Most sales people make two key mistakes when building a large binance accounts buy plans or as I like to call them relationship plans. First they build the plan by themselves or with the help of their teammates instead of with the inputs from the C-levels and influential people of the account. Second, they don’t hold themselves and the account’s people accountable for the actionable ideas generated.
Building a large account plan by yourself is meaningless. It details what you want and the actions you think will get them, without consideration of what’s important from each of the account’s players. If there is no open discussion between both parties, there is no buy-in from these same people. Sometimes large account managers meet with the main contacts and discuss some ideas, but this is very short sighted. Large accounts are made up of many people that exert influence and power, and all of these players should participate in the idea generation and buy-in.
As far as the second mistake, I’ve seen so many plans that have no accountability. Accountability means someone is responsible to accomplish something by a certain date. Those that build large account plans without participation from the account will find it very difficult to those people accountable for anything. They may hold themselves accountable to accomplish things, but it’s only a wish list if they haven’t created buy-in from the other party. In other words, it may be what they thought was wanted and it got them someplace, but it really wasn’t where they wanted to go.
Large accounts plans are an energy for energy concept. You do something that all agree and buy-into and you get something from the large account that you all agree and buy-into. Making an investment in time, money, or other resources with the expectation that the people of the large account will like it and give you more business is stupid and usually disappointing. If you want more business, make it part of your plan, and your large account commits to it as long as you give them what they want.
Now you may feel that you can’t ask the people of your large accounts to do things and commit to things. But, if you’re too shy or lack the confidence to state these expectations, you’ll be a one way energy source.
Realize however, there may be a number of steps or tasks to get end results on the part of both parties and these are what have to be discussed and documented and tracked for completion against deadlines. There must be energy and accountability from both parties.