Customer-Centric vs. Roles Curriculums

Customer-Centric vs. Roles Curriculums

Customer-Centric vs. Roles Curriculums

Training curriculums are a essential tool to initiate and install internal collaboration and bring cohesion.

Learning and development capabilities need to be integrated into the COE to build a customer-centric curriculum. This curriculum ensures that every customer-facing individual is aligned to the same engagement or selling model and this is a key success component of SAM transformation. Training curriculums are a essential tool to initiate and install internal collaboration and bring cohesion, avoiding misalignment of a company value proposition. To achieve this, a well-established COE – where the learning and development team builds curriculums with the customer-centric mindset and needs – is key. Such a COE-supported and centralized approach has the potential to establish engagement model branding, enabling a  instinctive, differentiating engagement model shared by every customer-facing individual versus the traditional way of building role curriculums. Despite the complexity and variability of roles, centralized curriculums also provide the same principles to apply and create that differentiating model for engaging with the strategic accounts.

Think Global, Act Local: Focus on Localization

Many organizations that have implemented SAM realize that finetuning is needed to be successful, not only at the global culture and mindset level, but also at the level of local execution. For example, in life sciences, a SAM COE must have the flexibility to execute according to country healthcare archetypes. This means, depending on the decisionmaking and level of healthcare integration, the execution of the SAM competency and processes will vary. 

Going faster than the evolution of the local health system will be detrimental to commercial success; falling behind will impede an ability to participate in and impact the creation of solutions for shared health issues. Centralizing common vision, strategy and main process within the COE is key, and is a pragmatic way to free up local SAM capabilities to focus and adapt efforts to locally varied business priorities and customer realities.

Breaking Down Silos: Enabling Alignment

SAM is a journey and is about team selling. Despite SAM being the owner of the relationship with the account,  bringing value beyond products and services requires thorough organizational alignment, including the alignment of all enabling functions. COEs help enabling functions speak the same language as the commercial organization, aligning communication, content and purpose. Such COE efforts give functions like economic, outcome research, marketing and others greater capability to bring insight for the SAM to be differentiated in the relationship and in the mind of the customer as bringing business relevance and value. COEs also help enabling functions participate as a part of the team and have their voice at the table with the organization and customer teams, in order to foster innovative and valuable solutions delivered to the strategic accounts. Breaking down internal silos amongst functions remains one of the biggest barriers to overcome in the SAM journey, and COEs play a key role in this regard. 

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.

Recent Posts

Developing and enabling the cultural shift

Developing and enabling the cultural shift

The COEs an emerging best practice and critical success factors that can be the catalyst to create the right mindset process and skillset while ensuring evolution and sustainability. Disruption, although most times unwelcome, gives way to innovation. Could the mother...

read more
Center of Excellence

Center of Excellence

One could argue that in today's environment that COEs (Center of Excellence) is overused. Whether you call it COE or “SAM program office”,the message is the same: These enabling units are critical to your SAM roadmap's success.  As we work with organizations on their...

read more
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Building global excellence

Building global excellence

Building Global
Centers of Excellence

The center of
excellence has
emerged as a best
practice for stabilizing
organizations

Much has been said about the challenges and values of building global centers of excellence for key account management (KAM) and strategic account management (SAM) as a strategic operational group within organizations. Each year, the Strategic Account Management Association (“SAMA”) issues awards for SAM programs and mature programs. One thing every winning company has in common is they all had an established centralized programming office, or center of excellence (“COE”). An irrelevant coincidence? We think not. Establishing a COE is the key success factor for implementing an effective strategic selling and strategic account management approach. Despite this fact, only 10 percent of SAMA member companies have a COE, let alone an effective one. With such a clear business opportunity, it is time to take a closer look at COEs, i.e., their challenges, benefits and key characteristics for SAM impact and success. 

The COE has emerged as a best practice capable of stabilizing many organizations, independent of industry sector. These COEs can be the catalyst to create the right mindset, skillset and process for distinctive go-to- market and customer-centric engagement models, with direct mid- to long-term impact on bottomline results. Despite this fact, strategic account managers still report that their own internal  organizations’ navigation and alignment is one of the biggest barriers to their success.

Years of operational integrations and globalization of many organizations’ enabling functions have provided great pilot programs opportunities for organizations to try, fail and learn how to be successful in centralizing SAM centers of excellence and programming. There is a fine balance needed to centralize operations, process and governance while preserving and enabling customer proximity and localization. 

A better understanding of a COE’s primary benefits and characteristics is clearly needed to help companies overcome their internal barriers and failed initiatives. Effective COE operationalization requires a close attention to each of the following COE characteristics and values.

The Cultural Shift: Alignment
of Mindset

SAM is not only a business initiative, but a cultural shift and a journey. It requires passion, resilience and a strong understanding of SAMs ability to increase revenue generation. Effective SAM is at the core of how a company appears and stands out in front of its customer. If an organization wants its SAM initiatives to be successful, it must align both its SAM mindset and communication.

How is this done? By establishing an effective COE. By targeting integration and alignment of mindset and communication, COEs can drive cultural and engagement model continuity throughout the organization.

Implemented effectively, COEs can even avoid the creation of silos when SAM journeys are established outside of sales and commercial groups (as separate initiatives and engagement models).

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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.

Recent Posts

Developing and enabling the cultural shift

Developing and enabling the cultural shift

The COEs an emerging best practice and critical success factors that can be the catalyst to create the right mindset process and skillset while ensuring evolution and sustainability. Disruption, although most times unwelcome, gives way to innovation. Could the mother...

read more
Center of Excellence

Center of Excellence

One could argue that in today's environment that COEs (Center of Excellence) is overused. Whether you call it COE or “SAM program office”,the message is the same: These enabling units are critical to your SAM roadmap's success.  As we work with organizations on their...

read more
Want to accelerate your SAM journey?

Want to accelerate your SAM journey?

Disruption, although most times unwelcome, gives way to innovation. Could the mother of creativity and innovation be, in fact, disruption?  This last year has certainly proven this saying in our customer-centric aspirations. We have seen seismic shifts within...

read more