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Go-to-Market Sales

Strategic Account Plan Template

A Strategic Account Plan Template will enable sales management and account executives to design, develop and execute a cohesive and integrated sales plan that will facilitate the winning of new business (increase market share) and the expansion into existing accounts (expand share of wallet).

The engagement plan template provides focus and direction for a sales team to develop a thorough understanding of the customer’s business environment, initiatives and strategic direction.  This foundation will promote the development of pursuit areas that can be targeted that align your solution with a business problem that is of high value ot the customer.  The path to a customer win  can be orchestrated by analyzing existing relationships and masterful planning to exploit and conquer new relationships.  These relationships can then be modeled in a financial manner to convey the revenue value of the sales team’s efforts.

The Strategic Account Plan Template will help Account Executives and Sales Management Create a Sales Action Plan:

  • Capture the key information about the client’s business, initiatives, and strategic direction
  • Prioritize opportunity areas and pursuits
  • Lists and describe the customer’s sales strategies and capabilities, including your use of channels necessary to develop your plan.
  • Focus on the key customer contacts needed to advance the strategic and tactical opportunities
  • Summarize the account team’s goals and collaborate to build a team goal-based strategy statement
  • Formulate a goal-based strategy statement.

Strategic Account Plan Template – Outline

An image of what is in the Strategic Account PlanAn outline for a strategic account planning template should include:

An Assessment of the Customer’s Business

  • An account overview
  • A SWOT analysis
  • A summary of the customer’s initiatives

Discovery and Prioritization of Opportunities

  • A opportunities
  • B opportunities
  • C opportunities

An Assessment of the Team’s Capabilities

  •  The solution
  • System integrators
  • Extended team
  • ISVs
  • Business partners
  • Inside sales

A Summarization of Relationships

  • C-Suite
  • LOB
  • IT

A Sales Action Plan

Strategy

  • Goals
  • Issues
  • Actions

Strategic Account Plan Template – Assess Customer’s Business

Capture the key information about the customer’s business, initiatives and strategic direction, including:

  • Account name
  • Account manager
  • Account name sector/industry
  • Region
  • Plan date

SWOT analysis of the customer’s business – the account team’s view.

Suggested input: external business drivers impacting organizations in the industry and impacting this customer and its industry position

  • Strengths: internal
  • Weaknesses: internal
  • Opportunities: external
  • Threats: external

Customer’s key business initiatives (validated by the client)

  • Benefit owner
  • Business goal
  • Actions to achieve goals
  • Projects to achieve goals

Innovation that matter to the customer

  • Areas of innovation that are most relevant to the customer

Key industry messages on innovation

Strategic Account Plan Template – Opportunity Areas & Pursuits

In this section, describe the prioritized opportunity areas and pursuits.  Pursuits have high value and impact on the customer and can transform the customer’s business, require a multi-year completion cycle, represent growth for the customer, and require innovative use of the customer’s capabilities and resources.

Quadrant A: high value to client, high value to the customer

  • Opportunity areas
  • Pursuit
  • Customer’s primary competition
  • Customer’s area of dominance
  • Potential revenue ($)
  • Pursuit-based strategies and value expectation
    • Summarize the team’s discussion about each pursuit selected, value expectation, and strategy

Quadrant B: high value to client, low value to the customer

  • Opportunity areas
  • Pursuit
  • Customer’s primary competition
  • Customer’s area of dominance
  • Potential revenue ($)
  • Pursuit-based strategies and value expectation
    • Summarize the team’s discussion about each pursuit selected, value expectation and strategy

Quadrant C: Low value to client, high value to the customer

  • Opportunity areas
  • Pursuit
  • Customer’s primary competition
  • Customer’s area of dominance
  • Potential revenue ($)
  • Pursuit-based strategies and value expectation
    • Summarize the team’s discussion about each pursuit selected, value expectation and strategy

Quadrant D: Low value to client, low value to customer

  • Opportunity areas
  • Pursuit
  • Customer’s primary competition
  • Customer’s area of dominance
  • Potential revenue ($)
  • Pursuit-based strategies and value expectation
    • Summarize the team’s discussion about each pursuit selected, value expectation and strategy

Strategic Account Plan Template – Sales Strategies & Capabilities

In this section, list and describe the customer’s sales strategies and capabilities, including the use of channels necessary to develop a plan.

Customer’s capabilities: Customer’s strategies and capabilities that are relevant – summarize the team’s discussion about the customer strategies and capabilities needed to support the opportunities.

Internal and External Channels:  Identify and list all that are pertinent to the success of opportunities in the account and list the actions to increase leverage of channel

  • Solutions from the customer
  • Systems integrators (global or major and regional SI)
  • Extended Account Team
  • Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)/Technology Partners (global or major and regional ISVs)
  • Core Business Partners (BP) or Solution Providers (SP)
  • Inside Sales

Strategic Account Plan Template – Strategic & Tactical Opportunities

In this section, focus on the key customer contacts needed to advance the strategic and tactical opportunities.

Specifically, from a client relationship responsibilities perspective, identify whether there is:

  • Frequent contact
  • Positive
  • Strong client influence
  • Regular contact
  • Neutral
  • Some influence
  • Occasional contact
  • NegativeGo-to-Market Strategy - Strategic Account Plan Template
  • Minimal influence
  • No contact
  • No influence

For the C-Suite, LOB and IT, it is important to document the state of the relationship last year and this year with respect to: contact; influence; perception and whether meetings have taken place.

Overall customer relationship status may be summarized on a spectrum that spans transactional to value based.  As one evaluates the customer overall, indicate a customer’s current and desired position on the line below:

Strategic Account Plan Template – Team Goals

Use this section to summarize the account team’s goals and collaborate to build a team goal-based strategy statement.

Document the customer’s spending on IT solutions and services.  It’s relevant to document the prior year and current year spend and share of spend.  In addition, it might be appropriate to look at on-premise, hosted, services, education, spend on competition and total IT spend.

Summarize the plan to make or exceed quota.

Document assumptions relative to maximum planned revenue, minimum planned revenue and prior year revenue for:

  • Software license
    • Incremental growth
    • Renewals
  • Services
  • Education
  • Total

And finally:

Formulate a goal-based strategy statement

Summarize the team’s strategy to achieve its goals, including opportunity areas, client satisfaction, and innovation

Document team issues and inhibitors–add issues or inhibitors to this list throughout the planning session

Develop an action plan to support the team goals and strategies and be sure to include:

  • Actions
  • Dependencies or resources needed
  • Owner
  • Due date
  • Status

Download the engagement plan template to optimize the acquisition of new accounts and further penetrating existing customers >>

By Peter

Peter is a strategic and visionary marketing executive and brand champion who has leveraged his unique combination of classical training and entrepreneurial experience at start-ups and F500 companies to transform technology innovations into multimillion-dollar revenue streams. His experience spans all areas of marketing, including go-to-market strategy and execution; brand identity and brand positioning; product development; sales and marketing leadership; customer acquisition and retention; and influencer and analyst relations. Peter consults with c-level executives, teaches at USF’s EMBA program and serves as an advisor to start-ups.

2 replies on “Strategic Account Plan Template”

[…] This slide requires the rep to do some “homework” about the prospects’ business, drawing upon information in the earnings call, press releases, interviews, 10-K, surveys, analyst reports, etc.  Document key initiatives for the company and reiterate the company’s desired state or the relative competitive state.  This is where best practices, benchmarking data and customer anecdotes may help to drive home the point.  The goal is for the prospect to perceive that you are “walking in their shoes” and that you “get it.”  Not everything presented may be applicable to the prospect, but there should be something on the page that draws them in.  Be careful not to make this slide a laundry list of everything conceivably possible,  as that tips your hand that it is a fishing expedition.  Typically, this information should be documented in a strategic account plan template. […]

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