Two main reasons why it’s critical to know and understand your key accounts goals and objectives:
- You have to know and understand the customer’s goal and objectives before you can complete yours.
- Your goal and objectives for your key accounts must support and map back to theirs.
Here are a few pointed questions to ask the stakeholders during your strategic business meetings, to gather and understand their goal and objectives.
- How are you going to drive success this year and beyond?
- How are you going to measure success?
- Do you have all the tools and solutions in place to ensure your success?
- When you look at our relationship, where do you see us fitting in to support your success?
- Based what they tell you, your response could be: “I see we can provide you solutions to the following to support your success…. Do you agree”?
- Can you provide me a timeline or a list of your milestones, to ensure I have all the resources you need to be successful?
Not once do you have to ask, “What are your Goal and Objectives”.
These are great questions because you want to understand how they are going to meet their goal and objectives. In addition, see how you can leverage our products to assist them. This is a great way to test the strength of our relationship. When you ask, how they are going to drive success you put yourself in the role of trusted advisor not just another vendor.
If they don’t answer the above questions, your relationship is in danger. A Red Flag, so you can start your mitigation plan.
The customer’s goal and objectives are normally around a FY. Your goal and objectives can be yearly, semiyearly, or quarterly. Based on the frequency of reviewing your goal and objectives, you must schedule meetings with the key account stakeholders to ensure you are in sync with them and get updates on any timelines. The updates will also provide you a way to mark off completed objectives and identify any in jeopardy or being fulfilled by a competitor.
Again, the key is to ensure your objectives map back to your goal and in turn to the customers. Every objective must move you closer to achieving your goal. The goal has to be measurable; for example, revenue target, net new users, x amount of revenue growth and so on.
The goal and objectives must be agreed upon by the team and management. However, each member of the team may have different objectives to meet the goal. For example, an Sales Engineer’s objectives could be different then marketing that’s OK because everyone is focused on success.
Once you have gathered their goal and objectives, you can now build out your key account plan to strategically manage key accounts.
- Ensure you know and understand your key accounts goal and objectives.
- Map your goal and objectives to theirs.
- Review and modify your objectives based on what has been completed or what has changed in the account.
- Review and get approval of your plan from your management and team.
- Bounce your plan off your champion, get their approval or support.
- Work your plan and refine, refine and refine.
- Verify everything is in your CRM (Salesforce).
In this short video we will demonstrate how using Strategy Mapper it’s easy to gather you’re your key accounts goal and objectives and document them in your key account plan all within Salesforce. Using templates that are built for key account management.
In this nine part video series, each video is under 6 minutes long. We recommend you watch them in order one through nine.