Check out the 12 Habits of Extremely Likable People. How many of these do you exhibit regularly?
As I reflect on the people who I have really enjoyed working with, they have had many of these characteristics. Sales and management has become so much more collaborative over the past 20 years. It is even more important in complex sales. You must successfully interact with so many people... in the customer account, working with partners and with your internal resources and executives. If you are a manager today, you must inspire people and earn their respect. Being likable certainly helps.
One executive I have worked with has always been able to ramp up his team in any new role he has taken on. Why? Because he has a long Rolodex of people he has worked with in the past. Whenever he calls any of us up asking if we want to work with him in his new role, we are happy to jump on board. Why? Because he has these characteristics!
Share your stories of likable people.
Today, the big focuses on having insight into your customers’ issues and how you uniquely solve them to drive your sales efforts. This is what the “Challenger Sale” model (by the Corporate Executive Board) is all about.
Likewise, if you focus on strategic accounts, you need insight into how well your team is working with these accounts in order to optimize your results. Having a scorecard enables you to carefully evaluate your key account strategies and use of sales enablement resources to ensure you are getting maximum return on your sales efforts. Keep in mind that there is a huge cost of chasing the wrong deal and wasting valuable resources that could have been used elsewhere. Also, good account planning ensures that your team is driving their sales efforts by insight into the customer’s situation- with the support of key players in the account.
We have developed a scorecard designed to help you do this. It is called the Strategic Account Management Scorecard. It measures a sales organization’s effectiveness compared to Best Practices in six critical categories:
How can you best manage your sales territories? Here are seven steps you can use to get the best results from each sales territory.
1. Establish a process.
Determine how you will establish and monitor the progress of territory plans each quarter. A clear set of action steps helps each member of the team understand what’s expected as the quarter unfolds. This includes having territory managers:
create and update territory plans
and review the plans at the regional and then national levels.
Support, marketing, and other functions should be included in review sessions as appropriate. In addition, you need to include steps to maintain continuity from quarter to quarter, such as working on territory, account, and opportunity plans that take longer than one quarter to implement.
For more details on the implementation of the process across the quarter, see our Manager's Checklist for Territory Planning.
- See the article on Selling Power Blog.
Posted by Marty Levy in Account management, Account planning, Key Account Management, Sales Leadership, Sales Management, Strategic Account Management, Strategic account plan, Uncategorized | 0 comments
Whether you classify customers as “strategic, major, key, target, or focus,” your probability of success in meeting your goals with an account will increase substantially when you assemble a team of supporting resources to supplement the work of the Account Manager.
The Account Manager and a supporting cast of sales, technical specialists, and other internal and external resources working together will result in the greatest return from your relationship with your important customers. The customer’s cross-functional decision teams will find value from this approach too, as the “right” resources are applied to addressing all business issues related to a purchase from all impacted groups.
Victoria Hibbits is the VP of Imaging Sales, Government and Complex Accounts at McKesson. She is responsible for Government and Key Accounts for Imaging Workflow Solutions. She has played leadership roles, directing national account and government account efforts at a number of other medical equipment manufacturers, including Siemens, Acuson, Stentor and Vital Images.
Here is what she had to say about the importance of account management and how to do it effectively.
Tim Henning is a Senior Sales Leader with 25+ years of experience in the medical capital equipment space, leading sales efforts for Philips Medical, ADAC Laboratories, DFINE and Alliance Imaging. He helped ADAC earn the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award and he has transformed many poor sales performers into winning teams, leading them to peak levels of sales excellence.
Here are the highlights of an interview in which Tim gives his take on the pay-offs and the challenges that come with sales territory management.
You should always know what you’re gonna get!
Unlike Forest Gump, who never knew what he was going to get from life, best-in-class territory managers have a plan for achieving the results they want. They set clearly defined goals for their territory. More importantly, they create a plan and engage in focused activities to accomplish their territory objectives.
Success for them is not by chance or based on random activities. These sales people are most likely to meet their goals because of their preparation and the execution of defined territory plans. They win because they have made good choices about what to focus on, they know what must be accomplished, and they make deliberate decisions on how to invest their time to develop and win business.
Sales territories are like a box of chocolate. With twenty-four varieties to choose from, which ones do you select and in which order? Do you consume thousands of calories quickly or do you manage your consumption? It all looks so good! What do you do when someone else takes one of your favorites?
Know your territory, have a plan, execute by making considered, deliberate choices!