Milind Katti

Milind Katti

May 5, 2020

Account Planning Template – Step by Step Strategic Account Planning

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Account Planning Template

Existing customers are a critical revenue source for every organization. Meeting growth targets requires sales leaders to build robust strategic account plans and establish well-defined account management processes in the organization and this is where account planning templates come into the picture. Having a customizable template for account planning not only helps retain customers but also enables account teams to identify, develop, and execute growth opportunities within their account base.

What is Account Planning?

Account planning is a process of building strategic plans to improve value-driven relationships with key customers that can help in long-term development and retention, thereby maximizing the revenue potential. Effective account plans and templates help account managers gain a more in-depth understanding of the client. The Account Planning Book of Evidence study surveyed 1034 people from 62 countries to determine why organizations undertake the account planning exercise. Most of the results were unsurprising:

  • Better Win rate (75%)
  • Increased understanding of customers’ business (72%)
  • Shorter sales cycles (58%)
  • Better customer loyalty (55%)
  • Increased deal size (49%)
  • Better executive access (47%)
  • Identify non-competitive deals (27%)

The Account plan contains critical information about the prospect that every sales rep should know before even thinking about making the initial phone call. Capturing this information down in a concise, structured way helps the salesperson to focus on what is important about the account and how it aligns with your company’s offering. Having a plan can help you go one step further, give you the edge over a competitor, or deliver the crucial piece of data that can close the deal. Simply put, the Strategic Account Plan is the blueprint of the sale. Here, is a template to create quick and effective account plans that help account managers win the game.

Account Planning Template

1. Account Overview

Documenting the Client’s landscape is important to give a bird’s eye view of their business and general information to the account managers for them to dive deeper. Also, this information must answer all the basic questions about the client like What does the client sell, who are their clients, what size are they, where are they located, and much more.

2. Account Segmentation

Account Segmentation will help the sales team segment the client accounts into different buckets. This enables the salespeople to come up with the right strategic action planning based on the account positions. You can segment accounts based on the account health score to understand them objectively.

3. Account Financials

Understanding the basic financials of the client organization will help identify your potential revenue sources. Also, listing the specific business units and geographic regions of the clients will enable you to know the areas to which you can cater to and estimating the Total Annual Revenue potential from the client.

4. Whitespace analysis

Whitespace mapping is the virtual representation of data to uncover hidden white space opportunities to target. It helps you to identify the gap between the products/services your customers require vs the products/services you offer. Understanding the pain points at different levels and offering the right solution helps increase revenue from the existing customers. The Sales team can understand current engagements with accounts and explore possible opportunities & whitespaces with the white space analysis.

5. Relationship mapping

Relationship mapping helps to visualize all the key stakeholders in one place. This mapping tool – org chart software also helps salespeople to explore detailed information about the contacts of the accounts on the budget control, influences they have on each other, etc., You can Know the organizational hierarchy of the accounts to better understand the relationships and the influences between the contacts.

6. Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis allows you to better understand the market, potential, and behavior of the customers. This analysis with a bunch of data gives a company an advantage over the competitors to grow by developing new market strategies. With competitor analysis, the sales team can also understand the strength and weakness of competitors along with the analysis of customer spend vs wallet share.

7. Communication Planning

Capturing all the past interactions between the client and the team will help to sketch the communication pattern that can add value in planning the overall communication strategy. It gives you a year-wise verdict whether you are in super touch or you need to work more on the volume of meetings. It’s an extremely important exercise to improve your communication strategy to maximize ROI.

8. Account Management KPIs

Defining the Account management KPIs is critical to measure the progress of accounts over time, make adjustments in the process & stay on track, solve problems that are in the way, and tackle new opportunities in the accounts. It also helps in analyzing account planning patterns over time.

Why do you need an Sales Account Planning template?

Creating a Strategic Account Management template is not an easy exercise. It can’t be done in an hour before a meeting. So there is a need for a template that can help account managers build quick and effective plans. Most importantly, it gives you a better framework of the data need to understand the customer. Knowing more about your target and being equipped with insider account knowledge of the account is one of the biggest advantages a salesperson can have.

DemandFarm’s Account Planner

DemandFarm’s Account planner offers integrated account planning inside CRMs that makes account planning ridiculously easy. It helps in achieving a deeper understanding of your Key accounts through improved data visualization and qualitative analysis. Available in 2 versions – Account Planner Pro and Account Planner Enterprise. Our product experts will be more than happy to guide you. Book a meeting today.

Ready to discuss your Account Management Needs?

Talk to our Product Expert
Milind Katti
About the Author

Milind Katti

CEO & Co-Founder, DemandFarm

Milind is CEO & Co-Founder of DemandFarm. Having practiced and evolved the ‘account farming’ principle for over a decade he established DemandFarm and is passionate about delivering the best B2B key account management tool to serve the needs of key account managers. Milind also serves on the Board of LeadEnrich & is a Strategic Adviser.

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