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Most Sales Teams Don’t Have Account Plans

If you want to accomplish something, having a plan to get there is often the first step. Think about it:

  • Startups create business plans–investors don’t provide funding without them.
  • Pilots create flight plans–you wouldn’t want to get onboard the plane otherwise.
  • Generals create battle plans–you’re unlikely to win the war if you’re winging it.

So when it comes to sales, planning is just as important, right? You certainly want to have a plan to win an account. But what about growing existing accounts. That needs a plan too, right?

Then why don’t more companies have account plans in place?

Well, early data from our latest Sales Pulse survey begs some interesting questions. Nearly 50% of companies are reporting that growing existing accounts is one of their top priorities this year. They should have plans to get there… But only 30% of companies report having account development plans for more than a quarter of their customer base. And a third of sales teams don’t have any plans for any of their customers.

It’s certainly going to be hard for these companies to grow those accounts if they’re just winging it. But of course, these sales teams know that already because they also report on it being an area that needs improvement. The real question is what holds them back from putting these account plans in place.

  • Are they not able to devote the time and resources necessary?
  • Do the costs of developing plans outweigh the upside benefits?
  • Do the reps already have plans but aren’t telling anyone else?
  • Are plans seen as a luxury that no one ever gets around to?
  • Is the data needed to develop effective plans not easily accesible?
  • Does a plan take so much effort that only the big customers get one?
  • Could it be something else entirely?

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