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IBM Strategic Account Plan Program (ISAP)

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Company: IBM, Armonk, NY
Company Description: IBM is a values-based enterprise of individuals who create & apply technology to make the world work better. Today, more than 377,000 IBM employees around the world invent and integrate hardware, software and services to help forward-thinking enterprises, institutions and people succeed on a smarter planet.
Nomination Category: New Product & Service Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Collaboration Solution – New

Nomination Title: IBM Strategic Account Plan Program (ISAP)

Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 650 words). Describe its function, features, benefits, and sales to date:

IBM Strategic Account Planning (ISAP) is an innovative client management program focused on the development and management of long-term, collaborative growth strategies for IBM Client teams. The purpose of the program is to bring together a unified cross-business unit IBM team to develop a multi-year, iterative account strategy with a focus on understanding the client’s goals, developing IBM initiatives and solutions to support these client goals with actionable plans. A focus on client stakeholder management and building CXO relationships and securing key IBM cross-brand, technical and industry resources are critical elements.

In July of 2016, the IBM team embarked on a transformation of the program, formerly named Client Growth Strategic Planning. The challenge was to take the former program that focused on an annual internal activity to set long term aspirational revenue projections by client into a dynamic and collaborative client centric platform for growth. The first phase of the transformation began with a shift in program focus from an internal IBM planning process to an external client focused strategy program. The IBM team re-branded the program and application to IBM Strategic Account Planning (ISAP) and incorporated value- added features to drive client insights and client strategy.

In January of 2017, the team launched a transformed workshop process that incorporated principles of IBM Design Thinking and teaming to change how account teams think about strategic 2-3 year opportunities with clients aligned to the client goals. The new workshop promotes cross-team collaboration and building robust stakeholder management strategies. Output from the workshop discussions forms the foundation from which the account teams can drive long-term strategies and align short-term opportunities.

In March of 2017, the team deployed ISAP web application innovations including customizable, real-time client news feeds, daily feeds to the opportunity management system data and a strategy summary view with ability to export to MS Powerpoint. The key to a successful client management platform is having visibility to seeing long term strategic initiatives morph into tactical opportunities in the downstream opportunity management system which is one of our key measures of success.

ISAP application also links to dashboards which provide data insights on account plans for each geography and market leader. The data insights support driving revenue growth for IBM by identifying aggregated client plan data on goals, industry solutions, strategic imperatives and market dynamics. The plan data indicates that client team’s using ISAP are identifying 3 times more big initiatives in IBM’s key areas of growth and turning those initiatives into opportunities.

The three transformed components of the ISAP program are providing value for our IBM client teams.

-An innovative account plan workshop utilizing IBM Design Thinking methodologies to focus the account team on the client needs and can include the client team to drive co-creation.
-The ISAP web application providing the single, secure source planning tool for the IBM account team to collaborate and maintain "one view" of the client while incorporating IBM strategic imperatives to guide the account team strategy.
-ISAP Insights Dashboard incorporating Watson Analytics technology to provide insights to our market and industry leaders which drives IBM growth with our clients and automated by Robotics Process Automation bringing weekly data refreshes to the stakeholders.

In the past, IBM account teams focused on what IBM had to sell. With the new ISAP program approach, account teams focus on what clients need to support their strategy and goals and how best to partner with our clients to build long-term relationships. The strategic account plan process used to be an annual process and with the support of the new program workshop and application, the account teams are planning more iteratively to bring the client into the discussion to form a true partnership. This is now a truly cross-IBM client driven approach.