How to Find the Right Account Planning Tool for Your Business

Choosing the right accounting software for your business can be confusing. If you’re considering buying an account planning tool, it’s essential to know how it works and how it can help your business. You need to understand what they do, what features you need in an account planning tool, and which vendors have solutions that meet those needs.

Understand How an Account Planning Tool Can Help Your Business

Account management tools can help you to manage your marketing strategy, resources, time, and clients. They also allow for new ways of thinking about the work needed to achieve your goals.

For example, by creating a visual representation of how all this information fits together, you’ll get an idea of how the whole business works. You will know not just what individual departments are doing but also how they work together. 

It helps ensure you’re not duplicating efforts or missing something important. That’s probably why 70% of marketers were using an account planning tool in 2021, up from 55% in 2020.

The right tool will help you implement your account planning strategy effectively. The more tools you use at once, the better your business will be in terms of efficiency and productivity levels across teams within one organization and between agencies. Hence, your core focus should be on how easy the tool makes it to implement the right account planning strategy and helps your business grow.

Decide Who Will Use the Account Planning Tool and How

Before making any decisions about account planning tools, getting your team on board is essential. This means understanding who will use the tool and how they’ll use it. If you’re planning a strategy for a newly acquired client with huge potential, do your research ahead of time and ensure the people responsible for developing the strategy are committed to doing so.

Your team members should also understand how their work is connected with other teams and departments in their company. The best way to ensure that happens is through education, training sessions, workshops, or whatever works best for your company culture.

Besides educating your employees on how to use the account planning tool, training can also be a factor in retaining employees. According to a recent survey, 86% of HR managers say that training and development can aid retention.

Once everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing, there should be no problem getting them on board with using an account planning tool in their day-to-day workflows.

Create a List of Features You Need

Once you’ve identified what kind of account planning tool your business needs, the next step is to create a list of features that will help your team get the most out of it. These could be anything from multiple user roles to automatic scheduling and task reminders.

When creating this list, remember that not every feature will be necessary at first. That’s why it’s called a “wish” list. For example, if you’re just starting with account planning, you may not need collaboration features like live chat or video calls. But as your agency grows, these tools can become essential for streamlining internal communication and meeting client expectations.

You should also look for features in the other software and solutions you will be using with the account planning tool. For example, customer relationship management (CRM) systems can help enhance the performance of account planning tools by ingesting customer data in them. Hence, you must also ensure that the CRM has all the important features.

Come Up With Requirements for Implementation

Budgeting is vital in businesses to ensure the availability of resources. For example, consider that you have a budget of $10,000 for buying an account planning tool and educating employees about it. However, you don’t create a budget and end up paying $13,000. This means that the additional $3,000 has to come from the other project’s budget, creating challenges in completing different projects on time.

However, the sad thing is that not many businesses create a budget. Data shows that around 46% of small businesses don’t have a budget. Of the remaining 54% that do, many end up spending more than their budget.

Once you’ve decided on the functionality you need, it’s crucial to consider how much time and money will be required to implement the tool. How long will it take for your team to learn how to use it? Will they need additional training or help from a consultant? What are the costs associated with implementing this tool in your business?

For example, suppose you’re implementing an account planning tool as part of a larger digital marketing strategy and have already hired consultants for other services. In that case, this cost should already be accounted for. On the other hand, if no existing resources are available within your organization or budget constraints are tight, it may be wise for one person from each department involved in account planning to receive training first. These selected people can give others a basic understanding of account planning tools.

In addition to considering direct implementation costs like training fees or software purchase prices up front, consider long-term support fees associated with ongoing maintenance after launch day too. Just because someone else built something doesn’t mean they’ll continue supporting it forever. Therefore, ensure that whoever has been contracted out maintains service levels successively throughout its life cycle after the deployment date.

Talk to Potential Vendors

Once you have everything listed, including feature requirements, budget, and a list of potential account planning tools, start communicating with the vendors of those tools. Talking with the vendors can allow you to learn more about the product before buying it.

It will also help create a bond between you and the vendors to ensure a profitable and long-term collaboration. This will also allow you to take time to understand the services the vendor will provide once you hire his or her services.

Conclusion

If you do your homework and make the right choice, an account planning tool will make it easier for you to manage your clients and grow your business. Account planning tools can make or break a company, so it’s essential that you choose wisely. We hope this article has helped you understand how to find the right one for your needs.

Adam Hansen