AccountPlan User Guide
Most of this section is about the customer, not you or your company. Focus on this customer’s business, the environment into which you are selling and understanding how you can add value to them. In this section:
- Capture information about your customer’s environment
- Collect information related to the customer’s business and plans
- Build a clear view of the customer’s key objectives and priorities
- Capture information about your company status with this account and your value proposition
- Identify the competitors you face and why you are different
Armed with this assessment it will be possible to identify key OPPORTUNITIES and THREATS related to this customer.
The Environment section covers the following key areas:
- MACRO ENVIRONMENT*- what are the external macro issues that the customer is facing. These include Environmental, political, market forces and the like.
- MICRO ENVIRONMENT* – what are the pressures on the organisation from it’s stakeholders such as employees, shareholders and leadership.
This section would be similar to a lot of traditional account plans, where you capture some of the basic and often qualitative information about the customer’s business. Work through each area and capture your assessment of the current position.
The customer overview section covers the following key areas:
- CUSTOMER OVERVIEW – A brief description of the customer. for example What do they do? Who are their customers and markets? How long have they been in business? What trends have they seen in the recent and longer term past?
- CUSTOMER’S VISION – What does this customer aspire to and their vision and mission? What is their long term ambition for their business?
- CUSTOMER’S KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS – How does this customer measure the success of their company? This is not related to your performance but totally related to the measures of success for this customer? Consider how their key performance is communicated inside and outside the customer (eg revenue, connections, ARPU, Customer satisfaction, number of new customers, productivity etc)
- CUSTOMER’S AMBITION FOR US – What does this customer want from your company? Do they see you as a commodity provider or a strategic advisor?
- BUSINESS UNITS – this is a list of the business units you have defined for the customer.
An example of a completed Overview page is shown below.
Here you can capture your understanding about the key drivers and objectives for the customer.
As you build an understanding of the customer’s key objectives you can add them to this section.
To add a new objective select the NEW OBJECTIVE button in the header and complete the page for each one.
- Customer Objective – Give the title a short and descriptive title. This is used in the SWOT and elsewhere in the application
- Details – A more detailed description of the objective. Capture here further details of the customer’s plans and the reason why this is important to them.
- Business Unit – If this is relevant to only one business unit select it here from the picklist.
- Priority – How important is this to the customer right now?
- Related Contact – Is there a specific customer contact who is ‘on the hook’ to deliver this objective? If so select them here.
- Opportunity or Threat – To add this objective to the SWOT analysis in the summary section you can check either the Strength or weakness box. It is not essential to do this for every objective and it is recommended that this is used for the most important opportunities and threats. After all, everything is not a priority.
- Related Goals – Where you have goals set out for the account, you can make connections here between what the customer sees as their priority objectives and the strategic goals for the account team.
Once added the customer objective is added to the list on the left of the page.
An example objective page is shown below.
The status page covers the following key areas related to your status with the account:
- ACCOUNT IMPACT – What’s your current status with this account and does it reflect your value proposition? more
- ACCOUNT DEVELOPMENT – based on your details in the account plan, this is the segment we would assign to the account. more
- OUR VALUE PROPOSITION – How would you summarise your headline value proposition for this customer?
- OUR LONG TERM AMBITION – What do you want from this account and how strategic do you see them in the future? Check with their ambition for you and if there is any disconnect between mutual ambition.
- WHAT WE NEED – To successfully deliver the plan are there any key dependencies that you need your company to deliver for you?
- LAST UPDATED – when was the AccountPlan last updated?
- LAST ACCOUNT REVIEW DATE – when was the last account review for this customer?
- MANAGEMENT APPROVAL DATE – when did the management team last approve the plan?
An example of a completed status page is shown below.
Identify the level of impact that your company has on this customer.
It is important to consider that it is not better or worse to be at level 1,2,3 or 4. What is important is that the level you are at reflects the value proposition you have for the customer.
Here is some things to consider when making your choice. Simply select one of the four options from the pick list.
AccountPlan will automatically guide you on the likely best way forward for an account based on your assessment information and the associated KPI’s. If you have a portfolio of accounts it is unlikely that they will all require the same level of attention at a given period in time.
Below we show you how each axis is calculated.
When completing your account plan assessment this account development guidance will calculate automatically. The recommended approach is highlighted in blue as shown below. Click on the blue box and receive further information and tips on taking the next step, resourcing and approach.
Your competitive landscape can be captured in this part of the AccountPlan.
+add a new competitor and for each one capture the following information. This will help you to think through the competitive differentiation of your company.
- Competitor Overview – this is the same information as shown in the customer overview page. Data entered in either will sync on both pages.
- NAME – Add the name of the competitor
- STRENGTHS – What are their key strengths as perceived by the customer?
- WEAKNESSES – What could be seen as their key weaknesses in this customer?
- DIFFERENTIATORS – How will you differentiate your company in this account?
- STATUS – This score is not entered here. Once the Contact map > Alignment tab is completed the average status score for this competitor in the account is calculated and shown automatically (range 0 low to 10 high)
- OPPORTUNITY OR THREAT – When the competitor is performing poorly this may be an opportunity for you and conversely if they are perceived well in the account they may be a threat to your position or growth potential. You do not need to select the checkbox on either option, it is okay to leave blank. Once a selection is made the associated competitor name is added to the SWOT analysis .
A completed competitor page is shown below.