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Could This Be the Sales Ops Silver Bullet?

In a classic Disney cartoon, Mickey Mouse throws open his cottage window and joyfully proclaims that he has killed seven flies in one blow.

Here at SellingBrew, we understand how Mickey feels because we, too, get pretty excited when we can get rid of more than one problem with one solution. We’re always looking for a “silver bullet” that will allow sales ops teams to leverage their capabilities to address more than one issue at the same time.

Recently, we realized that sales ops teams, like Mickey, have a tool that can help them get rid of seven irritating problems at once. Only, this tool eliminates pesky B2B sales issues instead of insects. In fact, this one solution can help sales ops teams overcome seven of the most common—and most challenging—obstacles they face. This one solution can help you

  1. Create sales forecasts that no one laughs at when the end of the quarter comes around.
  2. Build account plans that are actually useful (instead of just a chore).
  3. Define actionable, attainable sales quotas.
  4. Determine where sales territories should really be.
  5. Retain your current accounts.
  6. Measure salespeople’s performance versus their peers.
  7. Help new sales reps become productive quickly.

So what is this magical silver bullet that can get rid of so many problems in one blow?

Prescriptive account planning.

We know, we know—you think you already do account planning. And if you do your account planning the way most B2B firms do, you don’t find it all that helpful. It probably doesn’t really solve one of your biggest problems—let alone seven.

But that’s because most B2B sales teams do account planning wrong.

Most account plans are little more than pie-in-the-sky dreams, like “we want to increase the XYZ Company account by 10 percent.” Those sorts of account plans don’t help anyone.

A true prescriptive account plan uses actual data to identify sales opportunities that you might be missing. It determines which of your customers should be buying more of your product lines, which customers could be spending more money with you, and which customers are in danger of defecting to the competition. It gives your salespeople a real plan to follow—a plan that is actually achievable and will help the sales team and the company accomplish their goals.

This might seem like an awful lot to accomplish, but it really is doable. In fact, leading B2B sales teams are already using these types of account plans to achieve measurable results.

If you’d like to give it a try, we have a couple of resources to help you get started. First, we recommend watching the webinar on Leading Edge Account and Territory Planning. It covers five major differences between the ways that average and leading B2B firms approach account planning. It delves into the strategies and tactics that other companies have found very successful.

After that, move on to the tutorial Developing Prescriptive Account Plans. It will walk you through the seven-step process for creating account plans that will help you “kill seven in one blow.” It’s a great way to help your team become a lot more productive, without doing a lot more work.

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