We’re going to be running a series for the next couple of weeks, focusing on account governance.
I’ve chosen account governance, as it’s the underlying process to account management. I haven’t blogged much on account management. It’s a prominent part of the selling world, that I think doesn’t get enough airtime. So this week this blog will be dedicated to account management.
Not everyone has a territory with 100’s of potential customers. Not everyone makes cold calls. Some sales people have only 1, 2, or just 3 accounts in which they have to make their living. These salespeople, traditionally known as farmers make their living off of the same account year after year. They need to understand the politics. They need to understand the personalities, the buyers and the detractors. They need to work with their customer, with joint goals, commitments and efforts. They need a comprehensive process to make it happen. Managing a single account is very different than prospecting a territory, and hunting for new business.
In my opinion, the only way to effectively manage an account is through a robust governance plan. Each week I will address a specific component of the governance plan. I will also share some of the documents, and processes I use in my organizations to execute on our account governance. In the simplest terms, account governance is the holistic approach to managing an account in order to maximize the relationship, revenue, and the customers business objectives.
Strategic Account Management and Account governance consists of:
- The account vision, the long-term view outlying where you want to take the account and why
- The relationships and how you manage them
- The account plans, detailed steps and strategies outlining how you will execute on the account
- The cadence, the regularly structured meetings and events used to track efforts
- Account strategy, the angle and approach you are taking to drive success
- Reporting, creating the metrics necessary to track progress
- Selling tools, the underlying tools you use to more efficiently sell
The most critical component of account governance is the ability to integrate all of the components seamlessly. Next week, we will start with the Account Vision. Everything comes out of that. Like anything else. If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never get there.
I hope you enjoy. If you have anything to add or have thoughts you’d like to share, jump in on the comments. My hope is this series sparks some good conversation and we all learn a little more about account management. It should be fun.