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: http://www.salesperformanceassociation.com/