Adobe Systems Incorporated

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: Adobe Systems Incorporated, San Jose, CA
Company Description: Adobe is the global leader in digital marketing & digital media solutions. Our tools & services allow our customers to create groundbreaking digital content, deploy it across media and devices, measure & optimize it over time, & achieve greater business success. We help our customers make, manage, measure, & monetize their content across every channel and screen.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: National Sales Team of the Year

Nomination Title: Adobe Strategic Accounts Sales Team

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2013 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

Summary of Achievements

• Since July 2013, Adobe’s Strategic Accounts Team increased sales over the prior year by 300%. This translates to $90 million in company revenue.

• The number of Strategic Accounts nearly tripled, increasing from 22 to 60 key customers.

• The average deal size increased almost 300%, reflecting a move from product to integrated platform and services sales.

• The Sales Team recorded the best satisfaction scores and retention rates in the company’s history.


Factors for Success

These achievements are due to many factors: insightful leadership, investment in programs that ensure our customers’ success, and implementing a new Account Management structure that effectively and efficiently addresses the needs of more complex, integrated platform sales.

Leadership and Vision

• Robbie Traube, VP of Sales, assembled an excellent team, set aggressive goals, and provided the essential resources to enable this achievement. With Adobe marketing teams, he introduced a customer/account-focused sales strategy and process that drives success for both Adobe and its customer partners.

• Adobe C-level Executives and SVPs are Executive Sponsors of key strategic accounts, providing support, strengthening relationships, and identifying opportunities to advance our industry.

• The Sales Team focused on achieving Sales Goals, while maintaining the Adobe vision of ensuring that every experience with an Adobe product or person delights the customer.

Investing in the Customer’s Success

• Adobe conducted more than 125 outreach, education, relationship and community building events with customers.

• We exchange ideas on changing markets and customer needs at events, (e.g. Dinner & Dialogue, CMO Roundtables, Executive Forums), and seek feedback through customized surveys. This information is shared broadly, so product and sales strategies are grounded and customer-centric.

Example Survey:
https://jfe.qualtrics.com/form/SV_bBJKSMu7adVuMDj

• Through a mix of events, our teams meet with all levels of customers, from senior executives to practitioners. As such, we understand business objectives and help implementers plan for upcoming Adobe solutions.

• At regular on site training sessions, we help customers maximize the value of current Adobe investments. This establishes credibility between Adobe and its customers and sparks the beginning of new sales cycles.

Example: http://adobedays.adobeeventsonline.com/Comcast/2014/invite.html

• For the executives in our Strategic Accounts, peer-to-peer learning is a vital resource. We provide many opportunities for sharing of best practices/pitfalls to avoid. We learn from each exchange, as well.

New Account Management Processes

As Adobe shifts from selling products to platform solutions, sales grow more complex. We reach into new parts of our customers’ organizations (Product Development, Marketing, IT, Promotions, Research). This requires a more sophisticated, cross-functional Sales approach, and our new Account Management Process provides the foundation.

• Strategic Account Executives assemble cross-functional Account Management teams weekly to strategize and execute plans for each customer’s success. SAEs meet customers on site 1-2 times per month, ensuring that Adobe is meeting their teams’ expectations.

• Account Managers conduct more than 40 Customer Reviews each quarter, so that no issue or opportunity for improvement goes unaddressed.

• Adobe fine-tuned the resources and collaborators that assist Account Management teams: Field Marketing, Business Units (product development), Legal, Financial, Solutions Consulting and Value Engineering, Engagement Management and Consulting, Sales Training, Customer Care, Service and Support. Info is stored/shared via Best Practices Portals so teams can leverage proven strategies, and waste no time reinventing the wheel.

• We share Customer Satisfactions Scores monthly with the entire Sales Organization and add support as needed. From July 2013, satisfaction and retention scores set records soaring over 25% higher than accounts outside of Adobe’s Strategic Accounts Program.

Conclusion

To achieve aggressive sales goals, while migrating to the sale of more advanced systems, our team had to test, adjust, prove, scale, and benchmark a new Sales strategy and Account Management process.

Based on the success of our Strategic Accounts team, this sales model is being extended to Adobe’s international teams who will apply our best practices and benefit from a true global approach.

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