Creating Strategic Account Plans

Julia Weinstock
Julia Weinstock Member Posts: 4 Seeker
First Anniversary
edited January 2022 in Strategy & Planning
Hey all,

I wanted to gather some feedback here around creating strategic account plans. I find that Success (& our sales partners) is often reactive rather than proactive and we are beginning to think about how to create proactive account plans for our clients (i.e. only come up with a game plan/strategy when there's a red flag like low adoption/churn risk) to ensure retention. I'm wondering if anyone has created anything similar before and has any thoughts on where to start? What are some things you would consider when creating a proactive account plan? Any frameworks? Open to any and all ideas!



  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 133 Expert
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    edited January 2022

    Hi @Julia Weinstock,
    There's a detailed article exactly on this topic -- it's ~7 minute read, but I promise it's worth it as it details a process that works very well to strengthen customer relationships:


    No commercials.  On that site are templates for success plans , detailed whitepapers with templates for communications, etc.  

    I hope this helps and please let me know if I can provide other resources or answer questions.  

  • Julia Weinstock
    Julia Weinstock Member Posts: 4 Seeker
    First Anniversary
    edited January 2022
    Thank you @Steve Bernstein - I am definitely going to give this a read!
  • nipunmohanty
    nipunmohanty Member Posts: 3 Navigator
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    I am using the Miller Heiman gold sheet for Account planning. It is also known as the OST Model (Operational, Strategic & Tactical).

  • gleecolina
    gleecolina Member Posts: 1 Newcomer
    First Comment
    Hi guys, 
    Do you know where can I get a Miller Heiman gold sheet excel template I can use ? :)
  • Michelle Wideman
    Michelle Wideman Member Posts: 54 Navigator
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    Hi @Julia Weinstock

    In my opinion, so much of who owns this is going to be dependent upon the size and stage of your company, how your Success team is segmented and current workload, and the skill level of your Sales & Success team.  I have had Customer Success Directors (1:15 customers) do this for all of their accounts, Customer Success Managers(1:35) do this for minimum of 5 accounts, and Customer Success Advisors(1:100) do this for 3 accounts(more as career development activity).  For the CSM's and CSA's their manager would work with them to focus on accounts that had the highest propensity to buy, as we had a different process to flag at risk accounts.  

    As for the template:  
    • Account Overview:  strengths, growth factors, annual report summary & how our tech would help achieve those goals, news articles(focusing on ones that would be incremental opportunities)
    • Key Goals & Challenges:  wins & business outcome achieved, use case & workflow, usage info, org chart(champions, detractors, neutral), key people we should be targeting and executive alignment from our company, also recommendations on who should be invited to customer advisory boards. Challenges we have and recommendations to solve. 
    • Product Requests:  enhancement & bug requests 
    • Opportunities & Next Steps:  Current and future use cases(business outcome, success metric, and status).  Future-these are our incremental opportunities, identify who is going to own them, so we are dividing and conquering between Sales & Success.  
    Who would attend these meetings:  Mandatory:  Success IC, Sales Peer. Optional but usually attended:  Success Mgr, CCO, Sales Mgr, Product Leaders, Product Mgrs, Product Marketing Managers. 
    Meeting length:  45 minutes

    All these templates would be linked in our CSM platform that had a bi-directional integration with SFDC.  We also stored them in a Google file, so if marketing wanted to understand how folks were leveraging the platform, case study candidates, etc they had access.   

    Hope this helps!
  • amanda_cumbie
    amanda_cumbie Member Posts: 3 Newcomer
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    This is great @Michelle Wideman! Thank you