The top line on every business income statement is “Sales.” If a company doesn’t sell, it really can’t build a business. Needless to say, Sales is really the driver of a business. However, so many companies struggle with the positioning of Sales in the business environment. It’s hard for many of us to think of Sales as being a deeply strategic kind of knowledge-based process.
Developing an account plan is the first step to transforming Sales into a more strategic contributor to a company’s bottom line. We all know the best way to achieve sales goals is to set them and develop a plan, yet account planning is often hard to implement―whether it’s indifference to it or just lack of execution.
A lot of avoidance psychology comes into play when we start thinking about account planning. Let’s face it, sales people…well…want to sell, hit their numbers, and make their goals. They often have difficulty directly connecting those types of results to spending the necessary time to develop and execute an effective account plan.
This week in In Process, Mark Donnolo, managing partner of SalesGlobe and author of "The Innovative Sale,” discusses how to combat approach avoidance when it comes to developing―and implementing―an effective account plan. He has a new book coming out in late May titled “Essential Account Planning: Five Keys for Helping Your Sales Team Drive Revenue.”
“Account planning forces you to think about those hard questions,” said Mark. “What are we doing? What are our opportunities? What's the customer really looking for? That's what makes it very hard, I think, for people who are used to just being in action and looking for the fast solution. What happens within the components of the account plan―the strategy, the thinking, the actions―that’s what really makes it work.”
During the course of the podcast “Do You Have a Strategic and Tactical Plan for Your Largest Customer Accounts?,” sales leaders and business owners will learn how to:
- Recognize the causes of approach avoidance
- Identify account planning stakeholders
- Develop and execute successful account plans
- Incorporate aspirational planning
- Overcome the politics involved with account planning
Stream the conversation with Mark in the player below to learn how to use effective account planning to engage your sales team, better serve your customers and help drive revenues. You can also subscribe to In Process on iTunes to receive this episode as well as future updates from the show on your smartphone.