Account planning is essential to growing the organization’s strategic accounts, which typically comprise the majority of revenue and growth potential. While most sales organizations are familiar with account planning, most don’t do it consistently or effectively and have become jaded by the perfunctory processes of the past. But effective account strategy and planning can make the difference between a sales team having sporadic performance and a sales team getting consistently great and predictable performance. Creating and managing a living account planning process is well worth the effort and differentiates the sales teams that win consistently from the rest of the pack.
Every sales organization is unique, but most have similar challenges and succeed with a common set of account planning principles. All sales organizations can leverage the following five imperatives (explored in our book, Essential Account Planning) as landmarks on their path to long-term account planning success and more predictable revenue growth.
- Use the Right Structure. Know how account planning fits within your overall sales strategy, who’s accountable, and the approach the teams will use.
- Set an Effective Goal. Leverage the information you have on our highest potential customers to set informed goals that are supported by achievable action plans.
- Create the Habits. Build and operate a living account planning process that the team manages, tracks, and makes visible to the organization throughout the year.
- Understand the Politics. Know what drives behavior in the organization across the sales team and across functions, then understand how to get alignment to a common objective.
- Think Big. Stretch the team to think aspirationally, rather than incrementally, about how they can grow the business by major leaps over the next five years.
SalesGlobe can work with your sales organization to understand your customers, segments, and goals. We can help you implement an effective living account planning process in your organization that informs the organization, inspires performance, creates accountability and visibility, and gets results.