Category Archives: strategic account planning
How to Transition Your People from Taking Orders to Developing Key Accounts Strategically
Without process and metrics, it is difficult to determine if your account managers are taking orders or managing key accounts strategically. It is tempting for salespeople to enjoy the easy money of fulfilling orders and avoid “rocking the boat” to push the customer to do more with you. However, that complacent behavior can backfire quickly if a key contact in an account leaves or changes positions. Forget about growth — your business in the account could evaporate instantly. You can’t take that risk. You need better insight into the account and activity.
Protecting and growing key accounts is essential to the well-being of any organization and is too important to be managed reactively. Account managers are part of a business and need to have both short-term and long-term plans for that business. An account development process provides this type of short-term and long-term planning for your large accounts. Good account plans provide checkpoints; measurable objectives that allow you to see if progress is being made. Equally important are checkpoints that let you spot and correct small problems before they become major issues. Plans often change, but they can provide a place to start.
Some organizations have specialized account managers, and others expect their salespeople to play the role of both hunter and farmer. However, planning is not typically » Continue Reading.
Why a Collaborative Approach to Account Development Creates Better Outcomes
Ask most people, “What word stands out to you in the phrase ‘Collaborative Account Development?’” Most point to the word “collaborative” — working together. In the case of sales, this is working together, with a client, to meet client needs. However, a tendency of companies is to try and sell by telling the clients what they can do for them rather than by working together as partners to build solutions.
Why should you consider adopting a more collaborative approach to working with large clients? Being collaborative allows you to differentiate your personal brand and create mutual gain for your client’s organization and for your company. As a result, you become known to your client, and within your own company, as a person who can bring real value to both organizations.
Because the business environment in which your clients operate has become more challenging, you need to increase your proficiency in identifying and meeting needs in order to have credibility as a trusted advisor, one who helps the client decide how to buy and doesn’t just sell.
In the current business environment, strong external forces are shaping how companies act and react. Globalization has changed who companies sell to, who they buy from, and where they locate operations. Fewer resources have intensified the search for value at a specific price point. People are less certain and more anxious about their jobs » Continue Reading.
When thinking about growing an account, it’s helpful to frame the sales opportunities for you to pursue in three selling modes: Respond. Shape. Create. Join Richardson’s SVP, Andrea Grodnitzky in this short video where she looks at the importance of each mode.
Complimentary White Paper – Six Best Practices for Leveraging Strategic Accounts to Consistently Achieve Annual Sales Success