Key Account Management: Overcoming the Headaches of Managing Plans in Spreadsheets and Slide Decks


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Let’s talk about spreadsheets and slide decks. Nearly 80 percent of financial decisions are supported by spreadsheets, while one in two businesses use spreadsheets to prepare accounts. Despite this, 88 percent of spreadsheets contain errors. So, what do all these numbers mean—that businesses are still relying on error-ridden spreadsheets? Are these same spreadsheets costing them time and money? Sounds like a managerial headache waiting to happen.

How many of these headaches have you experienced in your key account management planning?

  • Headache #1: Creating the plan.
  • Headache #2: Keeping the data fresh.
  • Headache #3: Keeping your team aligned and accountable while completing actions and tasks designed to meet goals and objectives.
  • Headache #4: Finding an easy way to report on the plan's progress to executive management.
  • Headache #5: Pulling data from various places in your CRM to update information in the plan.
  • Headache #6: Organizing team meetings to get status updates when schedules are hectic.
  • Headache #7: Incorporating real time account info and knowledge quickly and easily into the plan to avoid losing great ideas.

If you answered “Yes” to any of these roadblocks, it’s time to start thinking about shaking things up; it's entirely possible to overcome the headaches of managing plans in spreadsheets. Let’s review the ways apps, when integrated with your CRM, can simplify and consolidate the planning process—while supporting efficiency and success.

Key Account Management Done Right

In the past, teams largely relied on manual processes to audit and supervise accounts. This required employees to oversee and maintain numerous spreadsheets and slide decks. This outdated process also required employees to sift through troves of email chains to find necessary information—while also monitoring phone calls and meetings. This island of data has created a massive risky area allowing details to fall through the cracks.

These days, key account managers dedicate specific resources, offers, and meetings to turn buyers into business partners. This process can be strenuous if managers are fumbling over spreadsheets and slide decks. Sure, many organizations may have a process and strategy, but so often, they don't have the appropriate tools or technology to help them succeed with their plan.

Get the perfect account planning tool to rock your sales goals. Check out CRUSH.

While Salesforce is a powerful application that empowers organizations to start the account planning process, it’s essential to make the most of your strategies by leveraging additional tools. Salesforce only takes teams so far, and the CRM doesn't automatically sync with slide decks and spreadsheets. Rather than having your reps manually transfer information, it’s essential for them to use the right tools to get the information they need.

Equipped with the right data at the right time, sales reps can leverage content effectively, making educated decisions to drive customer loyalty and profitability.

The most effective approach is to augment your key account management strategies within Salesforce. Teams need technology that’s flexible, cloud-based, and mobile. Native apps can unlock the value of Salesforce by helping administrators and users to find data more easily—and make the most of their efforts. Native functionality makes it easier and more efficient to coordinate and execute plans. This eliminates the reliance on manual labor. It also reduces the headache-inducing two-screen whiplash of going back and forth from a non-native app to Salesforce.

Ultimately, centralizing your account planning efforts within Salesforce helps maximize velocity and effectiveness. The best tools are designed to enable teams to build winning sales plans for key accounts.  For example, native apps leverage reporting capabilities to monitor activity across key accounts. They coordinate data around standard account, contact, and opportunity objects. Apps also enable your team to focus on the opportunities that drive value. Say goodbye to the days of disconnected data and lost information.

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