Account planning is a process that helps you understand your customer better and, in turn, sell them more. By developing a deep understanding of the needs and goals of your customers, you can create campaigns that are more relevant to them and, therefore, more effective.
Strategic account planning is an important part of any B2B sales strategy. According to 61% of businesses, “training in strategic account management” can help them increase sales, profits, and client happiness.
But it’s often overlooked by marketers. That’s because strategic account planning takes time and resources, something that many companies aren’t willing to invest in. But when you look at how much money account planning saves you in the long run, it quickly becomes clear that this approach is worth the investment.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that show how you can leverage account planning in order to boost your B2B sales efforts:
Assess Your Account Planning Approach
Account Planning is a critical component of B2B sales. It helps you understand your customers, their needs, and how your products fit into their overall business strategy.
But how do you know if your current Account Planning approach is working? If you can’t measure it, how do you know whether or not it’s effective?
Here are 4 ways to assess and improve your Account Planning approach:
- Measure the amount of time spent talking about the product vs the amount of time spent talking about the customer’s business strategy.
- Create a map of what information you need from clients at each stage in the buying process, then track whether or not you’re getting all of those pieces of information at each stage.
- Track which clients have been most successful with your products, then analyze why they were successful (Was it because they had a strong understanding of their own business strategy? Or did they have an overly-specific idea in mind that wasn’t feasible?) and use this knowledge to inform future interactions with similar companies.
- Look at what other companies are doing in terms of Account Planning. What seems like an effective strategy for them might not work for yours.
Streamline Communication With Salesforce Integration
Businesses may increase their deal closing rate by up to 67% by streamlining their sales and marketing teams, according to research conducted jointly by Marketo and Reachforce. And one of the ways to streamline your sales and marketing objectives is by Salesforce integration.
Salesforce is a powerful CRM platform that can help you keep track of all the information related to your customers and prospects. That way, when an opportunity arises, you can quickly access relevant details about that person or company, like their contact info, previous interactions with your company, and what they’ve purchased in the past.
But integrating Salesforce with your account planning efforts means more than just having that info handy. It also means being able to communicate seamlessly between departments. Instead of having multiple people emailing or calling each other about the same thing, you’ll have one central location where everything is organized and accessible.
Analytics and Forecasting
Analytics and forecasting are fantastic ways to boost your B2B sales. In fact, if you’re not using analytics and forecasting, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your business.
What is Analytics? Analytics is the process of gathering data about what people are doing on your website and social media pages so that you can learn more about them as individuals and how they interact with your brand.
This information will help you increase engagement with potential customers, which in turn increases sales. It also helps improve customer service by giving you insights into what your clients are looking for when they contact you.
What is Forecasting? Forecasting allows you to predict future trends based on past performance data. Suppose you have historical data on how many sales were made last year. In that case, it’s possible to use this information to predict how much revenue will be generated this year by using statistical models such as linear regression analysis or time series analysis.
With the growing need to track or monitor customers, more and more companies are investing in analyzing end-to-end customer journeys. Eighty-nine percent of top organizations are capable of tracking customer activity across channels, and 47% indicated they use cross-channel activity monitoring as a key indicator of online engagement success.
Account planning can be a powerful way to boost your B2B sales. It will help you create a plan that is tailored to your customer’s needs rather than just trying to sell them things you think they need.
When you’re able to think through your customer’s problems and goals and then solve them in a way that helps them achieve their goals, you’re going to have a much better chance at making the sale.
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