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Practical Market, Territory and Account Planning
Off the Cuff / For Sales Pros / Feb 22, 2018 / Posted by Brian Sullivan / 3219 

Practical Market, Territory and Account Planning


Off the Cuff Instant Interview Question: “What are some tips for doing practical market, territory and account planning?”

While those of us in sales are usually viewed as not the best of planners, my experience is that we welcome practical, streamlined planning that helps win business. As such, concise, targeted planning, such as that used in the Sandler Enterprise Selling Program, is typically embraced. Complex situations can call for more extensive analysis but there’s great value in simple frameworks for pragmatic planning. Other areas are certainly important as well, and perhaps more relevant, depending on business models. And with enterprise selling, significant, focused research is essential. That said, let’s review a 30,000-foot framework of five fundamental areas:

1. Market Understanding – The fundamentals are the bedrock for sound business decisions, focusing on:

  • Accounts: Verticals, challenges, sizes, sales cycles, market attraction, etc.
  • Economy: Overall health, seasonality, geographic issues, governmental impacts, etc.
  • Service Structure: Direct/remote, product/service, internal/outsourced, etc.
  • Market Patterns: Demographics, buying access, trends, etc.
  • Competition: Footprint, incumbency, strategies, distribution, pricing, etc.
  • Affiliations: Alliances, associations, channels, partners, prime/subs, etc.

2. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Accelerator – Enhancing traditional SWOT drives accountability, action and success. Market understanding now complete, you must identify what you do well (Strengths) and not so well (Weaknesses) and understand external factors increasing your chances of goal achievement (Opportunities) and internal factors creating disadvantage. With fundamental SWOT done, it’s all about acceleration by building and implementing clear improvement actions for each item identified.

3. KARE (Keep, Attain, Recapture, Expand) – Developing profiles for all accounts, clients and prospects, based on their traits and tendencies, is truly impactful. Accounts are profiled as KEEP accounts, ATTAIN accounts, RECAPTURE account and EXPAND accounts, with customized attributes aligning each profile to your model. Specific account tactics and strategies are then identified and implemented via the KARE profiles.

4. Territory Value Propositions – Based on the planning now accomplished, outcome-based messages are crafted for your identified, most promising market areas. Strategically then, doing what you do best in the truly aligned profile accounts, provides logical structure and breeds confidence for sales teams.

5. Growth Account Booster – Crafting and following streamlined account plans drilled down to the opportunity level with key advancement actions very simply increases the likelihood of wins. These dynamic plans provide the platform for the communication and collaboration that is the hallmark of team selling.

A practical framework for sales planning. Simply put, it’s a survival skill. Internalize it and follow it, amending and enhancing as you go. Make it yours and good things will happen as a result!

Pipeliner CRM empowers practical market, territory and account planning. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.

    About Author

    Brian Sullivan is the Vice President of Sandler Enterprise Selling at Sandler Training, an international training and consulting organization. Prior to joining Sandler in 2012, Brian was in sales, sales management and P&L management positions with The Cap Gemini Group for thirty years.

    Author's Publications on Amazon

    The comprehensive 6-stage selling program from Sandler Training-- "Top 20 Sales Training Company" by Selling Power Magazine Competitively pursuing large, complex accounts is perhaps the greatest challenge for selling teams. To keep treasured clients and gain new ones, you need a system to win business…
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    Comments (6)

    Justus Anyaji commented...

    With pipeliner CRM, processes are streamlined and are made for easy alignment with plan. Keeping it practical and workable is key and this is one of what pipeliner CRM offers.


    Anthony Onwuagba commented...

    This is really practical and crystal clear.


    Bright Areghan commented...

    Great article. It gives practical steps on how best to plan marketing and sales strategies. This is one of the offerings of Pipeliner CRM. It helps you with the evaluation process in each step.


    Uyohoini Solomon commented...

    Great article. I have gathered a few points I hope to share with my sales team during our next meeting.


    Sonia Eluchie commented...

    Wow! I learnt a lot!


    Akadiri Oladimeji commented...

    Awesomely articulated

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