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.
Planning strategic account sales is essential to making your numbers. It requires setting goals, exposing key trends, pipeline analysis, activity monitoring and more. Try a free 30-day trialand discover how you can:
Quickly ramp-up your strategic account plan
Drive account penetration
Shorten sales cycles
Increase Average Selling Price (ASP) and margins
Improve your win ratio
“We purchased Account Plan Pro to work side by side with Territory Plan Pro. We expect to increase our sales per account by 30-50%.”
–Bill Morgan, VP of Sales,
Credo Technology Solutions
Great territory plans leverage key trends, target accounts, key opportunities, partner relationships, create sales action plans and more. Territory Plan Pro enables this and more inside your SalesForce.com environment. Try a 30-day free trial.
Quickly ramp-up your sales territory plan
Drive sales across the region
Shorten sales cycles
Increase Average Selling Price (ASP) and margins
Improve your win ratio
“Territory Plan Pro has become an integral part of how we are managing our sales territories. I highly recommend it to any company using SF.com as a way of enhancing the sales planning process.”
Assuring sales people know what to accomplish on a sales call makes everyone happier – the customer, the salesperson and the sales manager. It also makes you and your sales people more successful. Our Pre Call Plan template extends SalesForce.com’s action planning; assuring your sales people have clearly defined call objectives and outcomes before picking up the phone or spending time to visit a customer. Access our free Pre Call Plan.
Services to accelerate sales planning effectiveness
Quick ramp-up, customization and consulting
Creating and executing a sales action plan is straight-forward with Plan 2 Win apps. We train your sales team on how to use the apps, provide you with management coaching, help you with customizing the apps and are available for technical support.
“Best sales assistance ever! The responsiveness to my questions was a 10 Star experience!”
“Are your territories managing you… or are you managing your territories?”
This is a question that has helped improve the results of many sales organizations.
We have worked with many senior sales executives who have set up, ramped up and turned around a number of sales organizations; enabling them to achieve dramatic growth even in tough selling environments. One of the common elements of their systems for sales success is installing a good territory management process and template to ensure the sales team is making the most of the opportunities in their areas of responsibility; including territories, vertical markets and channel partners.
Further, it is important to always look for ways to “connect the dots”… to understand what was happening in a territory, who the power brokers are, how they affect opportunities across the territory and how to leverage our contacts to make progress in target accounts and sales opportunities.
One of the most important sales battlefields is the account. Winning at an account is more than winning a deal. In account management, you are seeking to earn a position of trust at your customer that enables you to grow and build your business over an extended period of time. Maximizing your share of the dollars your accounts spend in your product/service area is a key driver of sales success.
The strategy decisions you make that position you to participate in and win an ever-increasing share of your customer's business are critical. Account managers should choose carefully the strategies in their key account plan that will yield the maximum results over time.
What is the worst account management practice you've ever seen?
Given the complexity of selling to large accounts today, it is easy to miss something that will end up costing you a lot of business. Further, one of the most important elements of account management is laying a good foundation. Without this, everything else is more difficult if not impossible!
Poor account management causes the following problems.
Missing important opportunities to win new business in the account.
An inefficient sales process that unnecessarily increases sales cycle length.
Creating unnecessary stalls in the sales process.
Losing business you could have won.
Selling at a greater discount than necessary.
Here are the Six Account Management Worst Practices to avoid.
Below is a list of our top 25 Account Management best practices.... your results will soar!
Anticipate needs as they evolve in the account- based on new technology and product capability, needs and their marketplace. This makes you a true business advisor vs. a vendor.
Touch base regularly with the key people in the account. This way you can “feel their pain,” and help them produce the key business results they are responsible for.
Understand top management’s strategic initiatives and create aligned goals. Get input and agreement from key people in the account and jointly pursue those objectives.
Always look for opportunities to expand your presence in the account, for example upsell or cross sell products, penetrate into new business units and influence new key people as a way to improve sales results.
Create a strategic account plan based on trends in the customer’s industry and your product/ service technology. Include your goals, strategies, target opportunities and action plan.
Do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. Leverage your competitive advantages. Respond to threats from competitors, new regulations, technology…
Have a clear value proposition that describes how your solution meets their needs. You must understand their needs and the criteria upon which they will judge what meets those needs.
Have a relationship strategy for how you will leverage each of the key people in the account. Focus on helping them achieve their business results and personal agenda.
Identify the key members of your account team (internal and partner resources) and what they will do to help you win each target opportunity.
Share information across your team quickly so you can identify issues and opportunities and course-correct promptly.
Use your network to generate introductions from credible sources; enabling you to connect with people who would otherwise be unreachable.
Track the activities of key opinion leaders, industry journals, etc. Sharing the ideas of people with real insights is the easiest way to sound smart and add value.
Help them justify the investment via ROI analysis, testimonials, references and case studies. Although they may want to go with your product/service, they need to justify it to themselves and then to their management. Your job is to help them do this.
Make your strategies broad enough to have a significant effect over time, yet focused enough to produce measurable results in the account.
Make your tactical plan specific; who, what, when, how. The tactics must be clear to anyone who is implementing them.
You must have clear metrics so you can measure how you are progressing toward your goals… and if you need to course-correct.
Use your plan to engage the critical people needed to implement the plan, for example your management, other internal functions, partners and customer sponsors.
When managing meetings between the customer’s and your organization, use your plan to identify your meeting goals, an agenda to meet those goals, who needs to attend and what each person will contribute… including from customer and partner organizations.
Track progress against your goals, strategies and action plan. Fine-tune as needed. Focus on the high impact tasks and avoid getting overwhelmed by the many low impact tasks.
Perform strategic account reviews, including win/loss analysis, identifying common errors across the team, sharing best practices and enabling learning to improve sales effectiveness.
Have your plan readily available in your system of record, i.e. your CRM. This makes it much easier to access it, implement and fine tune.
Conduct quarterly customer business review meetings. Review the value/results you have delivered in that quarter, half year and year. Review progress toward joint goals. Get agreement on a joint tactical plan. This results-orientation attracts attendance of higher-level management.
Actively create and utilize success stories, case studies and testimonials to demonstrate your impact on results. Use videos - so people can sense the enthusiasm and sincerity.
Measure your team’s use of their account plans by including it as a measure in their performance reviews.
Encourage the use of account plans and account management by sharing success stories and best practices across the team.
From our account, territory and call sales planning tools, to our mentoring and seminars on sales management, Plan 2 Win helps you make your numbers by improving your strategic account sales planning process.
And we do it all within your Salesforce.com working environment.