5 STEPS TO SUCCESSFULLY MANAGE STRATEGIC ACCOUNTS
It is a well-known fact that almost 80 percent of all the profit of most organizations comes from only a twenty-percent of their customer base. Managers and decision makers within these organizations do not have a clear understanding of who these customers really are. Without knowing this, they cannot properly apportion the resources to such customers nor can they have their sales team to track such profitable accounts.
If a particular organization gains an understanding of how to properly manage such lucrative accounts, they can have their profits rise significantly. Read on to find out the five steps to accomplish this.
STEP 1: CREATE A STANDARDIZED SELECTION CRITERIA
A lack of having an objective way of selecting accounts is among one of the leading causes that limit the profitability of a company. The sales teams do not know which accounts to include and which ones to leave out.
Creating a certain selection criteria is an ideal way of weighing the importance of a certain account. A minimum of 5 to 7 criteria should be established and reviewed for each account. This method will prevent any unwanted political pressure or influence to provide ‘special treatment’ to accounts that don’t really deserve it.
STEP 2: OUTLINE AN ACCOUNT PLAN
After an account has been selected based on the established criteria, a well-laid out strategy is necessary to encourage mutual growth. Instead of reviewing the account on the basis of the transaction flow (for the next 3 to 12 months), a strategic account plan focuses on the client’s growth over an extended period – for the next 2 to 3 years.
This will enable your organization to become a true strategic partner and will provide real value for your customers.
STEP 3: ALLOT DUE RESOURCES
Those accounts that provide the most provide deserve to have a lot of attention and sufficient resources. A well-crafted account plan will prevent any conflicts in terms of resource allocation and will enable your company to be upbeat in the way it assigns limited resources to competitive accounts.
STEP 4: IMPLEMENT THE PLAN
A plan is developed to be implemented, and not to be shelved. Shelving a plan is no less than a huge blunder. Account plans are normally developed in Excel, Word, or Microsoft PowerPoint format; even though they may look visually appealing, they typically do not allow for accountability.
Success is directly proportional to the accountability of your sales people. To review the impact of the plan once it is implemented, cadence reporting must be set up to analyze the progress.
STEP 5: OBSERVE THE PERFORMANCE
Even though it is crucial to make sure that your company is performing its job properly regarding the key account; it is equally important to make sure that the key account is meeting your company’s needs. Even though special treatment of an account is no less than a privilege, in some cases some accounts simply do not perform on par with the level that is acceptable. If this happens, you will have to apply corrective action or even an exit review.
Until next time, if you like to chat with me please feel free to contact me.