Introducing the GAM Reloaded post series
Our goal: another view on GAM and international development
A first goal is to present a general approach that can help senior executive of international Small and Medium–size Businesses elaborate strategies and tactics to better drive profitable growth with international clients and make their business more resilient to crisis. A second goal is to present a modern and pragmatic – and somewhat different – perspective on the notion of Key and Global Account Management in today’s economy.
What we will present in this series is not necessarily new, but it is definitely modern in that it provides a flexible guideline to drive the international development of a SMB or a large corporation.
The world is diverse. Therefore, the methodology discussed in these articles do not pretend to be universal. However, they are based on a very long experience of real-life implementation in various companies. These posts are also an invitation to a positive confrontation of ideas and experience.
Defining international SMBs and target industries
With the term international SMB, we are considering companies with from a few hundreds to over 10 to 15.000 employees with international operations. Some might operate only regionally and in a few countries, others might have a presence on all continents.
We will be referring to business situations encountered by vendors of high-added value solutions and services. Typical examples are marketing and communication agencies, consulting firms, or Entreprise software application vendors and suppliers of hi-tech products.
The classic definition of GAM: exact but rigid
The classic concept of Global Account and of Global Account Management (GAM) apply to the relationship between a truly global client, able to make a centralized decision, and a vendor able to deliver in a consistent way around the globe. Serving Global Accounts can be very beneficial to the business of a supplier, provided no foolish decisions have been made on pricing (it does happen …). The caveat is that implementing a Global Account programme is a demanding exercise; it mobilizes a lot of resources and requires a good alignment of the organization and a high discipline. Not all organizations are able to do this and many companies running a GAM programme are experiencing difficulties. Most of them are related to human and organizational factors.
These challenges explain why many companies have mitigated results with their GAM programme and why many others never start such a programme although their customer base would make this relevant.
The question then is, how can vendors take a somewhat easier route to exploit the potential of international clients?
Alternative ways to accelerate international growth
With GAM reloaded™ , we are going to look at alternative ways to create a situation where the sustained relationship with selected international clients is a key factor in the success of a company.
We will consider a continuum of tactics spanning from enhancing Account Management at local level to implementing a full fledge GAM programme. Instead of a big step function between “no GAM” or “GAM”, we’ll explore ways to develop the organisation’s capabilities in an incremental way that creates a stronger organization while accelerating growth.
It is all about management
Everything that will be presented in this series of post is based on real-life experience. The suggested strategies and tactics require vision, pragmatism, the capacity to inspire people and teams, and a bit of courage and persistence in order to overcome difficulties and make things happen. Isn’t this a definition of what management is about?
Our second post will explore the notions of Global and International Accounts