Here are the top 5 reasons you need a new territory plan or strategic account plan for the New Year. Without it, you will: 1. Miss important opportunities 2. Lose sales you could have won 3. Take longer to win business opportunities 4. Be forced to sell at a lower selling price and reduced profit margin 5. Waste time and resources Why create a new plan? Things change! You need to take into account: • Changes in the economy and regulatory environment • Changes in your industry/geography/vertical market • New products/new technology • How to improve your approach • Incorporating new skills and tools Good planning enables you to maximize the results from your territory/strategic account. By adopting and implementing good planning and selling methods, one of my clients: • Increased Bookings by 43% • Boosted Margins by 10% • Improved Market Share by 53% • Increased Productivity per Salesperson by 50% • Grew Win/Loss Ratio by 131%
- Salesforce.com's Data.com (formerly Jigsaw)
- Connect with buyers- respond quickly, engage them via video (live, on-line, in email).
- Ensure sales and marketing align to identify, target and touch empowered buyers.
- Engage users. Make it easy for the to get full value from the tool/method.
- Identify and implement the critical few strategies and metrics that drive results.
- Integrate in one place your tools and methods that drive results (i.e. your CRM).
- Communicate across boundaries (internal functions, organizations).
- Use video more (prerecorded and live) because it brings back the person-to-person connection that is getting lost in today’s selling environment.
- Build support connections that are easy to generate (i.e. through networking, acquaintances) and expand my reach and impact- by being more active in LinkedIn, twitter… and facebook.
- Participate in and help develop the value of online communities by delivering valuable content, asking questions that illuminate and sharing my experience.
- Manage the conflicting priorities in a world that is moving at the “speed of thought.”
How can you Write a Sales Plan to Penetrate and Grow a Strategic Account?In order to gain the insights you need to create a winning strategic account plan, you must ask the right questions. Use this checklist as a guide. Use your plan in your strategic account reviews and to manage your account team. 1. Analyze your Target Account's Business Start with what is going on in your account’s business.
- What are the key trends in their industry?
- Who are their top prospects and customers?
- What are the top issues facing their customers?
- What are the critical trends in the geography?
- What is reflected in their financial reports and news about them?
As published in Selling Power Blog, August 18, 2011 What are the critical steps in writing a successful Sales Territory Plan? You may be wondering, "Where do I start?" The key is asking the right questions to gather the insights you need to generate a winning plan. Use this checklist as a guide. 1. Analyze your Territory/Business Start with what is going on in your territory/vertical market.
- What are the key trends in your geography/ market?
- Who are your top prospects and customers?
- What are customers buying?
- Based on your conversion rates, how much business do you need in your funnel?
- What is the gap between what you need in your funnel and what you have now?
Takeaways from Dreamforce 2011 1. The Cloud is here to stay. “The network is the computer” was Sun’s slogan of the 1980s- as Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman, reminded us. The underlying concept of cloud computing is not new. However, the exponential growth in technology and the fact that it meets real needs is propelling it forward. 2. The need for speed. Even in the 90’s, Cisco could close its books in 2 days while other corporations of comparable size took weeks. Speed is a competitive necessity. You must use the appropriate technologies to accelerate your internal processes, respond to buyer expectations and delight customers. 3. Geography no longer matters. We can communicate with anyone, anywhere, any time. 4. Technology is breaking down walls. Prospects, customers, suppliers, partners and even competitors all participate in forums and social media; making access to information and opinions ubiquitous. 5. “The Web is being built around people” according to Tom Campos, Facebook CIO. It used to be built around companies and web locations. Facebook has led the way and this has driven their success. 6. Business is becoming “social.” Actually, man has always been a social animal, however, the technology has made it easier to communicate. The “social enterprise” is happening- as Salesforce's Benioff asserts. Businesses need a way to collaborate in real time with people inside and outside their organization. Chatter now has group capabilities and can include people (i.e. customers, partners, suppliers) outside the organization.
Here are the top 5 reasons you need a good territory/strategic account plan. Without it, you will: 1. Miss important opportunities 2. Lose sales you could have won 3. Take longer to win business opportunities 4. Unnecessarily lower your selling price and reduce your profit margins 5. Waste time and resources Good planning enables you to optimize the results from your territory/strategic account. By adopting and implementing good planning and selling methods, one of my clients: • increased Bookings by 43% • boosted Margins by 10% • improved Market Share by 53% • increased Productivity per Salesperson by 50% • grew Win/Loss Ratio by 131% Having a plan enables you to manage a great deal of complexity. This includes understanding the market, focusing on the customer problems you can solve, selecting your best solution, and managing the internal and partner resources necessary to meet your objectives. It enables you to make the best use of your time and resources by connecting strategy to key tasks. Using the plan, you make sure the tasks get implemented the time frame required to win. Through it, you give appropriate attention to the critical path – the steps that have the most impact on producing the result on time. Without a plan, it is easy to omit a key element and dramatically compromise your results. Success Story: Account Management I managed a $20M opportunity for HP, selling to another Fortune 100 company. The sale took 18 months and involved a wide range of internal resources and customer representatives. My detailed strategic account plan enabled me to: 1. Identify our competitive advantages. 2. Articulate our value proposition and clearly describe how it met their needs. 3. Make sure our sales, division people, and executive sponsor were on the same page. 4. Manage meetings between a wide range of people from the customer’s and our organization. 5. Respond effectively to competitive threats. 6. Keep the sale on track. I could never have managed the effort, kept everyone engaged and won the business without a clear plan that I updated on a regular basis. The bottom line is that you need a good plan backed with persistent effort to win a complex, competitive business opportunity. Self-Assessment
- Consider companies you regard as successful, well-managed, high-performing organizations. Can you imagine how they would have performed without a solid business plan?
- Reflect on times when you did not have a plan and/or did not work your plan. What did you miss? What were the consequences?
- Are you a skilled planner? If not, how could you improve your planning abilities?
- Think of the best planner you know. Ask them how they do territory and account planning.