COE Components: Avoiding Complexity

Avoiding the tendency toward too much complexity and focusing on the center of excellence components that are really needed is an art.

The essential components of a COE are also important drivers for success. Avoiding the tendency toward too much complexity and focusing on the COE components that are really needed is an art.

The Pillars

1. Competency and training curriculum to develop personalized learning journeys aligned to the learner’s needs while ensuring the cohesion of the engagement model. 

2. Business analytics that include the tools, advanced analytics and insight production, as well as case-based recording to scale and replicate within the organization, aligning solution and value enablers to the account needs. 

3. Account-based marketing and innovation to have the digital marketing align with the strategic account. This brings the customer buying journey, the 360-degree view of the account, the oxygen to enable the SAM to deep dive into the real needs of the customer and what they care about. It also supports the design thinking competency to push innovation for co-creation and broader value creation for the accounts.

The Process

Process is often a scary word, but a necessity. The process aligns the definition of a strategic account, the criteria to select and prioritize them, the account plan itself and the metrics and measurements. You find here as well the operating mechanism, meeting and reviewing strategic accounts with its purpose, members and outcomes. The more this process is done in conjunction with the customer, the better the outcome and often the opportunity. One of the most important processes is creating a community of practice, the people process to increase communication, alignment and best practices exchange. In complex organizations, internal communication is a huge challenge. A strong community of practice helps share learning, project and best practices, driving innovation

 and accelerating the agility to scale and communicate within its own organization. This community of practice composed of the SAM with enabling functions, management and leaders creates the cohesion to the journey, sustaining the vision while being the agents of change and ensuring agility of the COE and processes to always adapt to the customer and the customer’s customer. This process of building a community of practice is most essential in decentralized matrix organizations to break internal silos and contribute to ongoing alignment. To be successful in the SAM journey requires a cultural shift with a mix of mindset, skillset and process and the freedom to pivot and adapt to the account environment and needs. In our complex, often-matrixed organizations, a well-established COE will enable real differentiation for the benefit of the customer and for profitability.

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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.

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