Last week, Walker hosted 44 representatives from 19 of our client organizations at a two day forum in Indianapolis. We host this type of event twice a year, and each time I am struck by the quality of the companies and people that we get to work with. I’m also continually impressed by their willingness to take a couple of days ‘off’ and step back from the day-to-day of our interactions to think strategically about how they want their customer listening programs to evolve.
While parts of our forums are focused on broader information sharing, sessions are always earmarked for account teams to meet and plan enhancements and new directions. Inevitably, these business reviews lead to agreements to explore new opportunities which will enhance the overall value that our programs deliver inside our clients’ organizations.
As Strategic Account Managers in any industry, this ‘stepping back’ is something you can accomplish even if your company is not in the habit of hosting forum-style events. Engage with the more senior contacts on your customer team in a meeting focused on new perspectives and connections to business strategies and objectives. Together, build a roadmap that will strengthen the connection of your work to their core business issues. Then start to drive the route, and see where it leads you.
VP, Strategic Accounts
(This post originally published on SAM Source, on October 4, 2010)