This post is part 4 of a 5-part series on Customer Revenue Optimization and our Smart Account Planning process based on the Rootit® platform. Read the rest of the series.
When salespeople monitor the performance of their accounts, they typically have a view on high-level metrics like revenue & margin increase. However, the link with the drivers of the initial account plan, designed to grow the customer, is completely out of sight. What is the progress on the defined actions? Did the efforts that were realized have the desired impact? These questions remain often unanswered - especially when things are going well - which makes it hard to steer the business going forward. As a consequence, supporting your sales team in restoring the link between the account plan and the execution & follow-up is the final step in our closed-loop Smart Account Planning process.
Executing and monitoring impact
Supporting sales in executing the account plan is a sequential process, with three important stages:
Selling: When selling the plan to the customer, there is a need for a clear and accessible overview of the progress. Sales should be able to fall back on their initial plan and consult the progress they have made.
Implementation: Once the deal is signed, it is important to monitor the actual implementation. Many reasons could lead to actions being (partially) not implemented by the customer as agreed, and therefore impact the initial plan.
Review: During the implementation, frequent monitoring of the impact is required. Which are drivers that result into higher effectiveness than initially expected? Are there actions that completely missed their target? What can we learn from it for the next account planning cycle? It allows sales to generate valuable insights, as well as to steer the business with corrective actions.
As such, monitoring the progress, the implementation and the impact of actions provide valuable insights to the revenue team. Moreover, it fuels the feed forward loop, enriching the account planning process of the upcoming year(s).
Aligning the different actors to realize actions
Many actions require cross-functional collaboration throughout the revenue team, combining for example product development & commercial efforts. To facilitate this collaboration, the different functions should be aligned on the account plan in the first place, and stay interconnected during the execution.
Yet, we cannot neglect the customer with its variety of stakeholders. To stay up to date and in touch with the customer’s needs, sales should evaluate action progress and impact together with the customer in a systematic and periodical manner. Rootit supports sales in doing so by generating tailored dashboards to discuss progress & cooperate with the customer.
Revenue enablement without hassle
Technology as an enabler instead of an administrative burden is a key principle of Rootit’s® account planning module. Providing your revenue team with a ‘light’ tool that only focuses on the crux of the matter allows them to adopt a customer-centric approach. Sales can stay focused on the customer instead of logging progress & creating business reports in yet another system. Rootit facilitates this light approach by heavily leveraging automation. It allows for insightful reports per role in the revenue team. These reports are always up to date, without the high workload that comes with the manual data preparation.
Appropriate tooling is critical for many business processes, and account planning is not different. In this article, we emphasized the importance of tooling in supporting your sales team to restore the link between account planning and execution. It is the final and crucial step in unlocking the true potential of your accounts.
Coming up next
In the next post, we will describe the maturity model for Customer Revenue Optimization within organizations. Stay tuned!
About the authors
Bert Vandewiele is co-founder & Partner at Chronion, a solutions partner of Rootit. Bert designed & implemented CRO for B2B companies in various industries. He supported multiple commercial teams to realize higher & customer aligned revenue growth.
Abel Vanacker is a business analyst at Chronion. He also operates in a supporting role for Rootit.
Do you want to know more about Customer Revenue Optimization, contact us.