You are headed on the road to visit some of your Key Accounts; What’s in the call plan and are you prepared to make the most of the customers time?

 

There is nothing worse for an executive to meet his peer on the customer side and to show up unprepared. Has your team prepared you an “executive briefing” for each of the Key Accounts? Did you receive the briefing with enough time to read through it and ask questions? Are you planning any preview meetings with the Key Account team to ask questions?

 

Too often executives show up at the meeting with no agenda, no questions and no value other than the typical meet and greet. Don’t be slug, invest the amount of time propositional to the value the Key Account’s provide. If you are not sure how much value they provide, determine what the business would look like if you lost just one.

 

Download and answer these 10 preparation questions before visiting your Key Accounts! In addition, make sure the account plan is updated and included as part of the briefing package. Confirm it includes both internal and external activity. As an example, has your peer (s) won an award of any type? Been promoted? Had a baby? Have one of the kids graduated from college? Whatever it is, you need to know and be prepared for the environment you’re walking into. It’s your teams job to prepare you. Don’t let them manage you. Don’t get the update in the car on the way to the meeting.

 

If you’ve successfully answered the attached 10 questions, combine the gaps into a call plan and preview the material with the Key Account team. After the preview, you should be in great shape and your peer will appreciate it. If your team is managing the key account well, your counterpart will be equally prepared.

 

You have 3 goals with your Key Accounts:

 

  1. Maintain your competitive advantage
  2. Continue to provide the level of service that creates long term customer loyalty
  3. Grow the Key Account profitable

 

Do you have your Key Accounts top 3 objectives for your relationship? If you don’t know, find out. Here’s some examples of what they may be looking for in a strategic partnership:

 

  • Quality
  • Competency
  • Preference orientated products & services
  • True partnership behavior
  • Collaboration
  • Sustained value
  • Effective supplier relationship management
  • Security of product supply
  • Price, rebates, adherence to opt-in contract terms
  • Global capabilities
  • Ease of doing business with
  • Access to the best and brightest resources on your team
  • Value outside of your core responsibility

 

*Update: Read my follow-up post: 10 Questions Your Key Accounts Will Be Asking You!

 

Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is a Revenue Growth Diagnostic tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate yourself against SBI’s sales and marketing strategy to find out if:

 

  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job

     

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Staples

Leads teams of highly qualified experts, all relentless in their pursuit of helping you make your number.

John is the global leader of SBI’s account management business unit. As such, he and his team help clients across 19 verticals drive top line growth and operational efficiency in sales and marketing.

 

John’s marketing, sales and product expertise span a multichannel strategic approach. He has an unyielding focus on strategic and key account development, which enables strategic alignment between all functional team members in order to reduce acquisition cost and increase lifetime value.

 

His broad experience in sales, marketing, product and engineering allows him to bring a unique problem solving approach to his team and clients. As he has discovered through decades of experience, clients are often distracted by the symptoms of a larger problem and overlook the root cause of it.

 

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