If you’re pushing your B2B business to new heights and looking for ways to expand your brand reputation, then account planning is a must. This sales strategy involves developing a plan of action to cultivate an ideal relationship with one or more specific clients.
But how do you know if it’s right for your company? And what are some best practices to consider? In this post, let’s explore the ins and outs of account planning so that you can understand how they apply to B2B companies like yours.
Prioritize Accounts and Focus on Key Accounts
To prioritize accounts, you need to determine which ones are the most likely to buy your products and services. The best way to do this is by looking at the company’s past history of buying from your company. However, you can do it through a variety of methods.
However, Google Analytics is one of the most used sales forecasting tools. It allows you to see what companies have purchased from your business before. According to data by Renolon, more than 28 million websites use Google Analytics.
Once you’ve identified which accounts are most likely to buy, you should focus on these key customers first because they will be the most profitable for your business. Conversely, if an account isn’t likely, going to purchase anything or doesn’t provide much strategic value, it probably shouldn’t be at the top of your priority list.
Align KPIs With Sales Strategy
KPIs are a critical part of the sales process. They help you measure your progress and set realistic expectations for your team. KPIs should be aligned with your overall sales strategy and measurable so that you can track them in real-time.
Account planning is a sales strategy focusing on building long-term relationships with clients by providing them with personalized, high-quality service.
Account planning goes hand-in-hand with B2B sales because it allows you to align your KPIs with your sales strategy and ensure that they work together to support each other. With account planning in B2B sales, you can ensure that your KPIs are aligned with your sales strategy and that they will work together to support each other.
When deciding which KPIs to use, think about what’s necessary for your business. According to HubSpot, most businesses in the US use more than one KPI to track company performance and combine KPIs to reach their set target.
For example, if you’re trying to increase revenue by 20% YoY, then this is probably a good KPI for you to focus on since it has a clear measurement. The best way for companies at scale is often through interdepartmental collaboration between marketing and sales teams because both teams will benefit from having well-defined goals.
Perform a Thorough Analysis of Each Account
Once you thoroughly understand the account, it’s time to move on to the next step. First, you must remember the information you gathered while performing your analysis.
Most of the time, the employees are overburdened by the information. According to Statista, the amount of data captured, created, copied, and consumed globally was around 64.2 zettabytes in 2020. Therefore, it’s necessary to get rid of unwanted and unnecessary data you have. This way, when you start communicating with your customer and developing an account strategy, your messaging will be authentic and specific to them.
The second step of this process is very straightforward. Develop a deep understanding of each person within each client organization. The most effective sales teams know how critical it is to understand what customers do and who they are as people. For example, what are their hobbies, their desires, and their goals for the future?
Armed with this knowledge, a great deal becomes possible, including providing better solutions than any competitor could offer.
Understand the Strategic Goals of Accounts and Develop a Plan to Meet Their Needs
Understanding is one key ingredient that makes all the difference when it comes to connecting with accounts and developing relationships. Understanding an account’s strategic goals and how you can help them meet those objectives will take you far in your sales efforts.
It is not something you can find out from a single conversation or even a handful of conversations. It takes time and effort to truly understand what makes an account tick, but this will pay off for both parties in the long run.
The best way to build this relationship is by asking questions about their business and listening carefully when they answer. It will help you use what they tell you during future conversations with them.
Assign Ownership of Key Accounts to Top Sellers
Assign ownership of key accounts to top sellers. A possible way to enhance sales performance is having one or two account managers responsible for a small group of customers. In addition, it may help you establish stronger relationships with these accounts and allow you to identify which salespeople are better suited for handling particular clients.
You can also measure how effective your account owners are at meeting their goals by tracking the monthly meetings they have with each customer. You can also compare this data against their target numbers.
If they consistently exceed their targets, they’re doing well and should continue serving as an account owner. If not, then perhaps another member of your team needs more experience before taking on that responsibility.
Set a Plan That Provides Guidance and Direction for the Sales Team
Before you set a plan that provides guidance and direction for the sales team, there are several factors you need to consider. First, what is your goal? Are you trying to increase revenue or market share? You should also define who your customer is, their problem, and why they would buy from you.
Next, identify your key drivers of success that will help achieve this goal, so everyone on the team knows what needs to happen for them to be successful at their job. Remember that the plan shouldn’t be overly flexible because it will make it difficult for everyone else on the team to understand why they’re doing something specific rather than another one.
Make sure this plan doesn’t get stale after six months because if it does, then there’s nothing stopping someone else from creating something better than yours.
Stay Organized, Plan and Focus
The key to success in B2B sales is staying organized and focused. You can do this by planning and prioritizing your actions. Planning is setting goals, developing strategies, taking action, measuring results, and adjusting as needed.
If you want to increase your sales and improve customer retention, then implementing account planning is the way to go. The best thing about account planning is that it doesn’t require extensive resources or time but rather a simple investment in time and effort.
When you start using account planning as a strategy, you can quickly see that it will improve your sales process by making it more organized, focused, and goal-oriented.
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