Audiences who saw the fabled Broadway musical, Chorus Line, marveled at the intricate timing and seamless interaction of the dancers as they mastered the choreographer’s precision steps after many false starts in rehearsal.
At the final curtain, the stage is crowded with dancers whose images are multiplied by mirrors strategically placed about the stage.
That’s a tough scene to match.
In many ways one can view the Chorus Line as a metaphor (sans mirrors) for orchestrating enduring major account relationships, which at their optimum, are enduring alliances.
This is a dance, not of two partners, but of many partnerships developed between business entities. A figurative chorus line of relationships that require timing, integrated movement, anticipation, and occasional improvisation played before a senior management audience expecting considerable return for the cost of the production.
With proper direction and judicious investment of resources, a major accounts initiative can become a resounding revenue hit.
How do you recognize a major account hit in the making?
What are the eight precision steps expected from your lead account performers to set and maintain the tempo of a major account relationship?
Your account team leaders should be expected to deliver
How to measure account team success?
Short of a standing ovation, Phil Hecht, global vice president of sales and strategy development for AT&T’s Signature Client Group, believes that “differentiated value” is at the core of a successful major account alliance relationship and the key to gaining a competitive edge. In his view, the value equation includes not only the long term positive impact of a product or service deliverable to the client, but also the value of best practices that the major account team brings to its own company as well.
Equally as important, according to Hecht, are the internal resources available to major account teams. “Owners of major account organizations need a tremendous support structure to feed its sales talent with business intelligence to understand industry dynamics. Given the significant potential rewards equally significant risks, major account leaders need to be particularly vocal about the resources required to anticipate and respond to client opportunities. ”
Financial payoffs to both client and supplier alliance partners can be substantial. Such performances not only reap the loudest applause, they also become long playing hits as they
Now that's really a touch act to follow.
*Alliance Relationship Model is a quantifiable major account performance model developed by the author. Thomas J. Baskind welcomes inquiries at email@example.com and (914) 682-2069. Lexien Management is an affiliate of D. E. I. Management Group.
Thomas J. Baskind is a Managing Partner at Lexien Management Consultants. His career includes leadership roles in general and sales management, advertising, public relations, financial services, consulting and vendor relations. He has served in executive positions at world-renowned organizations such as CBS Inc. , Lexis-Nexis, Dialog, the Thomson Corporation and Deutsche Bank. Tom's expertise spans sales process development, major accounts modeling and sales, effective negotiation, prospect management and large account management.