What Makes an Annual Customer Review a Program?

In my last blogs on Annual Customer Reviews you learned, at a high level, what a review is all about.  Now it is time to find out what the 3 keys to implementing a successful program are...Ownership, Alignment and Accountability. 

In order to drive the desired behavior from your sales force, implementing an Annual Customer Review needs to have a consistent and repeatable process tied to it or the results you will receive will fall well below expectations. The Annual Customer Review needs to be a formal Program. So, in order to establish a Program there must be a clear owner, alignment with sales leaders and accountability to drive successful adoption by the sales force.

Ownership

When considering which team within your organization should be the owner of an Annual Customer Review program a few might come to mind…Marketing, Client Relations, Sales. In my experience the largest success will be found when Sales owns and drives the initiative. As the owner, Sales must define the goals and objectives for the review and communicate the expectations to the sales force.


A team within the Sales organization needs to drive the implementation of the program through the delivery of a consistent review template, clearly defined process steps and the ability to measure results. Sales Operations or Sales Strategy/Productivity are teams that are equipped to drive a program like an Annual Customer Review.


Alignment

No program can be successful without the full cooperation of the leaders in the field. In order to drive alignment with your sales leaders it is imperative that there be constant communication throughout the early stages of the program. Communicate the goals, objectives, expectations and requirements for their sales teams.

Another best practice is to seek out the best practice leaders in the field; who has already displayed best in class when presenting Annual Customer Reviews to their customers? Utilize those who represent the ideal state to take everyone else along for the ride; they will be your best supporters. Those who exemplify what success looks like will lead others down that same road.

Accountability

If there are not defined expectations how can anyone be held accountable for desired behaviors. Early in the development of your Annual Customer Review program the expectations for the sales leaders and the sales force needs to be communicated.

  • How many reviews must be delivered?
  • What steps in the process will the sales force be responsible for delivering?
  • How will success be measured?
  • What training will be delivered?

Through effective communication everyone will understand the part they play in the overall Annual Customer Review program.

Once ownership, alignment and accountability have been defined and communicated you will be well on your way to implementing a sustainable, repeatable process that will be your Annual Customer Review program.


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