The loss cycle highlights the need to capture an in-depth relationship map of the buyer-influence group, including the top three goals of each member. It also strengthens the case for creating parallel linkages between firms, linkages that can hold the overall relationship together even if one of them starts to weaken. In most cases, adversaries are born because the supplier is not carefully managing all critical relationships—not covering the bases. This can happen because the account manager is overassigned and has to "skim" some relationships. But it can also happen simply because the account manager did not learn the correct role or the critical goals and challenges of a buyer influence. In our experience firms rarely set up performance measurement systems based on the expectations of buyer influences. But those firms that do tend to have much longer and more successful relationships with strategic accounts. Below is the example of U.S. West's Vicki Towey, who determined her account's real needs and measured her performance by the hassles she was able to help her customer avoid.