Most businesses have trouble addressing the need for an Account Management Process that is truly used throughout the organization.
Actually, if it is just for the Sales Team, it can’t be called a true process. A Sales Process requires buy-in from all of those that can impact it. If not, then the Sales Team might work through their issues only to have their process overridden by other people in the organization.
This problem becomes particularly acute for Strategic Accounts. If a Sales Team is following a process specifically designed to help the company better act in a strategic fashion, and if others override the process, it will surely fail, as will the relationship with that particular client.
If the entire selling company is NOT using the process, it is probably not strategic.
There are many ways to overcome this issue. Here are some sample approaches:
• Establish ONE Sales Process that applies to all of your customers. You may have to make some exceptions for more strategic or significant accounts, but at least you will start off with a single process you can work from.
• Ensure that THE process is indeed just that, THE process and everyone in the organization, from top to bottom, follows it.
• As your organization grows, update the process to reflect the sophistication and complexity that comes with growth.
• Don’t continuously re-invent the sales process or ignore it. Execution based on a consistently utilized process, one that everyone follows, will almost always be superior to just “winging it”.
A proper process also leads to the next Great Challenge: How to successfully Address Customer Collaboration.
So, if it is Do As I Say, and not Do As I Do- you are kidding yourself.