By Saleh Al-Ben Saleh, Strategic Account Manager, Emerson
A while ago, I came across a discussion about the optimal way to capture strategic customers in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool in a way that enables effective, efficient account planning using account planning applications or tools.
As a SAM, you may be thinking, “This sounds like a no-brainer.” Each customer gets a single CRM record and thus – since all the major account-planning tools link to and mirror the company’s CRM on a one-to-one basis – one account plan. If your customer is relatively small, this is probably the correct approach. But what if you are dealing instead with a massive, intricately complicated account? Moving forward, I will refer to such an account as a “complex mega-strategic account.”
If you are a SAM assigned to a complex mega-strategic account, you will be targeting different levels across multiple geographies and lines of business at your customer. In my experience as a SAM covering just such a mega-account, it is impossible to create an account plan that encompasses the varied, disparate goals, strategic drivers and buying behaviors housed within such a large, diverse customer.
Traditionally, you would have two options for tackling this problem:
(1) Create a single CRM record for the entire strategic account, yielding one gigantic account plan to cover this hydra-headed customer.
(2) Create a separate CRM record for each entity within the mega-customer, yielding dozens or even hundreds of separate account plans.
I have chosen to do neither, devising instead a third option which resides between these two options. I have struggled to devise a catchy, all-encompassing term for this option, so I will refer to it moving forward as the “Break & Glue.”Continue reading “Break & Glue: The art of capturing complex mega-strategic accounts in CRM to get the most from account planning tools “