Why have strategic accounts? To many, the immediate answer is “to generate more revenue!“ In their view, it’s a no brainer. If you manage strategic accounts effectively, you will generate a lot more revenue from those accounts. This, however, is a very shortsighted view.
While it is true that managing strategic accounts well does result in greater revenue, it is not true that this is the purpose for these accounts. The purpose of a strategic account is mutual growth.
When you select an account for this level of attention, it should be because it is clear to you, and everyone on your executive team, that your company will achieve its objectives faster by helping this client achieve theirs. Mutual implies win-win, but more specifically, it means you win after your client wins. It is imperative, therefore, that you fully embrace your client’s objectives, ideal customers, as well as their competitive landscape. Moreover, it’s critical that you realize that the landscape is always changing. As a true strategic partner, you embrace all of this and you strive to figure out ways to help your client win, not only in today’s marketplace, but in tomorrow’s. What emerging threats are on the horizon? What strategic initiatives are currently planned? What internal weaknesses need to be overcome? Engaging with these questions puts your firm in a privileged position to engage in true innovation – innovation that will help your client and your organization become stronger. It is this level of innovation that drives mutual growth and profitability. This is the real purpose of strategic accounts. And it is in fulfilling this purpose that you generate greater revenue for both you and your strategic accounts!