Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What Do You Do With a Thousand Pound Gorilla?

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hey i didn't make this title up the guys (Joe & Mike) over at salesroundup.com (which i have been enjoying quite a bit over the last few months) did when they recorded a podcast on Strategies for Managing Large Accounts (the meat starts at the 8min mark). It is a tricky episode because i think? The majority of their listeners are not managing Key accounts but anyone can take pieces to heart and all in all a good episode that hits on some important things about how to develop and manage strategic account plans (SAPs) for Key accounts.

if i had to title the podcast it would be 'information is powerful'. obviously they are more creative than me.

(btw. i tried (and tried is the key term here) to listen to their newest episode recorded from their sushi holiday party this morning on my way to work. After the second song (i was having technical difficulties with forwarding on my iPod) i just couldn't take it any more (sorry guys) and switched to a Dave Alvin album for the rest of the trip, so i am not vouching for that episode....yet

there are certainly many Strategic Account Plan (SAP) Strategies and consulting firms out there and probably even more applications that produce account plans. This show focuses on how to gather the information for the strategic account plans and the value to the key account teams and the customer!

My focus?---nothing new, i will continue to work on helping customers integrate some of this important information (some of which i mention below) more and more into SAPs and other enterprise applications automatically- you know how i was going to stop 'Carpal Tunnel' as we know it last year for Corp Comun/PR?- well how about helping sales people increase sales by dynamically-updating account plans? This will probably reduce some of the Carpal Tunnel as well, no? Imagine all the billions we will save in healthcare.....

I have been managing enterprise and global accounts for over 5 yrs and have certainly used many of the tips and suggestions they mention on the show. of course i am super privileged because i have access to all the Factiva resources (a 30 yr archive, company, industry, executive information etc.)that makes this process much easier.

Some good tips that i use as well that they mention:

finding out about executives - what schools they went to, what boards they are on, their previous jobs, building 6 degrees of separation with people you might know that know them. Reading executive statements, missions, letters to shareholders, compensation etc. [i use a combination of Factiva SalesWorks which provides biographies from various sources including Reuters, Marquis, ZoomInfo, and obviously all our global content sets that you can search across. i also google people]

technical profile of the company - asking your contacts is always the best but i have set saved searches that i use with key software/application searches of things of interest to me (portals, ECM, CRMs etc). i plug in the name of the company and any press releases, articles from software and business trade journals, reviews of conference, transcripts from radio and tv shows are automatically presented (i also track specific companies so i can keep my knowledge up to date by getting email alerts). i also search job postings quite often like the show mentions and if corporate audited my laptop, HR would probably think i was looking for a new job.

On the show they talk about the document being a 'living document' inputting information as needed and automatically updating fields like last updated date. With Web Services we can now get to various types of data, from multiple sources (internal and external) and you can automatically update fields every time the document is opened to ensure the latest information is presented regardless of who sees it. This is data that a sales rep would have needed to copy and paste from various sites which is time consuming and repetitive thus providing more time for strategic thinking and thoughtful conversations with our customers.

want to talk more?....

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