- Content Marketing
When Your Customers Become Your Contributors: Brand Journalism Meets TraditionalGoogle Is Changing the Close Variant Matching Option in AdWordsBefore You Invest in Online Advertising, Do This!Native Advertising: The New New Thing or a Race to the Bottom? [VIDEO]
Technology & Data
Data and Creativity at the Social Shake Up: Defining Your Data-Driven Social CampaignTalking Strategy and Data with Shannon Lee of Precision StrategiesNew IBM Study Reveals 3 Key Characteristics of the Most Successful CompaniesMinority Report: Confronting Privacy Issues in Big Data Gathering
- Tech & Innovation
- marketing automation
Social Startups: Moment.me Captures a 360-Degree View of The Social Shake-Up 2014Hootsuite Partners With Syracuse University to Bring Social Media Savvy to College StudentsThe Best Hyperlapse VideosThe Best Content Moderation Tools for Busy People Who Don't Have Time for That
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career Growth#SocBizShakeUp: Sandy Carter at The Social Shake-UpThe Social Shake-Up: How CMOs Drive Innovation and Revenue GrowthThe Social Shake-Up: The Future of Social Business
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Recap from the First-Ever Employee Advocacy SummitFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Want to Get More from Your Best Accounts?
Posted on August 5th 2014
For a long time, the only objectives I used for major accounts were very specific business objectives: “We will increase turnover by X%” or “We will introduce two new programs and increase our profitability by Y%.”
Then, one day, I had what could only be described as a “minor epiphany” – I began to understand that these business objectives were simply not enough. I then discovered that multi-level objectives were a very powerful way to both win and retain business. Let me explain.
Within my strategy, there are four levels of objectives and together they create overall “grand” objectives that excite and motivate the team and which are also very practical.
First we set visionary objectives: We picture what the result could be if everything went well. We discipline ourselves not to be limited by history or today’s issues. The outcome is a very strong vision of what the account could be like in two or five or even ten years.
Secondly we set relationship objectives. Everyone in the account team needs to know what we want the relationship to feel like. For example, “Imagine you could hear your customer talking about you in two years time.” What would you want to hear them saying? It might be statements like “We trust them completely” or “They always give us new ideas” and “Things do not go wrong often, but when they do they always make things right quickly.” We have found that these relationship objectives help us do everything in the way we should and in the way the customer wants, whereas in the past it was more difficult to be consistent and customer-centred.
So far we have talked about quite “soft”objectives – how we want things to feel. The first two objectives are about emotion and imagination but we need some “hard” objectives as well, so the third level is the level of business objectives.
These objectives are specific – very clear. “By the end of this year we will have increased sales of product A by 25% on last year’s volumes and maintained our profit margins.” They are also measurable (if we cannot measure them, how will we know if we are progressing?) They must be agreed within the account team and even possibly agreed with the customer!
They must be realistic – other people will be depending on our forecasts. Finally, they must have a time-scale. Those business objectives provide the strong disciplines that we need to know in order to understand whether or not we are succeeding.
The final level of objectives is the level of stage goals. We may say that we will achieve a result of X by the end of year two within the key account and if this is to happen, we need to be planning where we should be at important dates.
If the objective is to be selling five products to the customer by the end of next year and we’re selling two today, we probably need to plan to have three in place by this October, four in place by next March and five by next September. The stage goals make sure we are on target and allow us to solve problems before they become impossible to solve.
We have found that using these multi-level objectives helps to motivate each major account team member, but can also help us significantly increase the amount and quality of business being transacted with key accounts.
Be assured, more from less, is highly profitable business practice!
multi-level marketing / shutterstock