Standard Account Plan Templates vs. the Metric-based Account Plan | An Introduction to the Components of a Metric-based Strategic Account Plan
By: Kandy Phillips, The Chapman Group
When setting out to write or optimize a strategic account plan (the playbook for managing strategic customers / key accounts) to some, a reasonable first step may be searching the web for a strategic account plan template or for examples of actual account plans used by organizations in your industry or other reputable B2B sales organizations. Microsoft Office Templates is one top-ranked resource in Google results for ‘strategic account plan’ where a standard ‘strategic account business plan template’ is provided. At the time of this post it has been downloaded over 200,000 times! The number of downloads suggests that a significant volume of sales and account professionals have needed a guide on developing an account plan for their business and perhaps, are even using this type of static template as their means to define their intent on meeting customers’ needs. When you’re managing a customer of this magnitude, simply put– they deserve more than blanks filled out in a cookie-cut form.
When it comes to managing a ‘strategic’ customer, (an account that has been segmented by criteria to be managed strategically as such), you need an account plan that performs more than as a report on static facts, objectives and your organization’s intent to meet the customer’s known needs. In order to manage the health and profitability of the account you need metrics and measurements that will enable the account team to identify opportunities and define strategy to expand profit margins, grow revenues, and develop a loyal, committed, and prosperous strategic account.
World-class Fortune 1000 and mid-tier suppliers with dependent, committed customers won’t share their account plan for reasons that keep them and their customers competitive— and if they did, it may not be one you’d want to borrow from necessarily! As an adviser to prominent companies on sales and account management strategy, we can’t give away our clients proprietary secrets to strategic account management success, but we can provide you with a guide on developing a best-in-class metric-based strategic account plan. Here’s how:
The Chapman Group has defined the components and metrics you’ll need to develop a Strategic Account Plan in this concise 2-page guide:
We’ve also covered the mechanics necessary to drive and perform the right decisions and the right actions with the metric-based strategic account plan in a podcast titled Executing the Strategic Account Plan.
Click to play the podcast here: http://chapmanhq.com//executing-the-strategic-account-plan-sam-best-practices/
Follow the best practices in the guide and in Executing the Strategic Account Plan so you can optimize your strategic accounts to realize exponential success in the growth of your strategic accounts’ relationships, revenues, and profits.