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7                                               data.com                                           !S ECRETS              ...
Table of ContentsDo you ever wonder why some sales reps are closing big deals when your team isn’t?The pros at salesforce....
IntroductionIn order to be successful in sales, it’s vital that your team mastersthese three kinds of sales planning:     ...
EnvisionWhat are you trying to accomplish with the plan?Before you start aligning the team to    Some basic data you’ll wa...
ScheduleWhen will you have the plan done and how long will it last?While ironing out a plan in one          Additionally, ...
DiscoverUncover the unknown.                                                                                              ...
AlignDo a strategy session.Identify the key stakeholders and illustrate how your solution folds into their strategic plans...
DevelopSet a yearlong pace.More meetings but make them shorter. Touch points are important for keeping the plan on par wit...
AdaptKeep the plan current.As the target customer changes, update the plan. As you discover better opportunities, change t...
InspireShare your vision with the customer.Sharing how your vision aligns with your customer’s shows that you know their b...
Make Account Planning Work For YouSpending more time planning means actively partaking in the process, which puts you in a...
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7 Secrets to Account Planning

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Do you ever wonder why some sales reps are closing big deals when your team isn’t? The pros at salesforce.com have successfully planned their way to over $2 billion in revenue using some simple best practices. Here’s how they did it.

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7 Secrets to Account Planning

  1. 1. 7 data.com !S ECRETS TO ACCOUNT PLANNINGA Data.com Overview for Account Planning
  2. 2. Table of ContentsDo you ever wonder why some sales reps are closing big deals when your team isn’t?The pros at salesforce.com have successfully planned their way to over $2 billion inrevenue using some simple best practices. Here’s how they did it. Introduction 03 Envision 04 Schedule 05 Discover 06 Align 07 Develop 08 Adapt 09 Inspire 10 Make Account Planning Work For You 11 7 Secrets to Account Planning / 2
  3. 3. IntroductionIn order to be successful in sales, it’s vital that your team mastersthese three kinds of sales planning: Territory Planning Account Planning Opportunity PlanningA sales rep’s ability to hit a quota and achieve higher sales productivity is contingent on the proper implementationof these three strategic activities - your sales funnel. This book (one in a series) will deal with Account Planning.Account planning is necessary With a great account plan, sales In this ebook, you’ll get a top-line view Tips to Rememberfor landing and maintaining big, reps, executives, and supporting from the experts at salesforce.comcomplex deals with a lot of moving teams can quickly view the plan and see how they have capitalized • This ebook isn’t only forparts. Not only does it help you to and get up to speed. on their seven important secrets to executives. It’s to inform and aid sales reps and anyone elseprepare, but it also helps you to successful account planning. Use this interested in leading or deployinghave a more comprehensive look framework to set yourself on the right an account planning process.into a company. path to higher sales productivity • It’s the job of the sales rep to and bigger deals. push the team to prioritize and enforce the account plan’s outline. 7 Secrets to Account Planning / 3
  4. 4. EnvisionWhat are you trying to accomplish with the plan?Before you start aligning the team to Some basic data you’ll want Intelligently target businesses withexecute a plan, you’ll need to outline to obtain is: the intention of finding the absolute Tips to Rememberyour goals for each account. Set best and most valuable customers.priorities and come to an agreement • The history of the account. Planning a more in-depth plan • Pick a few accounts in youron them. Consolidate and reconcile • Any goals your customer hopes for fewer accounts is often more territory; don’t build plans for every account.the information you already have to achieve. impactful than creating a plan forprior to building a plan or conducting • Their attitude towards your business. every single account in your territory. • Ensure the involvement of youradditional research. • How much are they willing to spend Concentrate your efforts for the best entire team when working on the on you? results. account plan. Ask for feedback and encourage creative ideas. Answering these questions doesn’t • Form a comprehensive analysis just lead to a better understanding of centered around your research. the account. It also allows for a more comprehensive collaboration and encourages your team to invest in the account. 7 Secrets to Account Planning / 4
  5. 5. ScheduleWhen will you have the plan done and how long will it last?While ironing out a plan in one Additionally, these long meetings These meetings are specificallymeeting may sound great, it isn’t often contain extremely dense designed with a predetermined goal Tips to Rememberalways practical. A full plan can take amounts of information and attention in mind, which allows team members • Don’t plan daylong meetings.days. This takes away time that you spans can easily dwindle. When to address only relevant and Instead, schedule shortercould be using to close other deals. unexpected questions and issues bite-sized issues needed to build the meetings at specific intervals. arise, productivity could slow plan. In between these meetings, to a crawl. team members can examine topics of • Give your employees an internal concern that arise during the process social tool for collaboration. To counter this problem, by utilizing social collaboration tools, salesforce.com divides the such as Chatter. planning process into several different sessions, each just an hour or two long. 7 Secrets to Account Planning / 5
  6. 6. DiscoverUncover the unknown. !What key points do you need to know about the customer to be successful?There’s always something to learn. An easy place to start is by getting Why this data? You’re looking for aCompile everything you do know key company information through business that mirrors other places Tips to Rememberand admit the unknown. This can be integrated services such as Data.com you’ve had success and that has the • Don’t search harder, searchanything from factual information to within Salesforce. You’ll want money to spend on a solution like smarter. Using more efficient andmore strategic inquiries. What’s the to look for: yours. Also, finding the right contacts reliable resources can allow youtarget’s annual revenue? Are they and being able to connect with them to spend more time analyzingfocused on company expansion • Annual revenue ensures you have a direct line of valuable data.or on product quality? Are their • Industry category communication with key decision • Go deeper and evaluate asentiments negative or positive • Quality contacts makers in the business. prospect thoroughly, includingabout your company? their goals and overall potential. 7 Secrets to Account Planning / 6
  7. 7. AlignDo a strategy session.Identify the key stakeholders and illustrate how your solution folds into their strategic plans.As you build the plan, you’ll For accounts with a lot of complexity, Within Salesforce, you can create aneed to discuss with your team this approach keeps your plan custom “Account Planning” object Tips to Rememberhow the plan will be executed. updated and ensures that your (i.e., tabs) that will help you to manage • ○Account planning should be aAt salesforce.com, teams meet for team is on the same page. your plan. Use it to track influencers, constant and continuous process.half an hour every other week with decision makers, their goals, and theiressential team members to discuss Creating dashboards of activities sentiment towards your business. • Split your plan into sections andkey steps that need attention. and next steps is a creative and Storing your plan in Salesforce also keep it updated at every point effective approach to easily tracking creates a document that everyone can in the process. plan progression for managers browse and comment on. • Create a centralized location and supervisors. where all members of the team can easily track the progress and react quickly to modifications. 7 Secrets to Account Planning / 7
  8. 8. DevelopSet a yearlong pace.More meetings but make them shorter. Touch points are important for keeping the plan on par with your team’s goals.The whole purpose of account Begin by assessing what transactions Don’t forget to look on LinkedIn to mapplanning is ultimately to develop your target account has made. out how you may be connected to the Tips to Rememberopportunities. As the planning Consolidate all the details you may customer’s team. • Review and consider all pastprocess progresses, shift your have in your CRM: orders and activities.team’s focus from research to Internally, communicate your team’saction. Start mapping out how you • Contracts progress in executing the plan, resolve • Map out key actions needed tocan create an opportunity. • Quotes pain points, and adjust. This avoids open up an opportunity. • Orders confusion and keeps your team • Transactions aligned with your projected goals. • Opportunities in Salesforce.com’s Chatter allows you to various departments interact with your team regarding the account plan. From here, it’s all about The benefit of building your plan from execution and sales skills to generate your CRM is that you can merge your that big opportunity. private sales data with public and social data. This will give you a unified view of your customers and what opportunity they represent. 7 Secrets to Account Planning / 8
  9. 9. AdaptKeep the plan current.As the target customer changes, update the plan. As you discover better opportunities, change the plan.Keeping the account plan News on your customers can With a programmatic approachcurrent isn’t just about the initial change quickly. Leverage standard to tracking news and social Tips to Rememberdevelopment. You’ll need to adapt to free systems like Google News Alerts insights, you’ll be better positionednew situations. Without an ongoing to monitor breaking news. Social to react to and capitalize on • Be mindful of the customer’s goals and don’t be afraideffort to keep it updated, the account media listening tools, such as developing news. to recommend a change toplan becomes stale. salesforce.com’s Radian6, allows the account plan if it would you to listen to social channels your enhance it. customers are active on. • Out with the old, in with the new. Neglecting to clean out outdated or irrelevant data will severely impact execution. This includes keeping contact information updated. 7 Secrets to Account Planning / 9
  10. 10. InspireShare your vision with the customer.Sharing how your vision aligns with your customer’s shows that you know their business and have a vestedinterest in being their long-term partner.Now that you’ve spent all this time Proactively keep your customers in You must show them that you can bestrategizing and visualizing goals the loop and illustrate where you relied upon to help them grow their Tips to Rememberfor your customer, share it with plan to take their company with business and meet their corporate • Share your account plan withthem. This shows them your level of your service. Your customers will goals. It’s important that they place your customers and get themcommitment, includes them in your immediately see you as a partner, trust in your team’s skills and excited by your vision.success plan, and demonstrates your rather than a vendor. expertise.level of dedication to making their • Encourage your customer tobusiness flourish. This can also help contribute to your plan.you earn trust and ultimately accessmore avenues to close the deal. 7 Secrets to Account Planning / 10
  11. 11. Make Account Planning Work For YouSpending more time planning means actively partaking in the process, which puts you in a better position to controlyour deal’s destiny. Account plans put you and your team in the right position to improve your chances of closing that data.commonster deal. Additionally, a plan gives you the edge you need to get ahead of the competition and prove to yourcustomers that you provide the best sales team in the market.Step/Stage Salesforce ProductEnvision Use a pen and paper—brainstorming is best done analog.What are you trying to accomplish with the plan? Then scan your vision into Chatter Files and share it with your team.Schedule Use Sales Cloud activities to set and track milestones.When will you have the plan done and how long will it last?Discover Data.com allows you to investigate and thoroughly research each account.Uncover the unknown.– What key points do you need to know about the customer to be successful?Align Cloud based technology is great, but these meetings are best done in person.Do a strategy session. Once you set your plan, store it in Sales Cloud. Use dashboards to track progress.– Identify the key stakeholders and illustrate how your solution folds into their strategic plans.Develop Use Chatter Groups to manage team communication and collaboration on an ongoing basis.Set a yearlong pace.– More meetings but make them shorter. Touch points are important for keeping the planon par with your team’s goals.Adapt Radian6 allows you to monitor for social activity and news.Keep the plan current.– As the target customer changes, update the plan. As you discover better opportunities,change the plan, etc.Inspire Use Force.com to build a custom experience for your customers.Share your vision with the customer.– Sharing how your vision aligns with your customer’s shows that you know their businessand have a vested interest in being their long-term partner. 7 Secrets to Account Planning / 11

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