Giving Strategic Accounts the Focus They Need to be Profitable

Case Summary

Our client is a $2.5B global software and IT company that provides services to institutions across virtually every segment of the financial services industry. Their solutions serve core functions of: Asset Management, Capital Markets, Hedge Fund Administration, Trading, Tax/Reconciliation, Fund Accounting, and Operations. The top accounts in financial services represent roughly $800M in annual revenue, which is a significant portion of the Company’s overall total revenue.

Business Challenge

The company was seeking to reverse a recent trend of flat revenues and slow growth among their largest accounts. Some of the challenges with their largest accounts included: a lack of a central message and account-specific value proposition; a lack of senior level relationships; limited knowledge of the accounts’ primary business drivers/challenges; small, new business pipelines; vendor style relationships vs. strategic partner; competitive erosion; a lack of product integration; internal misalignment; and flat/declining revenues. A reversal of this situation would require a shift in resources, planning efforts, and executive sponsorship.

The MAP (Major Accounts Program) initiative was designed to address these challenges and increase the overall visibility into these accounts at all levels of the organization, while reversing the perception of the client at the account level (moving from a vendor to a strategic partner level relationship).

Symmetrics Group Approach

Symmetrics Group worked closely with the client to design a MAP that engaged the Account Directors and all cross-functional teams. A MAP “playbook” was created that provided a unified vision for the program, clarified role definitions, established an operating model, created account cadence plans, defined a system for account visioning/joint customer planning, set guidelines for account reviews/portfolio management, and laid the foundation for opportunity management.

The program was launched at Sales Kick-Off meetings in the winter of 2014 (Philadelphia & Singapore). One-day sessions for 15 MAP Accounts were run in the winter/spring of 2014, engaging the global cross-functional teams that impacted the accounts. These sessions were designed to address the following: a vision for the account, knowledge acquisition (cross-functional), opportunity creation/ideation, opportunity development, 12-18 month goals for the account, ownership of action items, planning, and executive engagement.

Sessions were also run for a sub-set of accounts that were focused on the Asset Management portion of the business. This initiative covered an additional 15 sessions/accounts that drilled down even deeper into one specific region of the customers’ business.

Results

Each session delivered on the major goals of: account plans, pre-work completion, cross-functional collaboration, opportunity creation, communication, accountability, and go-forward cadence. Opportunities were created in all sessions with estimated revenues, and sales pursuits followed immediately coming from all sessions. In 2014, our client saw an 8% lift in revenues across these accounts, and through the first half of 2015, a 47% lift in sales once the benefits of the full account strategies could be realized.

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