New thinking: Account Management within the Sales Process

New thinking: Account Management within the Sales Process
By: Justin Roff-Marsh
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* Management

* Brisbane - Queensland - Australia

July 20, 2008 - PRLog -- In recent times, we've developed a new approach to Account
Management activities within the sales process.

This approach -- while in use within a number of clients'
businesses -- has not yet yielded conclusive results, however
leading indicators are positive and we are optimistic (as are our

I thought I'd preview it here in case it is of interest -- and in
case anyone spots issues we may not have considered.

Some context ...

We classify Account Management activities as those visits between a
field representative and a client where there is no prospect of a
sales opportunity. (If there were, we'd classify this as
Opportunity Management.)

An example is a channel rep who calls on resellers, with the
intention of optimising reseller sell-through.

Traditionally, such reps are held responsible for reseller sell-
through, in dollar terms.

The problem is, they are not in a position to *directly* influence
this. For example, road works outside a reseller's premises might
negatively impact on sell-through, and result in the account
management rep's numbers looking bad.

Our approach has been to ask what exactly it is that the account
management rep is supposed to influence. Our suggestion is that he
should be influencing the reseller's compliance with what we're
calling an Ideal Conditional Set -- where the (objective) parameters
of this condition set are defined by management.

For example, this Ideal Condition Set might specify things like
reseller's staff training (level achieved and recency), product mix
and volumes (relative to store size), point of sale materials,
staffing levels, operational procedures, etc.

For each category of reseller, our clients are building an profile
that specifies optimas for each of these parameters.

On each visit, reps are then expected to work with the reseller to
assist them in moving towards full compliance with this profile.
They are also expected to audit current compliance (using a simple

The results are tabulated by reps' sales coordinators and the
reseller's compliance with the optimal condition set is
automatically calculated (as a percentage).

We are then holding reps responsible for their ability to migrate
their accounts to full compliance.

Accordingly, we are holding account management reps responsible for
the change in Condition Set Compliance, relative to the number of
appointments conducted. (DeltaCSC/AppointmentSlotsConsumed.)

(Obviously, this assumes that salespeople are the constraint, and
that their unit of constraint is Available Appointment Slots.)

Please comment.

Justin Roff-Marsh
Email:Contact Author
Location:Brisbane - Queensland - Australia
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