Skip to main content

Strategic Account Planning in Sales: Growing Into The White Space

Growing accounts

ProjectPlanningDeployment Banner Sales Team Training

July 24, 2018Article

Share on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on Facebook
Strategic account planning is a customer-centric approach to identifying priority accounts, capturing and analyzing critical information, and developing a strategy to expand and grow existing customer relationships. This approach is crucial, given that it is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, according to Bain. In fact, increasing customer retention by just five percent increases profits by 25 to 95 percent.

This strategy seeks to improve business results by analyzing key information about the customer, industry, stakeholders, and competitive landscape. Sales professionals find the “white space” in the customer’s account. That is, they identify and create opportunities by positioning solutions that align with the customer’s goals, challenges, and initiatives.

Why Strategic Account Planning Matters

Strategic account planning works because it addresses the level of complexity and competition that’s increasingly common in sales today. These are the five reasons why strategic account planning is vital to the modern sales professional:

  1. Close Faster
  2. Reduce Acquisition Costs
  3. Retain Priority Relationships
  4. Focus on the Best Accounts
  5. Learn About Customers
To explore this list in greater detail download the white paper: Growing Into the White Space with Strategic Account Planning here.

The Guiding Principles Behind Strategic Account Planning

When mapping a hike, some calculate the mileage “as the crow flies.” That is, the mileage doesn’t represent the additional distance of summiting and descending the peaks and valleys in between the start and end points.

Nothing about strategic account development is “as the crow flies.” The sales professional must traverse every contour of the landscape. Their journey must map every inch of elevation. This level of preparation puts them on solid footing to reach their destination. It primes them for the hard yards.

The key is to become more intentional about the approach to selling. These five guiding principles shape the strategic account planning:

  1. Select the Right Customers
  2. Analyze Then Act
  3. Create Alignment and Value
  4. Collaborate With The Customer
  5. Execute And Update
Learn more about the guiding principles of strategic account planning here.

major account planning tool

Major Account Planning Tool

The Major Account Planning (MAP) Tool is a Salesforce native, collaborative application designed to support all phases of the account planning process for ongoing effective execution of current and future account plans.

Learn More

Putting Strategic Account Planning into Practice

Mapping a route to the closing means hitting numerous mile markers. While there may be many paths to success, the strategic account planner chooses only one. Developing an honest assessment of the target customers is essential. Doing so saves time, resources, and effort later. Strategic account planning requires:

  • Defining which customers are your strategic accounts and evaluating ongoing fit; looking at both quantitative and qualitative factors
  • Keeping up to date on what’s happening in your customer’s industry in order to understand customer drivers better and to identify insights
  • Understanding the customer’s strategy, goals, objectives, and issues and aligning your objectives with the customer’s objectives
  • Evaluating and strengthening relationships with key stakeholders Assessing the customer’s perceptions of your strengths and vulnerabilities and their perceptions of key competitors
  • Identifying opportunities to create value Developing and executing a plan to achieve your objectives.
Contact us to learn more about how Richardson Sales Performance’s new Prosperous Account Strategy blended learning program and tools can help your sales organizations expand into strategic customer accounts.
Share on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on Facebook
conducting a mid-year review of accounts

White Paper: Growing Into The White Space with Strategic Account Planning

Learn how to identify new opportunities in existing accounts.

Download

Resources You Might Be Interested In

agile selling skills

Brief: How Agile Sales Professionals Use Sprints to Target, Message, and Engage Prospects

Download this brief to learn how Sprint Prospecting™ enables agility that quickly gets to the core of the customer’s needs.

Brief

evidence-based solution selling training for healthcare

Brief: Engaging Healthcare Professionals with Agile Messaging

Discover three ways sellers can deliver meaningful messaging to HCPs to gain access while staying in compliance.

Brief

richardson sales performance and training company

White Paper: Accessing Growth with Sprint Prospecting

Download the White Paper, Accessing Growth with Sprint Prospecting, we offer a new set of skills designed to earn the customer’s attention.

White Paper

Solutions You Might Be Interested In