Today, development teams use agile development techniques so they can develop products, get them out into the user world and iterate based on feedback. Likewise, account teams need to be able to develop effective strategic account plans, implement them and adjust as the situation in the account unfolds; adjusting in real time to changes in their accounts.
It is a brave new world out there! Technology has changed the way we sell and interact with customers and prospects. Many sales teams are struggling to achieve their goals. According to Miller Heiman Group’s “Future 4” Webinar, Nov 2017:
- The percentage of reps making quota is down 10% (from 63% in 2012 to 53% in 2017).
- The percentage of companies achieving their revenue plan is down 4% (from 89% in 2012 to 85% in 2017).
It is more challenging than ever before.
- There are more people involved in the buying process.
- More buyers have formal processes that sellers must adhere to.
- It is harder to reach people.
- More buyers are requiring financial justification of purchases.
However, having a good process for managing the sales process makes a big difference. Miller Heiman’s data shows that there is a 13% increase in companies achieving their revenue goals when they use a consistent, dynamic process (90% vs. 73%).
Research shows that salespeople who do a good job of account based management (ABM) are 41% more likely to achieve quota- according to a TAS Group (now Altify) Account Planning webinar.
Sales teams would benefit greatly from more focus on strategic account management. Many do not have a formal process for creating and implementing an account plan. Sales teams that have a common approach across the team, eliminate common problems that cost teams sales and customer satisfaction, such as:
- Missing opportunities in key account; a formal process will bring them to light.
- Not having a common plan and account data across the team, thus not leveraging cross-functional knowledge of the account to respond to changes in the sales situation, resolve issues quickly and maintain customer satisfaction.
- Not leveraging relationships with key decision influencers in the account, which a common plan across the team would enable.
- Poor resource management across important accounts and opportunities. There is a need for a better process to manage utilization of resources across the team.
If you would like to see how your account management process stacks up, check out our Strategic Account Management Scorecard.
See information on our Strategic Account Planning app on the Salesforce.com AppExchange.