I Have a Dream….Global Account Management, by Lisa Muller*
I Have a Dream….
• A dream where everyone plays nice in the sandpit (sandbox) and works for a common goal
• A dream where working for the customer’s best interest is a priority and one person/team takes accountability for the health and well-being of a Client globally
• A dream where all customer activity is centralised globally and everyone recognises and understands cultural differences
• A dream where the Customer is Put First!!!! – Ahead of the self-centred agendas of the vendor and their different business units
A dream….. Ok, I could go on forever….some would call it a pipe dream, a mist, a delusion, yet, I still stick to my dream. The dream of….. (cue the drum roll) ….. True Global Account Management!
True Global Account Management… Is it impossible? Think about how many companies you know that have tried and failed, and yet tried again….and failed again.
Is it even possible…..to get sales people and organisations to put the client first before their own
needs? I mean, let’s face it. If you have been there, you will have seen arguments between leaders
of business units about where the revenue sits, fights between reps on who did what, clients being
put in awkward positions as they are told just to run everything through one rep, as opposed to
another, as it would be better that way.
It still dumbfounds me! Have people forgotten the importance of putting others’ needs in front of
their own? Socrates states, “Wealth does not bring goodness, but goodness brings wealth and every
other blessing, both to the individual and to the state.” Meaning, do the right thing and you, as well
as your organisation, will benefit, i.e. Put The Customer First!
And with that said, for all you doubters and cynics out there, who say, “Lisa, you are nuts” and, “I
don’t believe this is possible”, I say, the truth is YES! Yes, it can be done! There is such a thing as True
Global Account Management. I have seen it, done it and been part of it!
‘So What!?’, you ask? It’s Just a Dream… What is the Reality of Implementing ‘The Dream’?
- Does it work to increase sales, revenue, retention and profitability? YES!
- Is it in the best interest of the customer? YES!
- Does it make the customer feel ‘all warm and fuzzy and loved’? YES!
- Is it easy to implement? YES – With the right commitment, focus and direction coming from the TOP of the organisation it can be.
- Is there a process to follow for implementation? YES!
- Does it take time to implement? YES!
- Is it easy to find the calibre of person to Lead/Point these types of Accounts? NO! – As you are looking for is the very rare highly qualitative and highly quantitative person that understands cultural differences
- But can you find these well sought after people with the correct executive search firm or internal people assessment via personality profiling, motivation, time management, skills and habits assessment? YES!
- Will people look at your organisation as a Benchmark of Success? YES!
- Does it increase the overall sales of the customer globally? YES!
- Will your retention rates increase with these accounts? YES!
- Do most companies try to do this by simply modifying the commission plan? YES!
- Does modifying the commission plan make this work? NO!
Well, that is a lot of “Yes” answers, so why do companies still fail to implement a True Global
Account Management structure?
1. They don’t know how to (a.k.a. Blissfully Ignorant)
2. They think they don’t have to (i.e. The way their country does business with clients is the
way everyone in the world should do it, a.k.a. Blissfully Culturally Ignorant)
3. They don’t understand how this will increase sales, revenues and retention (a.k.a. Blissfully
4. They are so large that the silo’d approach has been adapted and they have no desire to
change (a.k.a. Blissfully Arrogant or Blissfully Lazy)
5. They are busy focusing primarily on Net New Customers (a.k.a. Blissfully Hunting and not
Caring, Fostering and Growing)
Understanding your client, what they are doing with your product or service in every area of their
business and every area of the world, allows you to be seen as the trusted advisor and a partner to
- You can share best practices and ideas from one group to another to help them have a global view of how people in the business are getting value from your product/service
- Consolidate purchasing with a global agreement which will help them save money
- Help your clients standardise through global utilisation of your product/service
- Show your clients that they have global, but yet local support
- Give your top Global companies the support, attention and care they need to have them as customers for life.
- There ARE Cultural Differences. Every country and every region of a country is unique. If you can understand and address this effectively, it shows value to the customer and you will be able to work more successfully with them.
- It is easier to keep a client then get a new one.
- Relationships and Familiarity are powerful and leveraging that knowledge and those relationships in the best interest of the client will make them very appreciative
- People don’t just buy products and services, they are also buying the company and the people that they will be working with and servicing their needs.
The bottom line is this, in this modern day, you must Live the Dream. True Global Account
Management is one way forward.
It is a process and a journey, but a journey that will reap many rewards, but it must have
sponsorship from the top and be reinforced by every area of the business. It can be a project that
takes time to implement and a regimented process must be followed, but trust me when I say the
rewards will be ten-fold in the short-term and long-term.
“The grass isn’t always greener on the other side” but what are you doing to stop your customers
from leaving? Have you asked yourself, ‘Am I putting my Customer First?’
True Global Account Management Approaches are scalable. Meaning you don’t have to have
“Global” Accounts to apply the same Lean Sales Process thinking. It could be a True “National”
Account Management programme or a “Regional” Account Management Programme.
Think with the Customer in Mind, Put the Customer First, and Create a GREAT Customer
*About the author:
Lisa Muller of SBR Consulting is a strong advocate, designer, creator and implementer of strong Local
and Global Customer Experience and Retention and Growth Programmes to increase sales, revenue,
retention and profitability by Putting the Customer First.
More on Lisa Muller