How do you develop the skills of a great Strategic Account Manager?

Answer: by practicing them in a safe environment.

The SAM2Win Simulator is a highly innovative online training tool that allows Account Managers (SAMs,  KAMs or GAMs) to learn and practice the essential strategic skills necessary to achieve more profitable growth with your top accounts.

Five suppliers compete with each other for the business of one complex global account. To win the game, a supplier needs to gain a deep understanding of the account, read the changing relationship landscape, correctly assess the competition, develop a cohesive account growth strategy and execute it successfully.

It can be delivered in a number of ways, from a traditional two day classroom-based workshop through to a full online program.

We have over 40 years of experience working with Account Managers, Strategic Account Management programs and the interface with key business functions like marketing and procurement.  Much of this is now in our simulation, all ready to help develop the best Account Managers of the future.

Content:Account Management image

  • Segmenting an account and picking the best opportunities
  • Winning with targeted value propositions
  • Anticipating and responding to market dynamics
  • Diagnosing and dealing with different procurement situations
  • Communicating a clear account strategy


  • Voted Best Workshop by members of the Strategic Account Management Association
  • Finalist in the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s  Marketing Excellence Awards
  • Players  have included students of leading Business Schools and executives from Procter & Gamble, Kone, Marriott and Siemens

“It really helped us to understand good Strategic Account Management principles and how to apply them to our business.  Using a SAM simulation significantly enhanced the overall learning experience.” –  Program Manager, Customer Relationship and Account Management (global corporation)

“A big thank you for yesterday.  The content was of great interest and very much along the lines the SPA have been advocating for many years. There was very positive feedback from all who I, and the other committee members, spoke with.”  –  Sales Performance Association

“Thanks for all your help with the simulation this year. The reflective essays were excellent, the students clearly learnt a lot and enjoyed the simulation experience, so thanks again.” – Portsmouth Business School

Feedback from corporate participants:

“It was fantastic … it made us focus on the important things like the client’s market, the client needs, the competitors and our strengths etc… to win more share of wallet and profit”

“A very different and incredibly effective way to learn how to manage our most important customer relationships”

“Actually using the Simulator was brilliant”

“It gave a new perspective to account plans and strategy”

“I liked participating in the simulation game prior to the session. I enjoy games and activities to learn. Excellent!”

“A great way to learn about account planning.”

“I enjoyed the game and learning concepts. Thank you!”

“It was user friendly, with a lot of useful information.  You can see the results of your decisions quickly and the group discussions were great!”

“Thanks a lot for the very interesting day”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the people interactions and the real case examples”

Feedback from Business School students:

“I really liked that it was something new and out of my comfort zone which makes you think critically and try to make the right decisions”

“There were a lot of good tools available to analyse performance and assist in decision making. It really challenges you to think broadly when making decisions”

“I think this game is a really different way to learn and provides good experience that can be applied in the work environment”

“This was a very good experience which has taught me a lot about business. I have been wanting to experience something like this which can show me whether I am ready for business, and this game did. I am now confident I am ready”

“The competitive aspect of it is incredibly motivating. I really liked the whole fighting over share of wallet aspect and trying to meet the account’s needs”

“I thoroughly enjoyed this experience.”

Users also love: 

  • “Applying the strategic account management theories in the game and working out the strategy in a team”
  • “Understanding more about client needs, forming the account strategy and working as a team”
  • “The competition and the learning throughout the game”
  • “All the small details which affected the outcome of the performance. It was a very realistic game”
  • “The competitiveness between groups”
  • “Its level of realism and the various key management tools”
  • “The changing opportunities, and being able to target specific ones”
  • “The way in which the account we were involved in changed and evolved as the game went on, that was very realistic”
  • “The interactive nature and competitive element”
  • “The real world applications it draws from, using various sources to make decisions and those decisions having a real impact”
  • “Easy to use dashboard”
  • “The hidden strategies of the game. One has to think critically.”
  • “Being able to be risky.”

For more recommendations, please visit:



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Sales Performance Association meeting, 4th June, Chartered Institute of Marketing, Moor Hall

Members and guests who attended the SPA seminar on 4th June 2013 took part in a competitive and fast paced simulation in the area of Strategic Account Management.  Our first Honorary Fellow, Professor Malcolm McDonald introduced the day and set the scene for managing key accounts and Dr Beth Rogers followed by sharing a little of how the “game” is used at Portsmouth Business School.

Ed Bradford, the architect of the SAM Simulation then led us into our first round of the game.  The game is based on the global supply of staffing services including Recruitment, Outsourcing, Training and Consulting. This market has been chosen as a generic scenario in which to learn about the key elements of managing strategic (key) accounts in particular the vital subject of account selection.  It borrows strategic concepts from marketing and applies them to account management.  This includes combining, segmentation, targeting, positioning, value propositions and other key concepts.

We were arranged into 5 mixed teams and thankfully, Ed led us into the game gently, suggesting in round one, we focussed on the North America Market by service area.  The game was set up so that the 5 competing teams were already “in the market” and had all achieved an equal, base line performance that we could see and build on.  Ed coached us to strive to position our offer for maximum result, be it profitability or sales etc.

The teams grappled with the mass of data and slowly, we developed an understanding of the concepts, looking for ways to improve our position.  At lunchtime, Ed revealed our results showing that we had all improved performance with some teams doing a little better than others.  Ed then took us into some of the theory of Managing Strategic Accounts – a full slide set is available on the SPA Website (members Area).

After lunch, Ed lifted the market restrictions allowing teams to compete in all the Global Markets.  The teams quickly identified the limitations of resources and the need for focus.  Cash resources were removed from some markets and added to others, value propositions were fined tuned to match chosen segments and teams battled hard and fast to complete their decisions in the time allowed.

The winning sales team

After the third round with a teasing count down to the final decision, Ed revealed the winners and led a review of the group’s performance.  It was clear that some teams had developed strategies for the long haul and “what a pity” the game could not have run longer.  Ed presented “medals” to the winning team shown below.

The subject of Key Account Management ranks high in the SPA member’s interests and we have had many speakers on this subect including McDonald and Ryals.  Without doubt, this brought home the key messages into what was a most educational and enjoyable day. Our thanks  to Malcolm McDonald, Beth Rogers and particularly Ed Bradford for bringing this topic to life.


As written by John Andrews, Secretary of the Sales Performance Association

10th June 2013

For further information about the Sales Performance Association visit:

Compass wins a prestigious award

We are delighted to announce that our client, Compass Group PLC has won an award for its work in growing its international clients business. The award was announced by the highly respected Strategic Account Management Association and recognizes the excellent work that Compass has done in co-creating value with its clients.

In responding, Ed Bradford, Managing Director of Market2win said, “We have been working with Compass for many years on different aspects of their International Clients Programme and this is terrific recognition for the success that they have achieved. As part of the entry process for this award we interviewed many of their senior executives and I was blown away by the innovative ideas they were developing and implementing with these clients around the world.”

The award will be handed out at the SAMA European Conference in Berlin on the 11th March 2013

The full SAMA announcement is provided below

SAMA Announcement

February, 2013

Compass Group Recognized for Strategic Account Management Excellence and receives SAMA Excellence Award(TM) for Co-Creating Customer Value

The Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA) has selected Compass Group, a world-class provider of contract foodservice and support services, to receive a SAMA Excellence AwardTM for Co-Creating Customer Value. The award will be publicly given to Compass Group executives at the SAMA Pan European Conference, 11 March, 2013 in Berlin.

Through its International Client Programme begun in 1998 to develop strategic relationships with its top clients, Compass Group has demonstrated world-class practices in the critical area of customer-supplier value co-creation. Collaborative value creation is the key process in strategic customer management to bring about mutual growth, profit, trust, loyalty, innovation and risk management in B2B relationships.

“We are very impressed with Compass Group’s accomplishments and the documented evidence that their International Client Programme has integrated the key processes for co-creating customer value and through it has attained superior growth,” says Bernard Quancard, President & CEO of SAMA.

These elements are being documented in a SAMA case study examination, and presented in a conference session this March

Useful links:

SAMA Pan-European Conference (Berlin – 10-12 March) website

SAMA Pan-European Conference brochure

SAMA Academy in Berlin, 12-14 March website

A unique KAM workshop: London 12th Jan 2012

Earlier this year, we ran a KAM Simulation workshop for members of the world-renowned Strategic Account Management Association ( May 2011 ).  This was rated one of the best workshops at their conference and so we have teamed up with the University of Portsmouth, to offer a similar session in the UK.  My co-presenter is Beth Rogers,  one of the most distinguished KAM experts in the UK (and a long-time colleague of mine).  She has been researching and teaching in this area for over 20 years and already runs KAM courses at Portsmouth Business School.

This is the first time we are offering this course in the UK so please do not hesitate in claiming your early bird discount.

For more information, click on the link below:

Key Account Simulation Day 12 Jan 2012