Fact is, that our key customer accounts must be protected and managed effectively to grow them to their full potential. By implementing a solid account plan, our next year targets will be more transparent and easier to achieve and, thus, help us to strengthen our relationship with our key clients.
In my experience, the majority of account executives do not effectively account plan for one reason or an another. The main one being that they see themselves as a reactive resource for the client. You can fill your day by dealing with mundane requests, and only responding to sales enquiries when the client approaches you directly. However, an account executive with a clear account strategy will much more likely be seen as a trusted advisor and not a vendor by the client. By showing true value to your customers you are able to help solve challenges that they are facing and potential hurdles. This in turn will strengthen your relationship with the client making it less likely that you will lose them in the future and more likely to generate more business with them in return.
Another major benefit of account planning is that it allows your internal team to sit down for a few moments and discuss the client’s account in more detail. In many companies there are several departments that are involved with the same account, and most account executives do not have all the information that is required to grow the clients account. By running an internal workshop for each account, the account executive will gain insights that might normally be lost in the day to day grind of business.
By effectively applying account planning you can expect;
- To build a value road map for years ahead with your clients
- Identify high value relationships within a clients’ organisation
- Uncover opportunities for up and cross selling
- Be seen as a trusted advisor and not as a vendor or reactive customer service department
- Avoid losing key accounts to your rivals
- Have a living document that will grow overtime
So with all these potential benefits why are we not all running more account planning sessions in our companies?
At PDAgroup we can run account planning sessions with your account team to make sure that you grow your business from your existing account base and benefit from having an effective account planning strategy.
Contact us to learn more about Account Planning sessions, as well as the range of hands-on methods and tools essential to Account Planners’ to succeed.