March 11, 2022

Delivering on the Promise Modern Account Planning

Revenue Masterclass Series - Delivering on the Promise of Modern Account PlanningWe continue our monthly BoostUp "Revenue Masterclass" series where we speak to Revenue Mavericks that are leading the Revenue 3.0 movement. Today's topic is “Delivering on the Promise of Modern Account Planning.” Our esteemed panelists discussed best practices for planning and implementing a structured approach to account planning and how insights and data can help inform the account planning process.

We've seen B2B companies invest enormous time, money and energy in account and territory planning methodologies and workshops. Ideally, this investment results in actionable plans for acquiring and growing customers.

Unfortunately, the plans are often viewed as an administrative exercise by sales reps, developed in silos with disconnected or even competing goals and objectives. Delivering value from the investment requires a repeatable process that includes communication, collaboration, and insight from across the organization (e.g. marketing, product, channel partners, etc.). 

In this masterclass, we sat down with revenue experts at Forrester as well as two BoostUp customers, Templafy and Teradata.

  • Steve Silver, VP, Research Director, Forrester
  • Lucas Lam, Product & Solutions Director, BoostUp.ai
  • Kaitlin Mantani, Director of Field Operations, Teradata
  • Volney Spalding, Vice President, Revenue Operations, Templafy

Key points of discussion during this masterclass were:

  • The components of effective account planning
  • Insights into effective and actionable account plans that provide value to the sales rep
  • Delivering sustained, long-term value from account planning programs
  • Tools and insights that inform proper account planning

What is Account Planning and What It's Not

To begin, it's important to lay out what is account planning and what it is not.

So what is account planning?

  • A success plan for the sales rep that aligns their assigned account(s), their quota and their commission plan.
  • A structured, repeatable methodology for analyzing an account or set of assigned accounts, developing a deeper understanding and identifying new opportunities. 
  • An executable plan that aligns functional groups (sales, marketing, customer success, partners, etc.), with deliverables, commitments and measurable outcomes.
  • A process by which plans are developed, reviewed and updated regularly.

What account planning is not?

  • More paperwork for the rep 
  • An exercise in quota setting
  • A once-a-year event (e.g. check the box exercise)

Building an Account Planning Process

It's absolutely critical that you build an account planning program, once that gets executive buy-in and is communicated clearly across the organization. It should help inform and help reps plan, it shouldn't be an exercise that is done and forgotten about. Building an account planning program should look like this:

Organizational Alignment:

  • Shared goals
  • Executive engagement and buy-in
  • Resource commitment

Planning Methodology:

  • Multiple plan types (strategic, named, territory)
  • Tailored to your business model
  • Multiple learning modalities
  • First-line sales manager learning

Planning Process:

  • Prepare
  • Build
  • Review/commit
  • Execute
  • Measure
  • Adjust

Metrics and Reporting:

  • Near-term: Activity
  • Mid-term: Output
  • Long-term: Impact

Technology:

  • No double data entry
  • Integrate with SFA
  • Collaborate and reinforce

Executing the Plan

When thinking about account planning, here are some things to think about when executing the plan.

  1. Determine the accounts that require account planning. Develop criteria for which accounts need an account plan.
  2. Discover the needs of those accounts. Here are some questions to ask.
    1. What are the goals of this client?
    2. What do they value the most?
    3. Who is involved in the buying decision process?
    4. What are their current plans to achieve goals?
    5. What KPIs do they measure?
  3. Create actionable steps. Varies by account but could include:
    1. Perform an account and risk analysis
    2. Short-term steps (e.g., getting them to renew with you)
    3. Long-term steps (e.g., long-term client growth)
  4. Execute the account plan. Identify actionable next steps for accounts based on risk analysis from 1st and 3rd party data.

Data and Insights that Inform Account Planning

To inform your account planning process, it is becoming increasingly important to have a tool that helps inform your sales planning process. At BoostUp, we leverage 1st and 3rd party data to inform our account planning, in terms of which accounts to focus on.

  1. Capture all engagement between the buyer and seller and from that provide a risk score based on that engagement, lack of engagement and the sentiment and context of that engagement.
  2. Capture all website activity engagement to help get a better understanding of the account strength.
  3. Capture all activity on G2, from ZoomInfo Intent and from our account-based marketing or ABX platform.

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Once we have identified the accounts we want to focus on, we then go a step further and look at the specific engagement on that engagement. We look at:

  • The engagement and risk score 
  • Positive and negative moments
  • Contacts engaged or disengaged
  • Key events and mentions
  • Topics discussed

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Click here to watch the replay of "Delivering of the Promise of Modern Account Planning.

About BoostUp

BoostUp.ai is the fastest-growing Revenue Operations & Intelligence Platform, helping revenue teams like Teradata, Udemy and Cloudflare automate forecasting roll-ups, achieve 95% or greater forecast accuracy, increase rep capacity, and drive a predictable revenue machine. We bring together all digital revenue data and predictive intelligence into a single, highly usable platform where reps spend 20 mins per day.

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