Sales, account management, and delivery: have them work not Fight!

Alexander Sambuk
Executive Consultant, ex-COO
at Luxoft Excelian Financial Services
This topic is rather old and known and it is difficult to invent something new, on the one hand, all the people should know the topic, but, on the other hand, there can be some gaps that require additional attention.
Filling these gaps about sales and account management is the best time investment.

Why do Projects Fail?
1⃣ According to PMA, 30% of projects fail for the reason that people do not have adequate vision
or goal, and do not understand why are they doing the project.
2⃣ 28% of projects – because of inaccurate cost estimates.
3⃣ 22% of projects – limited human resources for completing the work.

💡 Three essential roles that make contribution into successful delivery, client satisfaction and time:

🔹 Sales managers should sell, generate new clients from new sources, but should not waste their time on supporting current clients, advertising, marketing, conferences, paper work.
🔹 Account Management provides client facing, when we have concluded an agreement with a client, the company is delivering products or services.

The account manager has three major responsibilities:
– in an attractive manner to present and tell the proper people about the company’s successful projects;
– to model and to help to solve conflicts and misunderstandings between the client and the delivery team;
– to increase the company’s penetration into the client business and bring more profit or to keep the client in case he decides to cut the project and terminate the agreement.
🔹 Delivery manager delivers everything: requirements, codes, releases, support.


Involvement over delivery cycle:

A Sales manager starts his work when it is obvious that a company can establish cooperation with any new interested client from any source. He does not drop a client when the first framework agreement is signed – this is a declaration about intentions.
When it becomes clear that these relations can be long-term, transition to the Account Management is done.

The Sales Manager should present the client to the Account Manager and the latter should express his interest and readiness to work with the client. This point decreases the risk that all the trash would be offered to the client.

The next important moment – is involvement of a Delivery at a rather early stage – signing of Work Order, various presale activities, approval of proposals – Sales and Delivery collaborate.

Only after that Account Management is involved.


There are two underwater rocks on way to such setup.

The first one – when you appoint these two people, not taking into account their personal compatibility. The second obstacle – we are all people and we all may argue at some point. A director or an owner should find time and take a solution to the argument. One third of projects fail because of lack of senior management involvement.
Key Performance Metrics:
From the business point of view, the Sales should bring profit, the Account and Delivery Management should bring profitability of business. Account and Delivery should cooperate, make agreements and should not argue.

The metrics that show the effectiveness of the process:
🔸 Sales: number and dynamics of leads by categories: lead closing times, cost of lead.
🔸 Account Management: number and dynamics of opportunities, cost of account management, client satisfaction;
🔸 Delivery: on-time delivery, quality of service, client satisfaction.

Main secret of successful sales: Sales People Must Sell!