Success in selling to your most important accounts requires a team approach. 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.
This is a summary of an interview with Victoria Hibbits, VP of Imaging Sales, Government and Complex Accounts at McKesson. 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!
“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.
- Opportunities that you are not aware of
- Stalled deals that you could move forward
- Accounts you can penetrate deeper to generate new business
- Relationships you could leverage more effectively
- Partners that could help you accelerate your results
1. Enable Mobility The promise of Salesforce 1 is to make it easy to develop apps that run across all platforms and take current apps and make them mobile easily and quickly. The intent is to enabling mobility for the business world; making it easier to stay connected to all stakeholders; customers, partners and team members. It is interesting to see that the user interface is very Facebook-like; leveraging B2C best practices.