There is no greater position a person in sales or marketing can achieve with their key customers and clients than to be seen as a Trusted Business Partner. In any Strategic Account Management (SAM) or Value Pricing program, this result must be a key deliverable.
Once you gain this credibility, you and the products or services you represent are seen to be value-based as opposed to price-based. However, the trust needed to do this is something that is not just given out; it’s earned.
So, how do you become a Trusted Business Partner? Here are 3 steps that will set you up for success.
3 Steps to Becoming a Trusted Business Partner
- DEVELOP CUSTOMER PROFILE: The “Strategic” approach to managing accounts requires you to become customer-focused. There must be a commitment to understanding the customer’s business as an insider and to providing value-added solutions throughout its organization. Think about the account to understand the CEO’s vision, the strategies, the organization and their objectives.
- ANALYZE CURRENT RELATIONSHIPS: Think through current relationship with the account, focusing on the account history, present contract performance and perceptions of your company within the organization. How wide and deep are the relationships with the account? Are you connected to senior managers and decision-makers or mostly to technical people and procurement? How do you use your current network to establish new, higher level relationships?
- IDENTIFY STRATEGIC REQUIREMENTS: Define the customer's buying history, broken down by division where possible, showing total business and share of budget. Clarify requirements and your expectation of the customer’s future needs. Describe the customer's basic requirements as expressed to all suppliers. Which needs are currently not being met by any supplier? What are the likely needs that the customer will have in the future? What would ‘delight’ the customer'?
A 2-Day Action Learning Workshop
“Becoming a Trusted Business Partner” is the focus of a 2-Day Action Learning Workshop that Global Partners is conducting in Singapore on October 22-23 at the Hilton Singapore.
These 3-steps are just part of what Global Partners will be covering in this workshop. But, to us, all the sales training and programs in the world are of little effect if they do not lead you to becoming a Trusted Business Partner. That is why we made it the focus of this 2-Day Action Learning Workshop.
What other steps do you take to position yourself as a Trusted Business Partner? We would appreciate your input.