Strategic Accounts

There are two types of accounts, regular and strategic. Both are important and need to be given the time and resources to be successful but strategic accounts has a larger impact on the company and will get some extra attention. The important thing to remember and be disciplined about is that NOT every account is a strategic account. The most important consideration for what makes a strategic account is whether the account you are working with desires a lasting win-win relationship with your company.

Choosing a strategic account

Accounts that are identified to become strategic for the company must be working for a common goal that will bring growth to both organizations. You need to think of choosing these accounts as a business initiative versus a sales initiative.  If both companies aren’t committed to the partnership then you shouldn’t move forward.

Things you should put in place for a strategic account.

  • A cross functional team for communication
  • Full executive endorsement
  • A clear measurement of growth and success.

Working with Strategic accounts

When you have identified a strategic account, the real work starts. Working with and managing the process of gaining a strategic account takes time and resources that you may not be familiar with. Because this account will have a long tem impact on your company, special attention needs to be paid to the process to insure everything falls into place as needed.

  • Account specific value proposition
  • Find out where each company sees the business relationship today, one year and five years out.
  • Create a joint action plan that holds both companies accountable for success
  • Roadmaps and future plans must be shared

Both companies should have separate sets of metrics, one that can be communicated with internally and one that will be shared in conjunction with the strategic account.

Internal measurements

  • Revenue
  • ROI of the project
  • Margins achieved

Joint metrics

  • ROI from joint investments
  • Completed goals in the action plan
  • effectiveness of the communication channels

If the strategic account falls apart then it’s safe to say that it wasn’t the right company for your business to be working with. If either of you are not achieving mutually beneficial goals then the relationship needs to be re-evaluated, fixed or disolved. This will happen as you work with more strategic accounts but should be minimized as much and as often as possible. Every strategic account that falls apart should be systematically analyzed to see the causes and understand what and more importantly when these red flags could have been identified to make the needed adjustments in the future.

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