It is essential that Area Sales Managers (ASMs) support the Account Planning and Gainsight initiative with their teams. Below are the key messages that will need to be reinforced.
These links will take you to the account in Gainsight. Once you're logged into Gainsight, scroll down to "Success Plans" and make sure you are looking at the Account Plan, not the CSM's Success Plan.
While there is no such thing as a "complete" account plan, there are things the ASM can look for that could indicate a plan is on the right track. Remember, we want to encourage thoughtful planning, NOT compliance. This is not a check the box activity, but a process/tool that will facilitate collaboration, strategic thinking and execution.
A common theme across all of the account planning components is collaboration. At every stage, verify that the SAL is working with the Solutions Architect, Customer Success Manager, and their Channel and Alliances Partners. Be sure to ask follow up questions to understand how they are working with their teams and ensure that partners are being leveraged.
One method for reviewing the account plan with the SAL is to ask open-ended questions. The SALs should already be thinking about these questions and be able to speak to them in a 1:1.
More detailed information for each of the components is below.
The Account Profile will be a combination of existing information from Salesforce and information added by the SAL. While many SALs probably have this information in their head, we want to ensure that it is accurately captured in Gainsight. As the ASM, you'll want to verify the following questions can be answered by reviewing the account plan.
Relationships are critical to discovering customer pain and being able to position GitLab as a solution. This section of the account plan is important, and you'll want to work with your SALs to ensure they are multi-threading across key contacts in the account (both within and across lines of business) and that they understand how different parts of the organization engage with and/or influence each other? Bear in mind that influence can be independent of reporting structure.
Did the SAL identify…
Start by verifying that the SAL identified which vendor technologies are used across each stage of the DevOps lifecycle and how the customer develops and deploys applications.
Going beyond this, did the SAL…
The Action Plan is arguably the most important component of the Account Plan.
Does the plan answer the following questions?