DO STRATEGIC ACCOUNT MANAGERS REQUIRE SUPERPOWERS?
TIME FOR ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING TO COME TO THE RESCUE
The global economy is becoming increasingly complex and, since we work in the strategic account management environment, we can see the impact it has on the day-to-day role of strategic account managers (SAMs). We are finding the skill set of the strategic account manager constantly evolving and increasing in demand due to today’s disruptive environment. With customer integration increasing, it creates additional complexity to build trustworthy relationships and partnerships. SAMs’ own organizations are evolving and often centralizing, adding more to the SAM’s plate not only in terms of skill set but also number of accounts, expectations for growth and required competencies. SAMs are being stretched thin, from both a customer and internal perspective. Today’s SAM really does feel like she/he needs superpowers to do the job.
How did we get here?
We are living in a world of skyrocketing complexity and information overload, and a combination of trends in today’s economy are driving companies to shift to a SAM culture and mindset. One of the key pressure points that we see is the increased complexity and diversity of types of customer problems suppliers are asked to solve. Facing more complex and broader issues, SAMs have no choice but to engage differently to differentiate themselves.
Living as we do in a world overloaded with data, we increasingly look to technology to help us deliver valuable, relevant customer hindsight, insight and foresight. But to do so requires better data management, including a mastery of how disparate data sources connect and communicate in order to translate this information into relevant customer insight and foresight.
As the closest person to the customer and the owner of the customer-supplier relationship, is the SAM or KAM alone with all of the demands wrought by the new economy? We argue the opposite. Every superhero needs a partner, and the very best SAMs know when and how to bring the best people to the table to ideate, innovate and create impact for their customers.
Let’s take a moment to level set. As you read the word marketing, you may have thought of enterprise marketing, branding, positioning, awareness campaigns, advertisements or flashy public relations campaigns. Shifting to account-based marketing (ABM) isn’t any of these things. So what is it, and why is it so critical in today’s world? Account-based marketing is the art of integrating digital marketing and the customer-buying journey to support, accelerate and be part of solution creation with the SAM and the SAM team.
Did you know that:
• According to ITSMA, 75 percent of executives will read unsolicited marketing if it contains ideas relevant to their business.
• Customers are twice as likely to engage when offers and communications are personalized (per Salesforce).
• Seventy-four percent of B2B buyers conduct half of their research online before engaging a vendor (per Forrester).
About the Author
Dominique Côté brings 30 years of experience leading commercial teams in global pharmaceutical and biotech organizations. Her consultancy work is focused on Commercial Excellence, Executive coaching & leadership, KAM/SAM roadmaps & journeys, as well as Account based Marketing.
She is an accomplished international business leader, recognized as a chief architect of global account program journeys, leading corporate changes and cultural shifts for customer-centric innovation and patient value.
Dominique is a panelist and keynote speaker in Europe and the U.S. in the areas of commercial Excellence and Customer centricity. She writes and is published in journals like Journal of Sales Transformation, Velocity, and others on these topics.
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