In this article, sellers and sales leaders will learn new strategies to apply to their current account planning process. LinkedIn Top Sales Voice Amy Franko and Britta Lorenz recently had a conversation about the modern seller's approach to account planning.
In her best-selling book 'The Modern Seller', Amy shares the top key capabilities that sellers and sales leaders need to develop in order to amplify their sales success. These five capabilities are what define a modern seller.
Modern sellers are…
Let's take a look at each of these capabilities and what they mean in context:
Agility is about being able to see ahead of the curve and anticipate change. In today's world, we need to be able to quickly adapt and assist our clients to do the same.
In the context of account planning, this is probably the most important capability. Modern sellers don't just see themselves as employees of their organization, but as CEOs of their own brand. This implies a different mindset, one that arises from seeing the whole picture and evaluating the relevant opportunities and risks.
Having a holistic mindset means realizing that everything in the sales process is connected. It also implies thinking beyond your piece of the pie and seeing the whole picture.
It is essential to create strategic relationships because they are an important aspect in creating success.
On average, a loyal client is three times more likely to continue buying from us. And being an ambassador is about building loyalty. Therefore, we should balance our attention between getting new clients and growing the clients we already have to build a loyal customer base.
If you want to learn more about Amy Franko's modern seller, read our blog post "Expert Talk with Amy Franko: Offering, Presentation, and Dos and Don'ts for a Standout Sales Proposal."
With these capabilities, modern sellers become very valuable to their customers. But when we start to enter the field of account planning, there are several critical aspects that sellers and sales leaders must focus on to create successful account plans:
- Goals and milestones
- Verticals targets
- Ideal customers
- Key relationship personas
- Strategic alliances
- Brand presence
Once we have created the plan, it requires our commitment to keep it alive. For individuals, it might also be helpful to have an accountability partner. Sales leaders must play the role of accountability partners for their teams.
Methodology and Technology in Account Planning
PDAgroup leverages the design thinking methodology for account planning, not just internally, but also as an offer for partners and customers. The design thinking based Account Planning Methodology is an innovative approach that allows sales teams to develop and grow their existing accounts in a more strategic way. Infusing design thinking tools and techniques in the sales account planning process enables you to understand the customers' businesses, key customer contacts, and end customers.
This proven methodology is:
- Supports account executives to achieve their goals
- A step-by-step approach
- Creates a reliable pipeline with your existing and strategic accounts
- Enables collaboration and accountability
While design thinking is PDAgroup's methodology of choice, Membrain is the technology that rounds up the process. With Membrain's Account Growth Workflow, it is easy to display the key accounts, see where there is potential, and make it visible for the whole company.
These capabilities and approaches can make a huge difference in today's disruptive environments – and especially when it comes to directing your sales success destiny in 2021!
We can help you take your B2B sales to the next level. Get in touch!