is just too important and too urgent to reduce the ideas down to a page, so we have split it into two parts.
To Grow – Act Now!Read More
Competition is increasing along with pressure on price, which can lead to a race to become the lowest price. However, discounting prices further to keep customers only prevents you from being competitive in the future because you have lower margins to invest.
With companies having fewer but larger customers it means that the top 10-20 customers for a company typically represent 60-80% of revenue and profit. Losing one of these customers can have dramatic impacts on a company - adding still further pressure to discount prices.Read More
Let's deal with the 'why' first. Everyone is talking about the era of big data. The account plan is about insights, not data, and it is about how to manage a top account in a very competitive marketplace. A key to the account plan is to use it as a living document to drive value with key stakeholders and not just ticking a box for the 'call' ratios on this account.Read More
It is surprisingly difficult to predict how your account team will adapt to a more strategic way of managing their accounts, and the more influential role they will play in the company. Until your SAM program is underway, you won't know who will make the transition.Read More
Imagine you have a meeting with seven senior managers. The task of the meeting is to choose four customers to manage differently for the next 24 months. How long will it take to decide which four customers? Are you talking hours, or maybe days?Read More
Many companies work in silos, geographically or by business units. Implementing a company-wide initiative like Strategic Account Management (SAM) poses many challenges, particularly around the main resource - staff.
So, for leaders of companies with these siloed structures getting the whole company aligned around strategic customers, and committing time, money and people can be a major challenge.Read More
Companies are increasingly finding that their traditional value proposition is falling short. The strength of their brand has less value in the buying process, and competition is intensifying from well-resource established players and emerging niche players. Pressure to reduce prices is now the norm. So, margins are deteriorating and profits are shrinking.
How can you stop this?Read More
Most global B2B companies have realised they need to manage their major customers - who represent most of their future revenue and profit - differently to the rest of their customers. Why? Well if you want to create opportunities to grow with your major customers, and earn the right to keep doing business with them, you need to offer much more than the average supplier. How can you do this?Read More
You can find lists of competencies for account managers, for example from the Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA). Many of these list the technical knowledge needed. However the most critical skill an account manager needs is persistence.Read More
Typically, when deciding which accounts to manage strategically, companies use revenue as the main criteria. This makes some sense. Managing accounts strategically requires a large investment in time and resources, so receiving adequate revenue to justify this investment is valid.
However Strategic Account Management (SAM) is about managing the accounts in your business strategically. Managing to achieve your company's strategic objectives, there are many other factors that influence whether an account deserves you investing more time and resources.Read More