SAMA University Courses for Strategic Account Managers

All SAMA University courses are Open Enrollment, meaning that attendees need not be CSAM (Certified Strategic Account Manager) candidates in order to attend. However, these in-person courses are part of the required curriculum for certification. For more information, visit

The schedules, courses and faculty for SAMA University & SAMA Academy are subject to change.

Questions regarding session content, please contact Elisabeth Cornell at

Questions regarding registration, please contact Rhodonna Espinosa at

Click a Session title below for a description
Monday | June 18 Tuesday | June 19 Wednesday | June 20 Thursday | June 21
1: Critical Skills for Strategic Account Managers (2 day) FoundationalSAMA Certification 3: Keys to Effective Strategic Account Planning(2 day) FoundationalAdvancedSAMA Certification
2: Buyer's Perspective: Create, Communicate and Quantify Value for CXO Impact (2 day) FoundationalSAMA Certification Cancelled 4: Strategic Negotiation: Changing the Conversation from Price to Solutions FoundationalAdvancedSAMA Certification 5: Leading & Managing a Multifunctional Team FoundationalSAMA Certification

1 | Critical Skills for Strategic Account Managers (2-Day Session)

Faculty:LaVon Koerner, President, Revenue Storm Corporation
Being an account manager is not just a "glorified" sales job. Performing the intricacies of managing a strategic account is a balanced blend of business management, sales management, and financial management competencies. This workshop is for account managers who want to raise their overall level of account management competency in order to protect and grow wallet share.

Topics Covered:
  • How to increase account team productivity while providing measurable customer value
  • Choosing a go-to-market strategy for a particular account
  • Supporting revenue goals with accurate, verifiable, customer-driven data
  • Establishing a value proposition vis-à-vis your competitors
  • Understanding buying cycles, market issues and business challenges to find opportunity
  • Influencing politically powerful people on the customer side and cultivating strong relationships with them
  • Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of key relationships
Course Requirements:Pre-work will be required, using a proprietary tool that captures how a strategic account manager spends his or her time executing the account strategy. Each individual will work on a live account or opportunity of his or her own choosing. During the workshop, account managers will apply the proven processes, methods and tools taught throughout the class to the account managers' own situations. Each individual will compare his or her work to best-in-class benchmark data from high-performing strategic account managers.

2 | Buyer's Perspective: Create, Communicate and Quantify Value for CxO Impact Cancelled

Faculty: Jim Melillo, Chairman, Executive Conversation
Led by a seasoned executive who has spent a career on the other side of the desk – where your customer sits – this session shares a buyer's perspective on how investment decisions are made. You'll gain strategies for engaging executive-level buyers and effectively positioning the business value of your solution.

Learn how to:
  • Find and interpret account information to identify areas of greatest impact
  • Translate financial data and trends to identify selling opportunities
  • Align your business value with your account's prioritized initiatives
  • Quantify your value using financial metrics meaningful to your account
Course Requirements: Willingness to participate in role-playing exercises.

3 | Keys to Effective Strategic Account Planning (2-Day Session)

Faculty: Elizabeth Strong, Partner, Performance Methods, Inc.
How can you equip yourself with the strategic account management skills and tools required to be most effective in today's challenging business environment? What innovative SAM best practices can enable your account planning efforts to be more customer-focused? Why should your strategic customer care about your account plan? Answer these questions and more in this high-energy workshop in which we discover the keys to effective strategic account planning.

You will select one of your strategic customers and build an account plan during class that is based on proven, contemporary SAM best practices, skills and tools. If your company has an existing account planning tool, you can use what you learn in this workshop to inform and enhance your current planning process, not replace it.

Exercises will include participant debriefs and group discussion around innovative SAM concepts and principles.

Topics covered:
  • How to increase account team productivity while providing measurable customer value
  • How to apply the key components of an actionable, value-focused strategic account plan to one of your most important customers
  • How to harmonize short-term revenue and long-term relationship goals through a realistic and pragmatic account planning approach
  • How to focus your account planning process on what your customer values most
  • How to assess and strengthen your relationships with strategic customers
  • How to align customer and supplier business objectives through collaboration
  • How proactive coaching can help drive SAM adoption
  • How to benchmark your current account plan and planning process against industry standards

4 | Strategic Negotiation: Changing the Conversation from Price to Solutions (1-Day Session)

(formerly titled Strategic Negotiation: Claiming Value in a Negotiation & Turning in a More Profitable Deal)
Speakers: : Karen Fraser, Negotiations Consultant, Think! Inc.
The strategic account manager is uniquely positioned to undertake negotiations that will result in not just a good deal but a great deal. In this session you will bring an account negotiation with you and learn how to diagnose the underlying structure or "blueprint" of a negotiation so you can consistently start turning in great deals. This course shows strategic account managers how to use their relationships, access to information, teams and analytical abilities to forge blockbuster deals with customers.

Topics Covered:
  • How to audit and improve your personal negotiation skills for:
    • Determining and acquiring power in high-level, complex negotiations
    • Developing strategies for dealing with irrational competitive offers
    • Finding ways to create measurable business value by taking pressure off price
    • Developing effective ways to negotiate solutions vs. price
  • A structured approach to complex business negotiation
  • How to integrate this common language and process within your strategic account organization and account team
Course Requirements: Bring an account negotiation with you that we will work on and apply concepts to during the session.

5 | Leading & Managing a Multifunctional Team (1-Day)

Speaker: Jamie Barrette, Vice President, North America, Mercuri International
This course develops account managers in the essential skills for leading and managing multifunctional and sometimes geographically remote, teams. The course covers team leadership, interpersonal skills and cultural knowledge and sensitivity. Attendees will work in teams using a case study, exercises and role play, and cover key team processes including the account planning process, team building, relationship process, influence without authority and coaching.
Following each learning segment, attendees will input their own Account Team Plan to identify the relevance and application of the learning to future action items with their own account and account team

Topics Covered:
  • Building team vision and identity
  • Alignment of account and team goals
  • Business and national/regional culture and impact in teams
  • Leading the team without direct authority
  • Working with the network
  • Managing the key processes
  • Coaching and development in the team