Since we are nearing the beginning of a new Year, it seems that I have to talk about the topic that many Sales People Groan about:
Or More Properly – the Process I developed is Account Execution Planning
This is about Tight Linkage within the Plan:
1. Goals: There are 3 we focus on:
A. Relationship Management
B. Roadmap to Revenue
C. Customer Success
If anyone tells me that they don’t need all 3 of these, I always respond with “You don’t really want to do an Account Plan, you want to go Sell Things.”
After Goals, you have:
2. Objectives – Sets of Action Items that will be done over time.
3. Actions or Tactics – The Items that will be Executed against.
Tight linkage within the plan – top-down and bottom-up – is the only way to ensure Success.
Sales Planning is generally a skill that has to be developed by Sales Professionals. Not many sales people are blessed with planning as a natural skill set.
The problem with the strength of “getting things done” is that, if you plan to work with a customer long-term, you have to build a long- term plan.
In my experience, Sales Teams tend to have an easier time building the Actions within the plan. As they move to up to Objectives and Goals the Plan becomes a bit more confusing. That is why the the Build process works the best Top Down.
A Plan prevents Sales Teams from getting lost. A Plan helps the Sales Team understand how all the account activity ties together and leads to a defined outcome. By having a solid Plan, Sales Teams are in a better position to ensure the work the hard work going into each particular account will always lead towards the defined end game.
1. No Box Checking: If you are just doing it because “have to do a Plan,” don’t bother. It is a waste of time.
2. Maintain the Plan: Things will keep changing. Keep the Plan updated.
3. Customer Should be on Board: While you don’t share the Whole Plan, you can share enough where they know that you are focused on them
4. Agreed upon Time frame for Plan: You need to put a plan together and lay out a reasonable Time frame for Real Execution!