Who are the Decision Makers during COVID-19

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BenB
BenB Member Posts: 76 Expert
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edited July 2020 in Strategy & Planning

Contacts CSMs have label as "Decision Makers" are very likely not THE Decision Maker this summer (maybe through the year).  

Last year CSM could forward renewal details and work orders to their primary contact and decision maker, end of story. Renewal Secured. 

Today those same decision  makers are simply saying "great, thank you for the details let me forward this on to our leadership team..."

In this case the "Leadership Team" is probably a Procurement Specialist, the VP of related department, and the CFO.  What impact does the relationship between the CSM and their original decision maker have in that meeting. The odds you're now able to jump into the conversation are slim.  

Make sure we are updating how are CSM are perceiving their Decision Makers. There is still time to try and cource correct. 

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  • Jeremy Donaldson
    Jeremy Donaldson Member Posts: 71 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    @Ben Bunting Great call out around customer process and changes with Covid-19. You won't know if you don't ask!

    Covid-19 renewal/procurement questions I like to ask:

    • Tell me what has changed in the purchase approval process.
    • Last year, we had to follow XYZ steps. What has changed with Covid-19?
    • Describe to me what additional questions will you be asked regarding approving this years renewal.
    • Tell me what would be needed to consider a multi-year renewal
  • BenB
    BenB Member Posts: 76 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    These are perfect - thanks for adding! 

  • David Ellin
    David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    @Ben Bunting, great topic. I'm a firm believe that CSMs must be strategic and forward-thinking. They must also be great collaborators.

    In companies where CSMs are responsible for the commercial aspects of their customers - renewal, up-sell, cross-sell - it's important to think like a seller. By that, I mean they should maintain relationships across their customer's business where appropriate. That includes decision makers, influencers, day-to-day contacts and procurement folks. Great Strategic Account Plans will have Relationship Maps as a component. And most importantly, we must demonstrate value at all relationship levels so we don't have to scramble when things change. I learned that lesson the heard way many years ago when I lost business due to decision-maker changes at my largest customer.

    As @Jeremy Donaldson calls out, we have to learn to ask new questions during times of change. These times are providing us lots of lessons learned that we should apply to our future actions and relationships.