בפוסט הקודם הצגנו את הקשיים הבאים:
• מודל המכירות המסורתי מתקשה לספק את הסחורה בהיבטים של יתרון תחרותי ונאמנות לקוחות
• קומודיטיזציה – מחזור חיים קצר של מוצרים שמתבטא במעבר מהיר לתחרות מחירים 
• ארגוני הרכש של הלקוחות נעשים יותר מתוחכמים ותובעניים
• לקוחות דורשים מהספקים מערכות יחסים קרובות יותר

כיצד אם כן חברה נערכת להתמודדות עם קשיים אלו ?

בחלק השני של המאמר אנו מציגים את מתודולוגיית ה – SAM שהיא תפיסה כוללת שמאפשרת לחברות להתמודד בצורה שיטתית עם קשיים אלו.

בסוף המאמר תמצאו את עיקרי התפיסה בעברית.

Strategic Account Management – The Changing Face of Sales
Dr. Kevin Wilson and Michael Gally – PART 2
The Sales Response
The response from sales has largely focused on developing key or strategic account management programmes. SAM is the process by which companies attempt to engage with their most important customers in such a way that, by giving them special attention, they increase their share of customer wallet.
These programmes acknowledge that in most industries the 80:20 rule applies – a disproportionate amount of your business (80%) comes from very few customers (20%) and companies set out to serve these important customers differently. Higher service levels, bespoke product-service offerings, dedicated staff, joint product or market development may all form part of the enhanced level of attention provided by the SAM programme.
Undoubtedly some SAM programmes deliver significantly higher levels of business and profitability than traditional sales approaches but many are difficult to maintain and there may be several “iterations” in the attempt to embed SAM processes into some organisations. In a recent (2006) HBR article Garry Hamel suggested that, despite its evident potential for creating real competitive benefits for supply organisations, account management had failed to deliver the promise. Data from a survey of its members carried out in 2002 by SAMA suggested that “SAM was great in theory but hard in practice” and that only “a small percentage of executives from supplier firms feel their SAM programmes are very successful and most executive are ambivalent about the success of SAM” .
Why do it?
If it’s so difficult, why try to do it? The answer is that unless you want your products and services to become totally commoditised and to be subject to constant erosion of your margins, then you have no choice. Learning how to manage the relationships you have with your customers more effectively for profit is the only game in town.
How to do it?
Develop Account Manager Skills
The harsh truth is that salespeople, and most account managers have a background in sales, have not developed in professionalism at the same pace as their counterparts in procurement and supply chain management. They do not apply the same degree of analytical thinking and planning, or anywhere near the number of management tools to the problem of customer management that are used by supplier managers.
The skills of the salesperson are not sufficient to meet the needs of this new role. Account managers occupy a unique position between the two organisations and have a dual function: influencing the decision making and resource allocation process in both organisations, very often without direct line authority; and identifying and realising opportunities for value creation that go way beyond product to create a unique way of becoming “strategically” important to customers.
Ensure C Level Commitment
SAM is also difficult to implement because it threatens existing power bases within supplier organisations because serving strategic customers demands co-ordination, teamwork and resource allocation that cuts across traditional chains of command, functional specialism and territories. Without the absolute commitment of senior C-Level management to the change management process SAM is doomed to failure.
Part of senior level support is ensuring strategic alignment so that HR, finance, production, marketing and even your own procurement policies support the SAM programme.
Know why they are strategic accounts.
Account management programmes begin by identifying the accounts that are strategically important to the supplier. The most often used selection criteria is volume of business and this is a major mistake. Size alone does not make a customer strategically important and focus on volume of business often looses sight of the end game which is to enhance profitability. The key questions are, “if we lost this customer what would be the impact on our business in terms of capacity, profitability, access to technology, access to markets, reference power etc?”
Be sure you are a strategic supplier.
If you are not strategically important to your customer, then their importance to you is irrelevant, they will continue to treat you as a commodity supplier. Particularly in the early stage of your programme look for customers that do value your offering and that have experience of working closely with other suppliers.
Add value “beyond product”.
To be a strategic supplier you need to demonstrate that you can add value to the relationship. You must deliver far more than the base product or service offering, and that value must be tailor made for each customer and it must be increased and changed over time.
The companies that are really successful at SAM, companies like P&G, DHL or even smaller companies like the Arcadis, a Netherlands based firm of consulting engineers are constantly looking for ways to enhance the value they deliver to customers. DHL focus upon seven market segments and have developed expertise that they deliver back to customers as diverse as processing in transit, product replacement and recycling. P&G have developed major competencies in supply chain management and data mining in order to help their customers compete and Arcadis apply their engineering skills to impact favourably on customer’s balance sheets.
Closing thoughts
Account management as a process offers a major opportunity for suppliers to develop an effective response to the increasing move towards the “commoditisation of everything”. If it is to be effective there must be recognition that it is different from the sales process. Account managers require broader skills than salespeople that facilitate managing without direct authority and focus on value creation. Senior managers must adopt the role of change agents and entangle themselves in the account management process in order to create strategic alignment. To be able to “manage” strategic accounts effectively, you need to be strategically important to them.

עקרונות ה – SAM
בחירת הלקוחות “האסטרטגיים” ה”נכונים” – לא כל לקוח גדול “בעל שם” הוא לקוח אסטרטגי, כולם מאוד תובעניים, עליך לבחור את אלה שבאופן ברור ומדיד מוסיפים לך ערך. זהה את 20% הלקוחות שמספקים את 80% ההכנסות והרווח ואת השארבמודע תזניח (, כן !!!)

ניהול לקוחות אסטרטגיים הוא משימה של כל החברה – זו אינה משימה של המכירות בלבד אלא כל החברה (שיווק, תפעול, מו”פ, כספים…) ומשאביה מכוונים לספק ערך ללקוח האסטרטגי

גיבוש הערכות ארגונית מתאימה ומחויבות ארגונית להצלחתו העסקית של הלקוח (כולל מנהלים C Level) – איננו ספקי מוצרים, אלא ספקים של מחויבות אמיתית להצלחה העסקית של הלקוח האסטרטגי

לימוד מתמיד של נקודת המבט של הלקוח

השקע מאמץ בפיתוח מערכות יחסים בין מגוון נושאי תפקיד בשני הארגונים

פתח כלי מדידה שיאפשרו לך להציג כמה ערך הלקוח תורם לך וכמה ערך אתה תורם ללקוח

בפוסט הבא אסביר מדוע חברות ישראליות כמעט ולא מיישמות את התפיסה.

מיכאל גלי
1.4.10
gally@012.net.il

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