Account Planning, But Better
What is account planning?
Account planning is a process salespeople use to identify the most important details about a prospect or customer, including the who, what, and why that are part of a potential deal. An account plan is the output of that process, typically a document or slide deck, that contains this information.
Real talk, though? Account plans usually get made because your boss’s boss asked. Then, they languish in your shared drive. Last viewed date: February. Strategic account plans, however, can actually be your direct roadmap to deals.
An effective account plan is a living, breathing resource that does 4 things:
- Documents your customer’s or prospect’s strategic priorities
- Identifies ways for you to connect with buyers by aligning your use cases with their strategic priorities
- Maps out an investment strategy for long-term customer engagement
- Details the specifics—who does what and when—of that engagement
Account planning is about empathizing with customers and building trust. Ultimately, a deep understanding of the customer and their needs opens the door to influence.
B2B buyers have high expectations for vendors to understand them. But, 70 percent say sellers aren’t providing the deeper relationships they’d like. Customers want partners instead of vendors––your business needs to solve problems instead of just selling.
To grow key accounts and close new deals, account managers must become invested in customer success. But no single strategy will work for all clients––that’s where creating a well-researched evolving account plan comes in.
Account planning should never feel like a waste of time. This series is all about streamlining efforts for maximum return on hours invested. Follow along as we walk through a foolproof 3-slide template for account planning, from research to execution.Read more: How to Do Account Planning That’s Actually Useful