I recently attended the annual conference of SAMA (Strategic Account Management Association) in Hollywood, Florida. Although the infamous “travel restrictions” caused this year’s attendance to be down from last year, it was still a great conference. I found it to be productive, informative and enjoyable. And on top of that, it’s hard to beat South Beach mojitos and ceviche!
I think the conference is a must for SAMs and those leading SAMs. The topics are always on point, the speakers are knowledgeable and the keynoters are motivating. Topics included account planning, customer loyalty, customer-focused innovation, and negotiation strategies, just to name a few.
The favorite among my colleagues (a perennial favorite, by the way) was Powerful Presentation Skills for Strategic Account Managers, led by Mark Shonka, Co-President of IMPAX Corp. Anyone will walk away with immediately implementable ideas from this incredible workshop.
OK, enough of the Roger Ebert imitation. Here was my big surprise at the conference. I was shocked by how many SAMs I talked to aren’t getting—aren’t even aware of!—the customer loyalty and other information that their companies are collecting.
Our companies are already collecting this information and it can be crucial to our ability to do our jobs as SAMs. In fact, often this information can highlight needs that our customers have that we are not aware of; needs that our products or services help solve.
Ask around. If your company is gathering this information, push to get access to the information relevant to your accounts. If your company is not gathering this information, ask why not!
By the way, if are getting great information about your accounts and using it to help them succeed, have a mojito and some fresh South Beach ceviche!