The most critical factor in successful sales execution is having the right foundation. Your account team needs to have a common understand of an account or opportunity – the key stakeholders, their goals, and company objectives. This requires collaboration and a well-documented account plan.
Account Visibility = Agility
First and foremost, having visibility into account plans will enable your sales team to stay flexible and agile. By removing the siloes, your team will have the insight to make informed decisions when things turn on a dime. With the appropriate technology, entire account teams can access critical information that may uncover a blind spot.
Another benefit to account visibility is that leadership can access these accounts to give you a realistic view to inform forecasting. You can understand the true health of accounts and opportunities, which might be at-risk or ready for expansion, and know where to focus coaching.
According to the Pareto principle, 20% of your customers produce 80% of your sales.
Managing, navigating, and growing these complex accounts is difficult and often made even more challenging by a lack of visibility into critical relationships and initiatives. By having transparent, dynamic, repeatable processes, information loss is reduced, and collaboration is made easier. Anyone should be able to jump into a deal and understand next steps.
In addition to internal visibility, you need to see the whole picture regarding external players. Many factors can affect who your team speaks with and when. They need to consider the following:
- Buying committees are continuously expanding. Being multi-threaded is no longer a ‘nice to have.’ They need to build relationships and get buy-in from all members to succeed.
- More companies are working remotely, making it far more difficult to get everyone in the same “room.” This is unlikely to change, as two-thirds of companies may permanently shift to a work-from-home model.
- In large companies, internal Account Managers are often segmented by vertical or offering, so they’ll need to pull the right team members into the right meetings.
Your team has likely already navigated working with people across multiple time zones, but it is becoming much more commonplace. People need to stay connected, more now than ever. Your team needs a communication system to serve key accounts, regardless of where the buying (or selling) teams are located.
It’s imperative that your reps know who to speak to and when. They may work with a core buying team in the early stages of the sales process, but they’ll also need to understand who to connect with in the later stages regarding procurement compliance, for example. In a recent webinar with Mark Sellers, author of Blindspots, Sellers talks about uncovering key stakeholders and influencers:
By doing a little homework, your team can ensure they’re speaking with the right person and what issue they might be looking to solve.. This also provides a better customer experience. Customers will feel much more confident throughout the process if their needs are anticipated.
The easiest way to ensure account visibility is to make sure that you have the right processes and technology in place. You need to hold your teams accountable for following those processes and using the technology. By doing so, you’ll have the luxury of getting all the information you need about any account with the click of a button.
Interested in learning more? Download The Ultimate Guide to Sales Execution.
VP, Global sales, Revegy
Joseph is a seasoned sales leader that has held just about every position across the sales organization. As a business development representative, he quickly developed a unique approach to selling that accelerated his growth through the sales ranks to where he sits today in leadership. This breadth of experience has given Joseph a unique perspective on all facets of sales, providing unparalleled insight on motivating, inspiring, and mentoring cross-functional teams to a new level of success.