Major account teams strive so hard to create client-focused solutions. However, no matter how insightful the solution proposed, there can be stakeholder resistance. And not only from the client side of the table.
This scenario frustrates not only the major account teams. But also, the internal stakeholders serving as resources for these teams as they focus on their client’s success. When this scenario is the norm, not only do account leaders run the risk of negative customer experience. In addition, they run the risk of negative employee experience and potentially, burnout.
While some days it seems like your major client gets out of bed just to create a chaotic day for the major account team, there just may be a story behind that story.
Today we discuss a short debrief from a recent workshop I gave on the power of storytelling for stakeholder buy-in.
Major account teams are characterized by a diverse group of players from both the business, as well as operations, side of the table. And no matter how long we work with one another, the cast of characters changes over time. On our side as well as well as on the client side.
Plus, we all have absolutely no doubt that the pace and cadence of technology in digitally-transforming, Industry 4.0 organizations keeps us all playing catch up. And that is just to stay even with what is next.
When major account teams experience stakeholder pushback, consider that Industry 4.0 machinery and software interfaces can communicate more compatibly than their human counterparts.
- First, are the proposed outcomes by account team engineering or technology professionals truly a reflection of what needs to happen next?
- Or, are proposals still based on reacting to and fixing issues after they have occurred?
- Or instead, on eliminating waste, reducing downtime and increasing efficiency, moving forward?
- Next, are proposals by account team sales professionals internally focused on preventing customer churn and risk prevention, rather than also proposing innovation?
Consider whether this scenario reflects yesterday’s table stakes, instead of today’s key drivers of major account team differentiation.
When a major account team focuses on narrating business cases to justify client investment, in anticipation of the benefit of the organization’s tools, products and services, they sell themselves short. Over the long run.
Consider that customer and stakeholder resistance reflects a conceptual and communication disconnect. Not all internal and external stakeholders may understand the terminology and logic used for proposed solutions. And, not all stakeholders understand the strategic and innovative implications of what is fixed, even when we are reacting to a client scenario. Rather than being out in front of the emergent situation, because we are proactive and anticipatory.
When major account teams serve stakeholders in a disconnected manner, stakeholders have only one decision to make.
They push back and are resistant to moving forward with investing in the proposed solution. Or, they do not recognize the value of how your team is moving mountains, on their behalf.
When major account teams rely on yesterday’s behaviors, beliefs and communication patterns, internal and external stakeholders remain compartmentalized from creating strategic value.
It does not have to be that way, anymore.
Instead of relying on business cases to continue generating stakeholder resistance, learn how to tell stories. Connect your culture to theirs.
How does storytelling for STEM professionals and left brain thinkers fit into your major account team strategy?
Storytelling is the key to productive and profitable convergence and collaboration.
- Planning your next corporate or association meeting? Engage me to present one of my Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs.
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Babette Ten Haken‘s One Millimeter Mindset™ Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs are created for organizations and associations who want to catalyze stakeholder success and customer retention. There is no better way than storytelling to bridge communication disconnects between professional disciplines, paygrades and levels of education. Her programs are forged from her background as a STEM professional in clinical research, new product development, market research and sales. Find out more right here. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform.
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