Our two day format uses lecture, interactive exercises and case studies to cover the following ten topics:
I Team Selling
As the number of participants in each company’s buying decision process grows, the departments who are represented in buying centers grows proportionately. As such, it is difficult for selling companies to assign one representative to each prospect and/or customer, and to expect that one representative to be an “expert” in all areas of interest to those buying committees. In complex sales, most companies are developing multi-disciplined teams whose members can be assigned on an ad hoc basis to specific sales opportunities. In this module, we will explore the virtues and limitations of team selling and discuss structures that have been shown to be effective. Additionally, guidelines for team development, and relationships will be discussed. As an outcome of successfully completing this module, participants should be able to return to their areas of responsibility and determine in which sales opportunities teams may be a useful tool for capturing new sales and how to best manage those teams.
II Customer Relationship Management
Building quality key account and other high-end customer relationship strategies is the heart of successful business marketing programs. The role of the sales force in establishing and nurturing these relationships is vital. This module will enable participants to better define their key account management program and better align their sales efforts with specific customer needs and requirements for which the customer is willing to pay.
III Assessing Customer Relationships
Conventional wisdom said that the “customer is always right” and that “any customer is a good customer.” Today’s knowledge says, that “this customer may be right for someone else” and that “this customer may be good for a competitor but not us.” In this module, managers should gain better perspective on how to evaluate each customer’s long-term potential to an organization from a financial and resources perspective. They will be better able to determine which customers deserve extra consideration for growth over time and thus extra treatment, and which customers represent marginal value to the organization. Participants should be able to more effectively and efficiently use the resources at their disposal in pursuit of additional profitability.
IV Business Review and Development Meetings
In most cases in order to enhance the relationship with “key accounts” or “strategic accounts” periodic high-level reviews are held where key members at all levels in the buying and selling organizations are brought together. The purpose of these meetings is two fold: 1) to determine how the relationship is operating for both companies and 2) to see if enhancements to the relationship are needed or advisable. In this module, “best practices” from successful organizations will be reviewed, structures will be reviewed that can help make these sessions successful for both organizations, and organizational tips will be given to facilitate the meetings themselves. Participants can be expected to better determine which customers would be the best candidates for these sessions and develop and implement a plan to put them into action.
V Managing Customer Expectations
In many mission statements today there is great talk about “meeting and exceeding” customer expectations. However, another point of view is emerging that says that if customer expectations are well managed, they will always be met. This issue will be discussed as vitally important in the long-term success of business relationships, and managers who attend this module will be better equipped to help their sales force better discover what their customer expectations are, and how to modify and meet them.
VI Positioning with the Buyer
How do customers view the company? Are you a vital resource to their business operations – or just another vendor? How do you determine that? In the customers that you really want to keep, how can you move their thoughts of you from being “a vendor” to “an integral resource” to their company? This module will discuss assessment techniques and methods enabling sales managers and senior level sales people to more effectively be seen as vital resources to their customers.
VII Reaching Senior Executives
To successfully become a “key supplier” to a customer requires that managers in selling organizations become visible and trusted advisors to key senior executives in customer companies. However, it is generally difficult to initially reach and begin developing relationships with those key executives. This module looks at methods that can be employed to begin developing those crucial relationships.
VIII Having something to say to the senior executive
Complex buying groups have a range of members, some of whom can be very helpful in developing an understanding of the customer’s issues and objectives. This section profiles seven types of buying center members and provides an approach to identifying the “guides” and “friends” who help you develop your messages, your insights, to help the customer address issues and achieve goals.
IX Internal organizational issues
One of the most important aspects of implementing the key account strategy is to lead your internal departments in modifying their typical practices to accommodate the specific needs of your team strategy and programs. This section discusses common issues and strategies for addressing them.