Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | By: Matt Micou
Dennis Raffa, National Account Sales Manager, Marketing, CHEP:
In my business a customer is ready to move to the strategic accounts program when they exhibit partnership and see the value my company brings to the table. Other examples are when we become the preferred vendor in the customer’s eyes or when the customer begins to “think outside the box” with my company to drive solutions for each other. Too many times the strategic accounts program is misused by throwing it at a problematic account. The business development team should be responsible for turning an account around and getting it to the point where the relationship is mature and ready for the strategic accounts program.
Al Kamczyc, Corporate Account Manager, Siemens:
There should be a pre-defined account profile that makes it obvious. If you’re doing it based on trying to evaluate each situation without a defined profile, then you’re guessing.
Mario Rieth, Head of Global Account Office, Avaya:
Based on a clear set of comprehensive criteria, which respect s short, mid and long term aspects.
Sandra Paret, Senior Vice President, HOK Architects:
We move a project to a relationship (strategic account) when there are repeatable transactions and ongoing service levels required. When an agreed upon delivery strategy is employed with terms and conditions negotiated, then individual assignments can follow a framework that has already been laid out, therefore increasing efficiency and time to market.
Rosemary Heneghan, Director, International Sales & Operations, Worldwide, IBM:
By the type of discussions you are having with your customer and how they want to work with you, the opportunities you see, etc.
Stephen D. Smith, Associate Director, Global OCEO Client Program, Global Clients & Industries, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited:
It depends on the goals of your GAM program. Some accounts are incorporated into a GAM program because they have significant potential to enhance the client relationship. Others may be included in a GAM program because they represent a relationship that is so big, and so important, that retaining that relationship is paramount to the long term success of the business.
Steve Andersen, President and Founder, Performance Methods, Inc.:
Interesting question – and the answer is not just about revenue! We have developed a strategic account profile that looks at the customer/supplier relationship on a number of different levels and in a number of different dimensions. While some of these are related to revenue, more of them are not, and we are finding it to be quite interesting to help clients begin to identify the next level or “wave” of strategic customers. This means that even after they have organized SAM around a defined list of so-called “strategic” or “key” accounts, it is important to have criteria that will help to determine not only the success of these existing strategic customer relationships, but also bring visibility to the next group of customers that may become more strategic over time. It’s always a process with some subjectivity involved, but having a set of objective and defined criteria is critical to the organization that wants to be consistent in measuring strategic account impact on the business, as well as opportunistic in recognizing when a customer is becoming more strategic and the relationship should be expanded accordingly.
Karen Posey, Senior Consultant, Geehan Group:
When they have the growth potential and they want to spend more time with your organization (i.e., partnership).
Robert Warren, EVP & Chief Operating Officer, Boise, Inc.:
Size and impact on your business
Trust has reached a critical level