April to June 2015

A Diamond Is Forever: Developing Key Account Management

Brightbridge is delighted to be engaged by De Beers to advance Key Account Management. De Beers, part of Anglo American plc, is a $7billion turnover organisation with 90% of its revenue related to rough diamond sales to customers known as ‘Sightholders’. We were recently involved in meeting a number of such ‘Sightholders’ in Antwerp.  During one meeting we were kindly given the chance to see a 54 carat diamond. Alistair Taylor, Managing Director of Bright bridge commented: “The only downside is I told my wife and now her expectations have raised!” We look forward to a productive week of development with Key Account Managers from across the globe in Gaborone Botswana.

Stepping up sales through ‘Value Selling’

During March, April and May Brightbridge carried out seven development workshops to improve Value Selling skills for a large engineering company, world leaders in their field. The activities ran in five locations stretching from Los Angeles to Philadelphia and South Carolina to Chicago. In advance of the main workshops, materials were endorsed and refined by the company’s leadership team.  This resulted in an approach that was highly customisation with frameworks and exercises relating directly to real customer and organisational challenges. The application of the approaches to important customer opportunities has already accelerated momentum, We look forward to working with the group over the summer and learning of further significant wins for their business.

The future of Sales Management:  Invest in this group as a priority.

Brightbridge is a member of The Sales Performance Association which represents companies across a diverse range of industrial services and customer industries. Members operate at senior levels and come together to discuss key sales issues and opportunities in a non-commercial environment. The April meeting included a review of research evidence and expert ‘thought leadership’ which postulated increasing development of key account management teams to develop complex customers and inside sales teams to efficiently execute routine sales. With a squeeze from ‘both ends,a’ there was an evidence based view that outside sales roles will over time reduce in numbers . Some particularly interesting research concluded that many companies place insufficient emphasis on developing their sales managers. There appears to be an execution gap; Companies recognise the vital importance of sales managers, they recognise the critical need to improve skills in this area and yet perhaps surprising Sales Management is often the last group to receive development support.  The Association concluded that for many companies addressing this imbalance would create significant commercial benefits.