If you have a major account and are dependent on next year’s business, then you are going to need to plan next year key initiatives to align our company and customer strategy together.
What does an Account Plan help me with?
- Develop an internal strategy for the client
- Create external strategy with client
- Assess the potential level of work, scope and size of projects
- Address the right projects with the right people
- Understanding customer surrounding and market
- Getting buying from management for more support
Tips on how to approach:
- Set a meeting with your clients to discuss 2017
You can either have multiple rounds with your clients individually or have a session with multiple clients together (the later I recommend for experienced AMs)
Always make a note of who you talked to and what position, role, influence this person has and what his answers were.
- Name it: Account Planning and Structure your Questions
Send high level discussion points in advance so the client can prepare for this and give qualitative feedback to you
- Create a word document with a summary of your findings.
- Suggested flow of Questions as below, but mainly you need to get a clear view of what your account will plan in the upcoming year or half year.
Order of Questions:
- 2016 and how the year went
- What went well in 2016?
- Where are our improvement points?
- How successful was the year for you, your team and you in your role?
- For closing this year, what projects are still pending?
- What is missing to make 2016 (even more) successful?
- How can we support to close this year better than expected?
- 2017 strategy, what is the general direction and focus areas
- What direction and strategy is your company taking in 2017?
- Looking more in to 2017, where do you see your companies, your teams, your role, etc strategic positioning?
- What emphasis or USP is placed with looking into Products or Services? Customer Experience? Marketing? Regional strategy, Branding, etc?
- Team or Personal ambitions and goals
- Where do you see your team in the next year?
- What are your personal career objectives?
- What need to be done to achieve this, how can we work together to achieve the desired next step?
- Special Projects that need to be found
- If you had one or two projects that you would dream to achieve, which would these be? what is holding us from achieving them?
- What projects have you defined as crucial for your team success / yourself for next year?
- Planning and Forecasting
- When do you need to submit your plans for 2017?
- What do you need to make it achievable?
- In comparison to this or last year, how do you see will the current set up be suitable to achieve our targets?
- Do you feel we have the necessary recourses in place to fulfil our 2017 targets?
- Milestones and Workshops
- When would a workshop be beneficial for you to envision your strategy with support of our teams?
- Setting milestones, deadlines and deliverables – you will need to have regular quarterly or half year management meetings.
It usually helps to get multiple people involved in gathering the relevant information. Then type it all up and set a MNGT meeting to discuss the combined efforts with Client and 3070. Just remember this is not science everything is possible and this is just a frame work. Having a plan is better than not having one at all.