Leading a team comes naturally to some, while other future leaders need some coaching. No matter which camp you fall in, becoming an effective leader and achieving success with your team can be a challenge.
No matter if you’re Bill Belichick or Erik Spoelstra, all coaches follow a set of fundamentals to get their team motivated, skilled, and ready to win a championship.
Today, we want to cover some of the basic fundamentals to help you lead a team to Strategic Account success. Remember, there are multiple players on the Strategic Account Management team, each with their own position and role within the account. Coordinating with these different players to make them work together is typically the first step, and what follows are these fundamentals.
Practice Makes Perfect
Before you can start winning championships, you need to make sure that everyone is good at their role. As the leader of the SAM team, you should be more than familiar with the duties and responsibilities of each player and should know the essential skills each person should have.
Education and training are essential to ensure that your team members are the best that they can be. Education and practice are ongoing exercises. You can’t teach someone something once and then call it good. Things change, and the world of SAM is a fast-moving industry. You need to make sure that your team is up to date on the latest trends and changes within your organization.
Also, education and training are more than just building skills. You should also prime their mindset. You want a team that is excited to work and ready to win. If your team is fine being mediocre and doesn’t have genuine excitement to create value and conquer the clients’ goals and expectations, you’ll have a hard time achieving much success.
You don’t need to give locker room pep talks, but you should still encourage each person to grow and incentivize them to become better.
Eyes on the Prize
Having a good team is one thing, but your role as the leader is the lead them. You can’t be happy just being good, but you should have a clear vision of what success looks like for your organization with clear goals that the team needs to reach.
You need to have a focused direction for the team to follow. Otherwise, you might waste time, energy, and resources pursuing the wrong goals, or, even worse, you won’t move anywhere. Make sure that you clearly dictate this path and direction to your team rather than keeping it as a secret plan only you can know.
Make a Game Plan
Moving on from the last point, with your clear direction and goal, it’s now to put pen to paper (or curser to spreadsheet) and create a roadmap to success. This roadmap should feature clear, detailed milestones, so you know that the team is on the right path and making progress towards the ultimate win.
Each plan will look different depending on how many people are on the team and what your SAM strategy is. Either way, make sure that your plan tells a clear story and is easy to understand for all of the team members. The clearer it is, the easier the small steps to reach the goal will be.
If you struggle to put your ideas down, using a tool like Kapta, you can access predetermined roadmaps and account templates, so you don’t have to start from scratch. Instead, you can just fill in the blanks and get moving.
Assemble the Team and Gather Your Gear
Now that you’ve motivated your team members and created a clear, detailed roadmap towards success, the next step is to evaluate and determine the necessary resources to make your goals a reality.
Every organization will have different resources. While one company will have a tech support team of 20 people, another might just have two dedicated support technicians. This varies across the board, so you’ll need to take a look at all of the people and resources you have at your disposal and find a way to maximize efficiency and improve the effectiveness of every department.
The critical thing to note here is that you don’t want to stretch any department too thin. Instead, you want everyone to have just enough responsibilities that they’re helping the team move forward as fast as possible, while also not overloading them, leading to avoidable mistakes and bottlenecks.
Work closely with every team to determine their capabilities and skillset, so you’re putting everyone in the right place. Think of your team like a well-oiled machine working in beautiful harmony to smash through goals rather than a group of individuals doing their own thing.
SAM is a long-term game that lasts longer than four quarters or three periods. Reaching your goals could take years depending on how large they are. Even so, the most important thing to help you achieve these goals is to create momentum for the entire team.
A crucial part of creating momentum means that you celebrate every win, no matter how big or small it is. In fact, we’ve found that celebrating the small victories can help more in the long-run.
Small wins are more frequent, and by celebrating and acknowledging them, you’re showing the team that you care about their day to day work, and showing them that they are making a difference. Any game will have ups and downs, so building this momentum during a slow period of growth is crucial to keep the team and individual morale high.
Fill in the Gaps
Finally, you should continue to coach and build the skill set of your team members. Be proactive as a leader and look for small areas of improvement. Even just changing a little thing can have a significant impact on the bigger picture of your team and their progress. Coach around the gaps, and pretty soon you’ll have a water-tight team that is 100% lean, mean, and efficient.
How Kapta Can Help
Keeping everyone organized and maintaining focus on the goals and milestones of your account can be tricky when using basic software. Choose a SAM platform designed specifically for SAM and request a free demo of Kapta today.