Altify, an expert sales transformation, today announced its inaugural Account Planning Book of Evidence, a unique study developed from the input of 1,034 sellers and sales operations professionals from 62 countries, which examined the practice of account planning.
74% of study participants cited higher win rates as the key benefit of account planning and 72% say account planning increased their sellers' understanding of their customers' business, which is crucial to building customer advocacy. As Tiffani Bova, global customer growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce, said at the Intaact Partner Conference, "Your greatest sales force today is your customers advocating on your behalf."
72% of the participants in the Account Planning Book of Evidence study cited 'Increased understanding of a customer's business' as one of the key benefits of account planning. It is ranked number two in overall benefits ('better win rate' is first) and joined at number four by 'increased customer loyalty.' This is not an accident.
"At Altify, we believe the days of sellers waging battle against buyers are gone," said Donal Daly, CEO of Altify. "Success comes from partnering with the customer and working toward a win-win outcome. That's the only path to true success. To survive in a world of supremely educated buyers who are time-poor, hungry for insight and demanding progress, you must take on their perspective and enrich it with the experience you have with similar customers."
In his 2013 book Account Planning in Salesforce, Donal defined the purpose of account planning and management as 'A process by which sellers build long-term business relationships that enable them to create, develop, pursue and win business that delivers mutual value.'
Usage of account planning as a core sales strategy has increased from 36% of companies in 2013 to 50% today. This increased adoption highlights growing awareness of the need to get closer to the customer, but half of sales organisations are not yet benefiting from this proven practice. This statistic is even more compelling when one considers that in most cases, companies receive the majority of their revenue from their existing customers. In fact, more than 60% of companies receive more than 60% of their revenue from current accounts. Given that fact, and the actuality that account planning increases customer loyalty, the study proves that more companies should look to this discipline as a foundational core of their sales, marketing and customer service strategies.