Our winners showcase what's possible when companies put the customer at the center of their business strategy.

Category 1: “Systematic enablement of the SAM program”

Winner:  AVI-SPL

Summary: Winner’s SAM Program Office has developed an extensive set of standardized processes and tools for enabling internal alignment, program scale and tangible client value across all strategic accounts. These include standardized communication plans, analytics dashboards, a bi-annual account qualification process, strategic account plan automation, client playbooks, product management automation and a standardized communication platform.


  • 127% increase of average Net Promoter Score
  • 280% increase in wallet share
  • 70% increase in mix of services


Category 2: “Innovative value co-creation”

Winner: Clarios

Summary: Clarios co-created a solution with a customer to attract and convince drivers (our customer’s customer’s customers) that a workshop is the best place for battery sales, installation, and service. The project represents a counter-intuitive concept: using the internet to guide and strengthen instead of replacing them.


  • For Clarios:
    • 64% volume growth in FY21
    • Truly Loyal increased from 86% in 2019 to 100% in 2021
    • Net Promoter Score increased from 14% 2019 to 50% in 2021
  • For Clarios’s customer:
    • 2 – 3% increase in market share, primarily driven by Clarios brand
  • For Clarios’s customer’s customer:
    • 14% growth for all workshops (participating and non-participating in Website) for all batteries
    • 20% growth for participating Website workshops in battery sales (multiple brands)
    • 39% growth for participating Website workshops in premium battery sales (VARTA)
  • Awards: Largest Supplier and Supplier with the Highest Improvement in the battery category from our customer, a key international account in the European aftermarket


Category 3: “Outstanding young program of the year (< 5 years)”

Co-winner:  Owens Corning

Summary: Winner recognized the need to adopt a formal strategic account management program after low-cost competitors had slowly eroded its market share in its very mature composites market segments. Sales and Marketing leaders in North America collaborated to design its first-ever strategic account management operating model and management system with the aspiration to become the partner of choice for customers who rely on Owens Corning to deliver productivity and growth in ways others cannot.


  • Achieved a record Net Promoter Score (NPS) score of 86 – a 28-point increase from the prior year
  • In year one after program inception, the North American Composites business gained:
        - 4 points of market share
        - A 20% increase in volume
        - A 31% increase in revenue
        - 75% increase in standard gross margin vs. prior year

Category 4: "Outstanding mature program of the year (> 5 years)"

Co-winner:  Brenntag

Summary: Having established Brenntag`s Global Key Account Program in 2009, the successful CAGR became increasingly challenged by the burden of internal complexity. This was compounded by an increasing customer requirement to align consolidation and simplification activities across multiple global regions. 

In 2020, Brenntag started a comprehensive transformation program known as Project Brenntag. The strategic elements of the transformation presented the opportunity to implement significant enhancements to Brenntag`s key account program. The  goal was delivering greatest organizational clarity, globally harmonized processes and best practices, accelerating organic growth, increasing market share and meeting ambitious growth targets for the new global Brenntag organization.


  • Double-digit growth year over year, with significant growth during the past 12 months.
  • Number of items/lines sold increased 10% year over year
  • Net promoter score and customer satisfaction scores significantly higher than the overall company


Co-winner:  AVI-SPL

Summary: Established in 2018, the AVI-SPL program set out to drive long-term value through strategic alignment with its most valued, global clients. Since the beginning, AVI-SPL has had strong momentum and incredible measurable returns in profitability, wallet share, expansion to new F100 clients, and dramatic gains in strategic relationships. This next phase focus was:  

  • Scale – using automation and centralized processes for global consistency while maintaining that special “privilege of focus” with their clients
  • Next Level Client Benefits – customer-facing dashboards along the full customer journey to find new engagement areas
  • Enhanced Customer Advisory Board (C-Suite level participation)
  • New Partnership Scorecard – beyond NPS and CSAT (more meaningful and conversational input)

In addition to the amazing increase in NPS (+127%), Wallet Share (+280%) and Product Mix (+70%), with additional, KPI successes:  

  • Program Scale: Cost as % revenue – Down 30%  
  • SAM Accounts vs. non-SAM – 15 points higher gross margin
  • SAM Accounts vs. Industry – 300% better CAGR
  • Retention Value of Strategic Account – over 30% of AVISPL total company revenue

2023 Submissions



"SAM as the leader" — Winner: Royal Ambulance
"Innovative value co-creation" — Winner: Pfizer
"Outstanding young SAM program of the year (<5 years)" — Winner: Aramex
"Outstanding mature SAM program of the year (>5 years)" — Winner: AVI-SPL


"Customer co-creation that creates mutual business value" — Winner: Hilton and Johnson Controls (joint submission)
"Institutionalization of digitalization to create meaningful customer impact" — Winner: AVI-SPL
"Outstanding young SAM program of the year (<5 years)" — Winner: Wajax
"Outstanding young SAM program of the year (<5 years)" — Winner: AVI-SPL
"Outstanding mature SAM program of the year (>5 years)" — Winner: Schneider Electric


"Implementation of a disciplined process to quantify and monetize specific customer value solutions" — Winner: AVI-SPL
"Implementation of specific customer engagement strategies enabling, and successfully impacting, the co-value creation process" — Co-winner: Premier/Merck and Air Liquide
"Outstanding young SAM program of the year (<5 years)" — Winner: AVI-SPL
"Outstanding mature SAM program of the year (>5 years)" — Winner: Johnson Controls, Inc.
"SAMA Global Customer-Centricity Award" — Winner: Boehringer Ingelheim


"Outstanding internal branding of a SAM organization across the company" — Winner: Pfizer
"Outstanding customer account team design, management and performance" — Winner: 3M
"Outstanding use of data and digitally-based processes to impact co-creation" — Winner: Arcadis
"Outstanding young SAM program of the year (<5 years)" — Winner: Arcadis
"Outstanding mature SAM program of the year (>5 years)" — Winner: 3M


"Successful implementation of value negotiation plan and subsequent execution" — Winner: 3M and DHL
"Successful implementation of value innovation within the supply chain" — Winner: Adobe
"Outstanding SAM program leadership for young programs" — Winner: DHL
"Outstanding SAM program leadership for mature programs" — Winner: Nalco Water
Special congratulations to honorable mentions:
Merck for "Outstanding SAM program leadership for young programs"
3M for "Outstanding SAM program leadership for mature programs"


"Internal alignment of key stakeholders across the company to a strategic customer" — Winner: DHL
"Customer insights and collaborative interactions leading to a mutually successful and jointly developed customer solution" — Winner: DHL
"Outstanding SAM program leadership for young programs (<5 years)" — Winner: Johnson Controls, Building Efficiency North America division
"Outstanding SAM program leadership for mature programs (5+ years)" — Winner: Zurich Insurance


"For use of business technology to discover and share customer insights" — Winner: DHL
"For customer-driven innovation" — Winner: DHL
"For Impact on customer metrics using a joint scorecard" — Winner: SKF


"Superior execution of a strategic account plan resulting in mutual customer-supplier growth and profitability" — Winner: Johnson Controls, Inc.
"Excellence in efficiently segmented and integrated account coverage" — Winner: Siemens AG
"Selecting, developing and coaching the strategic account manager" — Winner: Schneider Electric


2013 | Hilton Worldwide

2012 | Emerson Process Management

2011 | Siemens

2010 | Cisco

2009 | DHL

2008 | Xerox

2007 | Schneider-Electric

2006 | Cisco

2005 | Nalco Company

2004 | Marriott International

2003 | Siemens

2002 | PriceWaterhouseCoopers

2001 | ARCADIS, NV

2000 | Boise Cascade Office

1999 | Eastman Chemical Co.

1998 | American Express

1997 | Hewlett-Packard

1996 | Procter & Gamble

1995 | Bell Atlantic Mobile

1994 | MCI Telecommunications

1993 | Olin Corporation

1992 | The Upjohn Company

1991 | Fritz Companies, Inc.

1990 | Akzo Chemicals

1989 | Occidental Chemical Corp.

1988 | Cascade Corporation

1987 | Moore Business Forms

1986 | Gold Bond Building

1985 | Essex Chemical Corp.

1984 | American Can Company

1983 | American Hospital Supply

1982 | Diamond Shamrock Corp.

1981 | National Can Corporation

1980 | Purex Industries, Inc.

1979 | Shell Chemical Company

1978 | FMC Corporation

1977 | Union Carbide Corporation

1976 | Borden, Inc.

1975 | IBM Corporation

1974 | International Paper Co.

1973 | Koppers Company

1972 | Star Manufacturing Co.

1971 | Norton Simon, Inc.

1970 | Walter Kidde & Company

1969 | American Can Company

1968 | Borden Chemical

1967 | Eastman Kodak

1966 | 3M Company

1965 | U.S. Chamber of Commerce