SUSTAINABLE SAM: ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEW REALITY?

By Edmund Bradford, Managing Director, Market2Win Ltd.

We have passed the tipping point of interest in sustainability. Sustainability and other good behavior metrics now need to be reported, meaning your strategic accounts will no longer be satisfied with bland statements of intent from your company. Sustainable SAM will be a key differentiator in the near future.

I was recently interviewing the head of sustainability at a global hospitality company when she told me an incredible fact: “In the past 12 months, for the first time ever, more investor funds have gone into proven sustainable companies than into non-sustainable companies.” So, if you are working in a company that has not proved itself sustainable to investors, you are in the wrong half of where the investor money is going.

If you want to see an example of this transition, just consider Blackrock, one of the world’s largest investors, with $8.68 trillion in assets under management at the end of December 2020.  In his 2021 letter to CEOs, Blackrock’s CEO, Larry Fink, wrote about the fact that the pandemic had accelerated the tectonic shift to sustainable investing with a near doubling of Blackrock’s investments in this area compared to 2019.

Why is this? 

Continue reading “SUSTAINABLE SAM: ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEW REALITY?”

Strategic account managers (and their bosses) deserve better decision-making tools

By William Trail, Co-Founder, Opportunity State

If you have experienced the pain, humiliation and fear of having to tell your manager that you are not going to hit your “blood number,” your commit for the quarter, then I have news for you: It’s not your fault. You don’t have the technology to predict 90 days in advance which deals will be finalized in time.

But assigning blame doesn’t really matter, does it?  In the end, if you fail to meet your commitment, you fail to meet your commitment.  To be sure, a sales leader or SAM manager will have responsibilities beyond revenue. But typically, 30 to 40 percent of a SAM’s compensation will be tied to revenue. This being the case, then he or she should have significant input into which opportunities are pursued, since it is the SAM who has the account/political knowledge of his or her account. And yet several trends are converging to make decisions over deployment or resources more difficult. To name a few:

  • The average size of buying groups consists of 11 active members (plus additional occasional ones), per Gartner.
  • Only around 60 percent of account managers are making quota, per HBR.
  • Senior management needs to see fast results, especially in a recession.
  • Average tenure for sales execs has dropped from 26 months to just 19. 
  • Gartner reports that 58 percent of sales executives struggle to complete assigned tasks . 
  • Assessing account opportunities has become that much more difficult during a pandemic, when face-to-face interaction is limited or non-existent.
  • Only 36 percent of a sales executives’ time is spent selling or coaching, and remote coaching is much more difficult.
Continue reading “Strategic account managers (and their bosses) deserve better decision-making tools”

What every SAM should know about cybersecurity: An interview with International Society of Automation’s Steve Mustard

What does cybersecurity have to do with you? If you’re selling digital solutions, the answer is: Everything. Steve Mustard, President and CEO of National Automation and President of the International Society of Automation, explains why SAMs should care.

Listen to this episode of The SAMA Podcast here.


Learn from the best: The 2020 SAMA Excellence Awards winners

By SAMA Editors

The winners of the 2020 SAMA Excellence Awards demonstrate the amazing things that happen strategic account management is enshrined at the center of a company’s business strategy. The details of what each of our winners accomplished (and how they did it) differ based on their size, history of account management, business drivers and strategic goals. But what these companies share in common is C-level commitment to the strategic accounts approach paired with incredible vision and execution from top to bottom.

The 2020 award winners pushed into new market segments, put themselves on their customers’ C-level agenda, and broke into geographies in which they’d never done business. Most of all, they proved that getting strategic account management right unlocks huge benefits in terms of growth, profitability, customer satisfaction and attainment of strategic goals.

Category 1: “Customer co-creation that creates mutual business value”

Winners:

Interview with Muriel Carroll, Managing Director, Strategic Accounts, Hilton Worldwide Sales, and John Morgan, Senior Strategic Account Manager, Johnson Controls.

Category 2: “Institutionalization of digitalization to create meaningful customer impact”

Winner:

Interview with Danielle Matteson, Director of Global Accounts, AVI-SPL, and Joe Laezza, SVP of Global Accounts, AVI-SPL

Category 3: “Outstanding young program of the year (< 5 years)”

Co-Winner:

Interview with André Dubé, Regional Vice President, Quebec, Wajax

Category 3: “Outstanding young program of the year (< 5 years)”

Co-Winner:

Interview with Danielle Matteson, Director of Global Accounts, AVI-SPL, and Joe Laezza, SVP of Global Accounts, AVI-SP

Category 4: “Outstanding mature program of the year (5+ years)”

Winner:

Friedrich Richter, Senior Vice President – Strategy Industrial Automation & Segments, Schneider Electric

Want to enter this year’s awards? You still can! It’s free to enter and can be done in less than hour. Click here for this year’s categories and for the submission form. Questions? Email Nicolas Zimmerman at zimmerman@strategicaccounts.org.