If you complete a President’s Model analysis for an important account, you’ll likely know more about that customer than its employees know.
No sales manager would argue that a thorough understanding of a customer’s business is essential for long term sales success. Any rep that completes the three phases of a President’s Model analysis on an account has accomplished exactly that.
Phase one consists of understanding that customer’s overall Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives. These are the basics that can be found in an annual report and/or their basic marketing materials. A vision tends to be future oriented, while the mission is focused on the present. Typically organizations formulate three to five broad goals based on the mission. By answering the questions “how much?” and “by when?” these goals by definition become objectives.
Phase two requires a series of sales calls on key players to gather information in six categories:
- Environment – These are factors that have an impact on the customer, but over which the customer has no control. Government regulation and general economic conditions are examples.
- Corporate Culture – Is the environment paternal or one driven solely by hard results? Does top management make all the decisions or do they delegate?
- SWOTs – What are their Strengths? Weaknesses? What Opportunities are open to them? What Threats do they face?
- Strategy – Given the factors described by the above, what are their strategies for each major functional area? (i.e., The strategy for Sales, Finance, HR, etc.)
- Organization – Given the strategies, how have they organized to implement them?
- Metrics – What hard measurements are used to determine if the strategies are successful in achieving the desired results?
Phase three is the most powerful in terms of identifying the “hot buttons” that will motivate them to buy. It consists of identifying and understanding the interactions among the six categories and how they affect one another.
Say, for example, that during a call on the CEO, responsiveness to service requests is identified as a Weakness. Having the President’s Model in mind, you point out that no single entity in their Organization is responsible for it. Next, you happen to know that responsiveness is one of the Strengths of Joe Z in their warehouse and the company has a Culture of assigning important projects to low-ranking, but potential high achievers like him. You suggest working with Joe to implement Strategy “X” (that happens to require purchase of your product/service) and use a set of Metrics that a reference account of yours used successfully last quarter.
Get the idea? Fill in the facts for each section of the President’s Model for each key account. Then go make calls asking questions that help your customer think through the possible combinations and permutations of causes, effects and strategies. With the product/service knowledge you already have, the applications and the sales opportunities will quickly become clear.