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The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

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Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

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The Strategic Account Conundrum

Posted on: 03 December '09

During these tough economic conditions, many companies have turned to a strategy employed in the 1980s and 1990s: buying companies to create a larger portfolio of products and services for their clients. Just within MindTree’s industry, we have seen Dell, Xerox, and HP all acquire services companies this year. The hope is that by casting a very wide net, large conglomerates are well positioned for most IT opportunities that are presented to them.

This strategy is wrought with many concerns in my opinion. One concern is that the acquiring companies are about products; and the acquired companies are about people. Marrying these cultures so they peacefully coexist is very hard to do.

But what I want to discuss in this blog concerns sales and marketing organizations. Companies with complex offerings and broad product/service offerings need to harness the plethora of disparate marketing messages they are (unwittingly) communicating to their key clients. It must become our job as sales and marketing professionals to confront the complexity of our organizations and ‘shield’ this from clients.

How is this accomplished? The solution lies in creating new approaches to strategic account programs to help match the right messages and capabilities to client’s problems. Instead of having different sales reps assigned to different buyers within an account, companies will be better off assigning a single account executive, supported by an account team of pre-sales specialists, to a client. The account executive cannot be expected to have deep domain knowledge in every area of the business. But he/she can be expected to coordinate, to orchestrate, the communication between the account team and the client.

In the transformation process to look and act like one company, marketing organizations need to ramp up their own programs to provide the right field support on an account-by-account basis for key clients. Marketing and sales professionals must work together to convince senior management that staying with legacy sales models is not the right approach to take.

Are you and your company up to the challenge?

Mindtree Blog Archives

Mindtree blog Archives are a collection of blogs by various authors who have independently contributed as thought leaders in the past. We may or may not be in a position to get the authors to respond to your comments.

  • Vijay. M

    Dear Joe,

    Managing to meet the clients’ expectations by always being consistent about our product and service offerings is an important factor for any IT company.

    As you have mentioned the sales team has be made aware of the changes that have occurred because of M&A’s. A successful transfer of knowledge about the new offerings will help garner new clients and retain the existing ones.

    Regards, Vijay

  • Sanjay

    It’s good to study HP/Compaq case here. Its nicely written and available at


  • Hi Joe,
    Account management teams seem to be the way to go, not only when companies become huge because of inorganic growth but also when they become unwieldy because of organic growth. The issue here is: Who should an account manager be? Should he/she be a new recruit or someone from one of the existing business units/ service lines.
    If the latter, he/she is bound to have more expertise on a particular domain and hard sell that and ignore the others, much to the chagrin of the other business units.
    Would love your views on what makes a good account manager.

  • I think you said the magic word: consistency. Yes, KT is an important after M&A with the main objective being to reach a level of consistency amongst the “old and the new guard.” But what about companies that are just on the fast path to growth? They will face similar problems I feel.

  • I will check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  • Dear Lubna:

    I agree. In fact before reading your response I commented to Vijay that companies that grow organically face a similar challenge.

    What makes a good account manager…you are stealing thunder from my next blog! Stay tuned and tell me what you think. Thanks as always for reading.