A strategic account plan is a comprehensive knowledge base that influences strategy and drives tactics. In many ways, it’s the knowledge-based program that makes you more relevant as a supplier to your client. It’s one of the most challenging responsibilities of a Strategic Account Manager.
A strategic account plan is not necessarily a long document. It can have bite-size chunks of bullets and get the base plan documented, which could be as simple as a few pages. Sometimes it’s more than just for a strategic account manager. So engage your team in the development and execution of the strategic account plan. Keep it dynamic, update it quarterly, and review any chance you get when engaging the team. But certainly, it doesn’t deserve to sit or be shelved somewhere.
Set aside some planning time. The payback is greater than just consistently executing tactical activities. Make the time to plan and to review your strategic account. Set up a review process that includes internal reviews with both your team and your senior management team. Make sure that they’re involved in the examination process. This helps to encourage the facilitation and ongoing consistency at execution of the account management process. Take the appropriate partial plan to your client and perform collaborative action planning. There are very core critical pieces that you can refine based on what you learn and discuss with your customer.
Finally, don’t forget those five key components of any plan:
- the financial position between you and your client,
- the critical intelligence that you learn about your client and marketplace,
- the mapping of all the relationships you have with your client,
- the value impacts that you’re delivering,
- and if there’s any risk in this relationship.
Effective planners are those who often set the mark in all industries. Having and executing an effective strategic account plan could be the most important key to your success in your strategic account management program. Contact us for more tips.