The core purpose of strategic account planning is to help the account management team effectively prepare and stay focused on the overall customer’s business aims and objectives and ensure they achieve pre-planned results.
Another purpose of strategic account planning is to create an overall consistent experience for the customer, and ultimately identify how it can make a positive impact on the customer’s overall experience in dealing with the organization. In order to achieve positive results from the strategic planning process, it is imperative that certain tips be taken into consideration. They are described below:
Designate Responsibility to the Right Individuals
The two most important proponents of the strategic planning process are the ‘chief relationship officer as well as the business driver. The former is usually the strategic account lead and is well versed in ‘connecting links and building bridges’ amongst the ‘Who’s who’ of client and customer organisations. They are selected for their political astuteness and by creating long term relationships with their customers they strive to make sure that there are no opportunities for rivals and competitors to exploit.
Similarly business drivers should be extremely motivated individuals who are equipped with what might be colloquially terms as ‘single tasking processors.’ In fact, their single mindedness towards achieving the organization’s goals should be the top criterion for selecting them for this highly important position.
Choose the Right Accounts
An organizational sales force is supposed to be extremely busy generating leads for the company and as such they have little time to waste on unproductive leads. This is why it is very important indeed to choose the right accounts on which to use the limited resources of the organisation. By the ‘right’ account it is meant the ones that seem to have the most potential for generating the highest sales and thereby increasing overall profits.
Communication is the All Important Key
Don’t drown your strategic accounts by making them listen to repeated sales spiels and monologues. Rather, listen to them and listen well. This is pivotal to ensure that they are able to voice any grievances which may lead them to switch to your competitors even if they are perfectly happy with your services at this point in time. This is because until and unless you listen and understand, you simply would not be in a position to respond adequately.
If you are continuously droning on and on about the sterling virtues of your products and your company without really getting to know your customer, the chances are that he would be put off and just might prefer to go to people who are more willing to listen to him.
Be Naturally Optimistic
Optimism may be highly infectious and a veritable magnet for many other people. Always be positive and upbeat when talking to your strategic accounts and make them feel upbeat as well. In other words, they should look forward to your calls rather than dreading them.