Account managers need procurement training

Avi Dan’s column, “Rebuilding the Bridge” [A&C, Sept. 26], raises a number of important points regarding the current role of account management. Moving forward, one important development that is critical to account management, as well as to the CFO, is the new involvement of client sourcing, i.e., procurement management, in agency relations—especially within the context of contract negotiation. Avi discusses how brief the average CMO’s tenure is in today’s business environment. On the other hand, corporate-procurement personnel are in place beyond five years. They seek “relationships” with their vendors, which now include their agency partners. Account personnel, at least from the midlevel up, need to be better educated on the agency’s financial business model and understand procurement language, how these executives function and what they are seeking in their interaction with vendors.

Agencies will be best served if they train account personnel accordingly. A simple example would be leading the way with creative and new business to create agency credentials that will resonate with procurement. Nothing turns off sourcing more than agency “selling tools” that have lots of pretty pictures without statements of quantifiable results. Also, the agency needs to demonstrate any internal agency processes which generate accountability.

These changes will be an integral part of the opportunities set forth in Avi Dan’s piece.

Alan Krinsky


Alan Krinsky Associates

New York

For the record: In last week’s Just Asking [Briefs, Sept. 26], the wrong photo ran with the quote from FCBi’s Mach Arom. The photo was of TBWA\Chiat\Day’s Eric Grunbaum.

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