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Boulden Management Consultants

Sales Skills  >  1-Day Courses

Writing Strategic Account Plans

Training in strategic account plans

Understand the subtleties and strategies involved in effective strategic account planning

One Day Course

Course Brochure Download
Strategic Account Plans brochure
  • Appreciate the vital importance of good quality strategic account plans to implementing an effective sales strategy
  • Build lasting relationships with key stakeholders in major customers
  • Understand how to create a compelling vision for the way you want the account to develop


With markets becoming ever more complex and organisations’ growing ever more concerned about ‘added value’, many companies are now involved in selling ‘solutions’ to their customers rather than products or systems. ‘Strategic account planning’ is the name given to the discipline of developing the business relationships with very large customers where this type of ‘solution’ or ‘consultative’ selling is key to success. The course uses the Boulden aPt Strategic Account Planning System™ to guide participants through the seven stages of developing excellent Strategic Account Plans.

Learning objectives

By attending this highly interactive and practical course you will:

  • Discover techniques for segmenting accounts into strategic and non strategic categories
  • Acquire a method for ‘grading’ the quality of your relationship with a strategic account
  • Learn how to identify exciting new business opportunities within the key account
  • Gain an insight into how to develop key relationships with the customer’s organisation
  • Master a simple yet effective process for communication and information sharing with the account team and beyond

Who should attend?

Sales people and other interested parties who have to deal with strategic account customers.

Pre-course preparation

The emphasis of the course is on writing an account plan based on actual customer information. This will involve selecting one major customer and then working through the seven steps of the BMC aPt Strategic Account Planning System™ in order to produce a ‘live’ account plan. In order to maximise the time available to do this participants need to prepare key account information and conduct some initial analysis in advance of the course. To help guide them in their preparation, participants will be sent a Boulden strategic account-planning guide before the training workshop to help structure their information gathering and data analysis.

Day 1

Defining Strategic Accounts – customer segmentation

We can define strategic accounts in two ways:

  • The small number of customers that give us most of our business (often as few as 5% of accounts generate 50% of our revenue).
  • Accounts who could give us large amounts of business and where it is feasible and worthwhile to devote scarce resources to developing our relationship with them.
  • Here we segment the customer base in order to clearly distinguish the Strategic Account Customers and overview the seven-step Boulden aPt Strategic Account Planning System™

Group exercise: segmenting accounts

The inner game of account strategy

The phrase the ‘inner game’ is a term borrowed from sports psychology. It is a reference to the fact that what is going on inside a person’s head (their state of mind) is crucial to good performance. Here we consider the role perception and beliefs of expert strategists.

  • Examining your current beliefs
  • Reviewing expert beliefs
  • Making changes that you feel are appropriate for you

Pairs exercise: applying the ‘affirmation’ technique

Account Profile

For each ‘Strategic Account’ capture key pieces of background information e.g. markets, business strategy etc.

Group exercise: Sales History Mapping

DMU Relationship Analysis

Vulnerability Wheel

Business Relationship Rating

Assessment of current status

Capture the salient points from the analysis carried out so far.

Group exercise: SWOT analysis

Possible future business

Identify products and services that we could offer the Strategic Account.

Group exercise: Modified Ansoff Matrix

Product Storyboard

Target setting

Write down our ‘vision’ for how we will work with the Strategic Account and specify a three-year financial target and then setting specific goals for the year in respect of relationship building, sales and service targets.

Group exercise: Vision Statement

Medium term financial target

SMART goals template


Identifying what steps need to be taken to achieve the SMART goals and assigning the completion of those steps to nominated individuals.

Group exercise: Task Activity Sheets


Monitoring the progress that is being made against sales and service targets by capturing them in a single document (called a scorecard). Understanding how to share progress, report results and broadcast significant information between key employees as the account plans are implemented.

Group exercise: create ‘Scorecards’ and ‘Flash Reports’

Bid Assessment

When working with a Strategic Account we may be offered the opportunity to bid or quote for a piece of business. ‘Bid assessment’ is about (i) determining how much resource to commit to any one quote and (ii) assessing the pattern of quotes that we are offered over time.

Group exercise: ‘Scotsman’ Bid Assessment System


Feedback is based upon peer review using Boulden assessment checklists. Completing the assessment checklists is not only valuable to the people involved in a given role play or case study, it also helps those completing them to gain an in-depth understanding of the building blocks for writing excellent strategic account plans.

Remote Training

All of our workshops can be delivered as Remote Training via e-learning modules plus Zoom based virtual workshops. Please see our Virtual Training page for more information.


To talk to us about our range of courses contact
Boulden Management Consultants:
via our Contact form
Tel: 0844 394 8877