“Whenever we can replace human judgment by a formula, we should at least consider it."
--Daniel Kahneman, 2002 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, named one of the best books of 2011 by The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and The New York Times.
Reading Kahneman’s book reminded me of how important it is to remain open-minded and objective in business, especially in the conclusions we draw and the decisions we make. The path to extraordinary growth with our most significant accounts is no exception. Every good large account planning effort should involve an account plan presentation to a review board of executive stakeholders. Ideally there would be two reviews annually-- a one-hour initial account plan overview and an abbreviated follow-up review three to six months later. As the number of accounts planned and presented increases, it is essential to find an efficient method for reviewing the accounts and providing feedback to the teams.
Like a newborn wellness Apgar test, we developed a simple, 6-dimension scorecard to assist in the evaluation and feedback process. The scorecard can be tailored and weighted according to your strategic account environment. If you prefer, use a “very weak” to “very strong” scale rather than points to assess your account teams’ plan presentations.
Measures of Account Team Competencies:
1. The Customer’s Environment (20 Points) _________________
2. The Account’s Key Financials (Total 10 Points) _________________
3. The Current Relationship (Total 25 Points) _________________
4. Planned Strategy and Execution (20 Points) _________________
5. Additional Resources (10 Points) _________________
6. Team Self-Assess: What has the Team Learned Through the Strategic Account Planning Process? (15 Points) _________________
Evaluator Notes (additional comments on the plan presentation):
ACCOUNT PLAN TOTAL (100 possible points): _____________
This standard account scorecard can help make the team feedback process more productive for the account team and more efficient for the executive reviewers. It will provide a reference point from which to build your own account plan criteria and associated scoring. Use the final scores to prioritize which accounts require additional management oversight.
Mike Peters is the managing director of the Whitespace Consulting Group, a global business development strategy firm. The Whitespace Consulting Group has been helping multi-cultural clients optimize their business development strategy since 2005. He can be reached at email@example.com.